QGIS and RStudio for land accounting

This guide shows how to produce land cover change maps and statistical tables using open-source software Quantum Geographic Information System (QGIS) and code in RStudio.


2030 Agenda
SDG15: Life on land
SDG17: Partnerships for the goals
SDG 17: Capacity-building
Data and statistics for effective SDG decision-making
Economic statistics
Economic accounts
Methodology and statistical processes
Data processing and analysis
environmental statistics
land and water accounts

The land cover change guide released in OCTOBER 2020 by ESCAP – Producing land cover change maps and statistics: Step by step guide on the use of QGIS and RStudio shows the user how to produce maps and statistical tables of land cover changes over a time interval. The current guide shows the user how to generate the same maps and tables using more powerful RStudio scripts. You do not need to go through the earlier released guide before taking on the present guide. You may wish to preview that guide to see how maps can be produced using QGIS.

Maps and statistical tables are generated in accordance with the land cover categories of the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA).

The guide takes you through 3 steps:

  • Step 1: Download the necessary data from available open sources – Data downloading
  • Step 2: Strip and clean the data downloaded to filter the layers relevant to your chosen geographical area – Data pre-processing
  • Step 3: Generate land cover change maps and statistical tables using QGIS and scripts in RStudio – Generating land cover change maps and statistical tables