Traditionally land has been considered as a basis for comparing statistics in specific domains (e.g. agricultural statistics in different geographical areas) and rarely as an independent issue. As a consequence the official statistics linked to land are often spread among different statistical fields (agriculture, environment, forestry, etc.) and not always well integrated with one another.
With the growing need for matching both dimensions (land cover and land use), Eurostat started to produce harmonized land cover/use statistics in addition to the traditional specific ones linked to a particular land cover/use type (e.g. agriculture, etc). This harmonised information on land cover and land use is collected through the LUCAS survey, which is directly implemented by Eurostat. The specific land cover/use statistics are collected in co-operation with the EU countries.
The most important specific land cover/use data collection activities are linked to agriculture (Crop statistics and Farm Structure Survey), forestry and environment .
Due to mainly methodological differences, the overall data (LUCAS) and topic specific land cover/use data are not always comparable.
Eurostat's land cover and land use data
The Eurostat land cover/use database contains statistics down to the NUTS 2 level and landscape indicators at national level.
In addition to the database, the LUCAS primary data (numerical variables) is available free of charge for all users and can be downloaded from this website under the heading: LUCAS 2009 primary data. The LUCAS 2009 photos can obtained by contacting Eurostat (firstname.lastname@example.org).
NEW: LUCAS soil data 2009
The datasets for the LUCAS Topsoil Module include data from 19,969 samples from 25 Member States. Samples have been analysed for the percentage of coarse fragments, particle size distribution (% clay, silt and sand content), pH (in CaCl2 and H2O), organic carbon (g/kg), carbonate content (g/kg), phosphorous content (mg/kg), total nitrogen content (g/kg), extractable potassium content (mg/kg), cation exchange capacity (cmol(+)/kg) and for most samples multispectral properties are available.
The data are freely available and can be downloaded after prior registration.
The report "LUCAS Topsoil Survey: methodology, data and results" provides a detailed insight into the design and methodology of the data collection and laboratory analysis.