Create LCZ Training Areas

This simple guide explains how to create the training areas that are needed by the LCZ classification software. A training area is a polygon that contains an LCZ of a particular type. These areas are digitized using Google Earth software. To carry out this task for your city of interest, you need to (a) understand the LCZ scheme; (b) have some knowledge about the landscape of your city; and (c) have a copy of Google Earth (or Google Earth Pro) installed on your computer. If you do not have Google Earth, you can obtain it from here. Furthermore, you will need a zipping software such as 7zip or use the one built into Microsoft Windows.

If you have never used Google Earth before and want to get an idea of how the digitization will work, view this video before preceding with the steps below.

There are two pathways through this process. For some cities (i.e. for the C40 cities), we have already downloaded and prepared some files for you. Click here to view the C40 cities. If the city you are interested in is on this list, then follow the steps associated with Pathway 1; otherwise follow the steps for Pathway 2. Note that this requires some GIS and data handling knowledge. If you cannot prepare the data for your city of choice yourself, you can ask us to do it – but give it a try first.

Both pathways begin here:

  • Step 1: Understand the LCZ data collection hierarchy
  • Step 2: Select your city of intersest
Select Pathway 1 for a C40 city and follow these steps:

  • Step 3: Download the files for your chosen city
OR select Pathway 2 for a different city of your choice and follow these steps:

  • Step 3a: Download Landsat images for your city
  • Step 3b: Define your region of interest (ROI)
  • Step 3c: Prepare Landsat data using Saga

Then for both pathways, complete the process as follows:

  • Step 4: Open the files in Google Earth
  • Step 5: Digitize your training areas
  • Step 6: Save your training areas

Once you have completed the steps in one of these two pathways, you can follow our step-by-step instructions to create the LCZ classification for your city.