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The Natural Vegetation Map of the European Communities and the Council of Europe was originally published in 1979 at a scale of 1:4,000,000. A second version of this map depicting climax and pseudo-climax (as oppsed to existing) vegetation was published in 1987 by the Council of Europe at a scale of 1:3,000,000. The second version offers the additional advantage, besides larger scale, of including over 100 vegetation classes and taking more account of regional variations. The 1988 version of the map was digitized using manual techniques at the IGN in Brussels, and subsequently transferred to the CORINE (Coordination of Information on the Environment) Project database. base. Rubber sheeting had to be used to integrate the vegetation map with the CORINE coastlines data set (by localized polygon shifting), because of an inconsistent latitude/longitude grid in the original map.
The Vegetation Map of the European Communities and the Council of Europe as obtained by GRID from the European Environment Agency Task Force (EEATF of the EC's DG XI, or the follow-on to the CORINE Program), was already in digital form as an ARC/INFO coverage and CORINE's standard projection, Lambert Azimuthal. GRID-Geneva has transformed this coverage to latitude/longitude coordinates (also ARC/INFO's "Geographic" Projection) in order to have data consistent with other GRID-held global and European data sets. The Vegetation Map has been used for applications at scales ranging from 1:3 to 1:10 million, and was last updated by CORINE in March of 1989.
The digital version of the Vegetation Map of the European Communities and the Council of Europe held by GRID covers all of Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom and the former West Germany, although the original map also covers Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Turkey and Cyprus. The data set contains 2266 polygons, and the ARC 'EXPORT' data file comprises 5.93 Megabytes, while the imported ARC coverage is only 1.95 Mb. The associated INFO file (a polygon attribute table) has a total of six attributes as follows: vegetation polygon area, perimeter, sequential code and identifier; vegetation unit code and category class.
The reference for this data set is: Council of Europe and Commission of the European Communities. 1987. "Map of the Natural Vegetation of the member countries of the European Community and the Council of Europe, scale 1:3 000 000, second edition." The Office of Official Publications of the European Communities, ISBN 92-825-7265-X, L-2985 Luxembourg, 81-page booklet of explanatory text plus four map sheets.
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