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Advanced Webinar: Land Cover Classification with Satellite Imagery

NASA/USGS image from the National Land Cover Database 2001 (NLCD 2001).

Land classification is an important first step to assessing land cover and land use. This advanced webinar provides lectures and hands-on activities focused on using satellite imagery for land cover classification. In two, four hour sessions, attendees will learn how to acquire Landsat imagery, display it in an open-source Geographic Information System (GIS), analyze spectral signatures of land cover types, and conduct a supervised land cover classification. Both sessions feature a lecture, followed by time for participants to complete hands-on exercises and ask questions. Both recordings feature the speaker answering questions from the live webinars. 

Learning Objectives: 
  • Understand how to access and download Landsat imagery
  • Become familiar with Landsat bands and color combinations
  • Learn the basic steps for conducting a supervised land cover classification by:
    • Creating training sites
    • Analyzing differences in spectral signatures
  • Understand the differences between an unsupervised classification and a supervised classification
Course Format: 
  • Two, four hour sessions
  1. Complete Sessions 1 & 2A of Fundamentals of Remote Sensing, or equivalent experience
  2. Download and install QGIS and all accompanying software
    • Use this Downloading and Installing QGIS exercise for help (Para descargar e instalar QGIS)
    • This advanced training will use QGIS software, and although previous experience with this software is not required, some experience with geospatial software will be helpful. We strongly recommend you open QGIS and ensure the software is working prior to starting the webinar.
  3. Complete the Introduction to QGIS & Raster Imagery exercise (Introducción a QGIS y a Imágenes Ráster)
    • Download Prerequisite data »
    • If you have difficulty accessing the necessary Landsat data through GloVis, try using EarthExplorer.
    • This includes installation of the QGIS Plugin Semi-Automatic Classification Plugin
  4. Complete Homework via Google Forms (Tarea de prerrequisito) 

Attendees that do not complete prerequisites may not be properly prepared for the pace and exercises during the training.


Local, regional, state, federal, and international organizations interested in assessing vegetation condition using satellite imagery. Professional organizations in the public and private sectors engaged in environmental management and monitoring will be given preference over organizations focused primarily on research. 

Registration Information: 

There is no cost for the webinar, but you must register to stream the recording below.

Application Area: 
Available Languages: