EarthDefine Maps High Resolution Tree Cover for New Jersey and Virginia

by | Oct 16, 2015

ISSAQUAH, Wash., Oct. 15, 2015”EarthDefine, a provider of high-resolution spatial data products, has mapped trees in New Jersey and Virginia in unprecedented detail. The new 1 meter resolution New Jersey and Virginia SpatialCover Tree Canopy datasets provide the most accurate and spatially explicit data source on tree cover in these states.

The New Jersey and Virginia datasets fill existing gaps between high resolution datasets that cover very small geographical regions and coarse-grained national tree canopy data sources like the National Land Cover Database (NLCD). Existing coarse resolution datasets underestimate trees in agricultural and urban landscapes where the tree canopy exists in small and narrow spatial configurations. EarthDefine’s tree canopy datasets map tree cover with over 95% accuracy and 30 times the resolution of existing state level datasets. Based on its initial assessment of tree cover over New Jersey, EarthDefine estimates that New Jersey has 54.9% tree canopy, which is significantly higher than previous estimates for forest cover that range from 24% to 42%.

EarthDefine used multiple terabytes of color infrared imagery flown in the summer of 2015 over New Jersey and similar imagery flown in 2012 and 2014 over Virginia along with three-dimensional point cloud data from LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) flown between 2006 and 2014 to create the statewide tree cover datasets. LIDAR is a remote sensing technology that enables accurate measurement of elevation for different ground surface types based on the light pulses reflected from the earth.  The LIDAR data was also used to create Canopy Height Models that cover parts of New Jersey and Virginia.

EarthDefine has previously released high resolution tree canopy datasets that provide statewide coverage for Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana,Minnesota and California. EarthDefine will continue to expand the SpatialCover Tree Canopy data footprint to cover more states over the next year by building on the best available orthoimagery and LIDAR data. For more information on EarthDefine products, please visit


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