New Jersey's Land Use map is essential for sound planning and environmental management. However, mapping the entire state is costly and a major undertaking. The state's current land use map is over six years old and the official update is likely a year away. The Rowan Geospatial Research Lab is aiming to use the power of crowdsourcing to make an updated interim map in a matter of weeks.

The GeoLab invites you to be a volunteer contributor by helping to identify post 2007 development growth. If enough people contribute to complete the state quickly, the results will be made freely available for download by January 1st, 2014.


Why crowdsourcing is important?

Crowdsourcing is a powerful tool that brings together knowledge and important contributions from people anytime, anywhere. “Crowdsourcing relies on the principle that a lot of knowledge resides with individual citizens, who are experts of their own local environment.”
- Rob Lemmens and The Google Map Makerpedia team

Through our crowdsourcing application, members of the public will be able to locate new urban development on the 2012 aerial photography and record its type and location. Areas known to have been developed prior to 2007 are masked out of the aerial photograph in black, making identification easier. If you see buildings, click them!


The Geospatial Research Laboratory's previous research, the "Changing Landscapes of the Garden State" report highlighted the changes that have occurred over a period from 1986 to 2007. This and previous iterations of the report have used the New Jersey Land Use/Land Cover data from the Department of Environmental Protection. The 1986, 1995, 2002 and 2007 Land Use/Land Cover data were derived from statewide aerial photography. In March 2013, the latest statewide aerial photography was released by the Office of GIS. This aerial photography was flown in March of 2012, approximately five years after the 2007 aerials.