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Wildland-urban interface maps for the conterminous U.S. based on 125 million building locations

July 11, 2022

The wildland-urban interface (WUI) is the area where urban development occurs in close proximity to wildland vegetation. WUI maps for the conterminous U.S. were generated using building point locations, offering higher spatial resolution compared to previously developed WUI maps based on U.S. Census Bureau housing density data (Radeloff et al., 2017). Building point locations were obtained from a Microsoft product released in 2018, which classified building footprints based on high-resolution satellite imagery. Maps were also based on wildland vegetation mapped by the 2016 National Land Cover Dataset (Yang et al., 2018). The mapping algorithm utilized definitions of the WUI from the U.S. Federal Register (USDA & USDI, 2001) and Radeloff et al. (2005). According to these definitions, two classes of WUI were identified: 1) the intermix, where there is at least 50% vegetation cover surrounding buildings, and 2) the interface, where buildings are within 2.4 km of a patch of vegetation at least 5 km2 in size that contains at least 75% vegetation. Both classes required a minimum building density of 6.17 buildings per km2. Maps of intermix and interface WUI were generated using a range of circular neighborhood sizes, based on radius distances from 100 ? 1,500 m, to determine building density and vegetation cover on a pixel-by-pixel basis (Bar Massada et al., 2013). A composite map was also generated by combining the combined WUI maps (both interface and intermix WUI) for all neighborhood sizes, with field values indicating the radius distances for which pixels are included in the WUI classification. Intermix and interface WUI map rasters based on the six distinct neighborhood sizes, as well as the combined WUI composite map, are included in the compressed .zip files. References: Bar Massada, A., S.I. Stewart, R.B. Hammer, M.H. Mockrin, and V.C. Radeloff. 2013. Using structure locations as a basis for mapping the wildland urban interface. Journal of Environmental Management 128:540?547. Radeloff, V. C., R. B. Hammer, S. I. Stewart, J. S. Fried, S. S. Holcomb, and J. F. McKeefry. 2005. The wildland-urban interface in the United States. Ecological Applications 15:799- 805. Radeloff, V. C., D.P. Helmers, H.A. Kramer, M.H. Mockrin, P.M. Alexandre, A. Bar Massada, V. Butsic, T.J. Hawbaker, S. Martinuzzi, A.D. Syphard, and S.I. Stewart. 2017. The 1990-2010 wildland-urban interface of the conterminous United States (2nd ed.) [Geospatial data]. Forest Service Research Data Archive; USDA and USDI. 2001. Urban wildland interface communities within vicinity of Federal lands that are at high risk from wildfire. Federal Register 66:751-777. Yang, L., S. Jin, P. Danielson, C. Homer, L. Gass, S.M. Bender, A. Case, C. Costello, J. Dewitz, J. Fry, M. Funk, B. Granneman, G.C. Liknes, M. Rigge, and G. Xian. 2018. A new generation of the United States National Land Cover Database: Requirements, research priorities, design, and implementation strategies. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing 146:108?123.

Publication Year 2022
Title Wildland-urban interface maps for the conterminous U.S. based on 125 million building locations
DOI 10.5066/P94BT6Q7
Authors Amanda R. Carlson, David P. Helmers, Todd J Hawbaker, Miranda H. Mockrin, Volker C Radeloff
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center