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Old vs. new urban: U.S. national mapping of the year of “first development” for urban areas, from 1940-2010.


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Falcone, J.A., 2017, Old vs. new urban: U.S. national mapping of the year of “first development” for urban areas, from 1940-2010: U.S. Geological Survey data release,


This product is a 100-meter resolution raster which classifies urban lands in the conterminous United States by the year in which they were “first developed.” The classification is based on housing density by era for 1940-2010 developed by the University of Wisconsin-Madison SILVIS lab. The classification was applied by identifying a housing unit density threshold which matched current-era “development” as represented by U.S. Census Urban Areas polygons, then re-applying that threshold to former eras back to 1940. The result is a national raster (.tif format) with eight classes, for the years 1940 and before, 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, and 2010, representing the year in which a pixel crossed the threshold of being “developed.” [...]


Point of Contact :
US Geological Survey, NAWQA
Originator :
James A. Falcone
Metadata Contact :
James Falcone
Distributor :
US Geological Survey - ScienceBase
USGS Mission Area :
Water Resources
SDC Data Owner :
Office of Planning and Programming

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Click on title to download individual files attached to this item. 11.2 MB
browse-graphic-housing-first-era-dev.jpg thumbnail 314.92 KB


The data are intended for GIS-based area calculations, for example calculating mean values for watersheds. The intent is that a single metric may be calculated from the raster, which would represent the mean era of first development for the area in question.
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  • USGS Data Release Products



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Input directly

Additional Information


Type Scheme Key
DOI doi:10.5066/F7FQ9TSJ

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