Land Classification

Land classification is the process whereby the complex of surface and near-surface attributes of the solid portions of the Earth's surface are identified and organized into some system of mappable units according to a set of criteria or principles of relatedness. "Land classification" creates a framework of generalization about the complexity of "land" properties which enables common characters (primarily for named uses) to be defined and described and units with similar properties to be regarded as equals although geographically separate. Classification, before computers, was a prerequisite to any transfer of knowledge about the relationships between land properties and land use suitability and capability from one unit to others, i.e., if there was to be predictability in land use planning. Computer mapping allows the characteristics of each small land unit to be analyzed, usually reducing the need for or utility of prior classification.