JSON   RDF   ISO19115/ISO19139 XML

Australia - Present Major Vegetation Groups - NVIS Version 4.1 (Albers 100m analysis product)


This dataset and its metadata statement were supplied to the Bioregional Assessment Programme by a third party and are presented here as originally supplied.

Resource contains an ArcGIS file geodatabase raster for the National Vegetation Information System (NVIS) Major Vegetation Groups - Australia-wide, present extent (FGDB_NVIS4_1_AUST_MVG_EXT).

Related datasets are also included: FGDB_NVIS4_1_KEY_LAYERS_EXT - ArcGIS File Geodatabase Feature Class of the Key Datasets that make up NVIS Version 4.1 - Australia wide; and FGDB_NVIS4_1_LUT_KEY_LAYERS - Lookup table for Dataset Key Layers.

This raster dataset provides the latest summary information (November 2012) on Australia's present (extant) native vegetation. It is in Albers Equal Area projection with a 100 m x 100 m (1 Ha) cell size. A comparable Estimated Pre-1750 (pre-european, pre-clearing) raster dataset is available: - NVIS4_1_AUST_MVG_PRE_ALB. State and Territory vegetation mapping agencies supplied a new version of the National Vegetation Information System (NVIS) in 2009-2011. Some agencies did not supply new data for this version but approved re-use of Version 3.1 data. Summaries were derived from the best available data in the NVIS extant theme as at June 2012. This product is derived from a compilation of data collected at different scales on different dates by different organisations. Please refer to the separate key map showing scales of the input datasets. Gaps in the NVIS database were filled by non-NVIS data, notably parts of South Australia and small areas of New South Wales such as the Curlewis area. The data represent on-ground dates of up to 2006 in Queensland, 2001 to 2005 in South Australia (depending on the region) and 2004/5 in other jurisdictions, except NSW. NVIS data was partially updated in NSW with 2001-09 data, with extensive areas of 1997 data remaining from the earlier version of NVIS. Major Vegetation Groups were identified to summarise the type and distribution of Australia's native vegetation. The classification contains different mixes of plant species within the canopy, shrub or ground layers, but are structurally similar and are often dominated by a single genus. In a mapping sense, the groups reflect the dominant vegetation occurring in a map unit where there are a mix of several vegetation types. Subdominant vegetation groups which may also be present in the map unit are not shown. For example, the dominant vegetation in an area may be mapped as dominated by eucalypt open forest, although it contains pockets of rainforest, shrubland and grassland vegetation as subdominants. The (related) Major Vegetation Subgroups represent more detail about the understorey and floristics of the Major Vegetation Groups and are available as separate raster datasets: - NVIS4_1_AUST_MVS_EXT_ALB - NVIS4_1_AUST_MVS_PRE_ALB A number of other non-vegetation and non-native vegetation land cover types are also represented as Major Vegetation Groups. These are provided for cartographic purposes, but should not be used for analyses. For further background and other NVIS products, please see the links on http://www.environment.gov.au/erin/nvis/index.html.

The current NVIS data products are available from http://www.environment.gov.au/land/native-vegetation/national-vegetation-information-system.


For use in Bioregional Assessment land classification analyses

Dataset History

NVIS Version 4.1

The input vegetation data were provided from over 100 individual projects representing the majority of Australia's regional vegetation mapping over the last 50 years. State and Territory custodians translated the vegetation descriptions from these datasets into a common attribute framework, the National Vegetation Information System (ESCAVI, 2003). Scales of input mapping ranged from 1:25,000 to 1:5,000,000. These were combined into an Australia-wide set of vector data. Non-terrestrial areas were mostly removed by the State and Territory custodians before supplying the data to the Environmental Resources Information Network (ERIN), Department of Sustainability Environment Water Population and Communities (DSEWPaC).

Each NVIS vegetation description was written to the NVIS XML format file by the custodian, transferred to ERIN and loaded into the NVIS database at ERIN. A considerable number of quality checks were performed automatically by this system to ensure conformity to the NVIS attribute standards (ESCAVI, 2003) and consistency between levels of the NVIS Information Hierarchy within each description. Descriptions for non-vegetation and non-native vegetation mapping codes were transferred via CSV files.

The NVIS vector (polygon) data for Australia comprised a series of jig-saw pieces, eachup to approx 500,000 polygons - the maximum tractable size for routine geoprocesssing. The spatial data was processed to conform to the NVIS spatial format (ESCAVI, 2003; other papers). Spatial processing and attribute additions were done mostly in ESRI File Geodatabases. Topology and minor geometric corrections were also performed at this stage. These datasets were then loaded into ESRI Spatial Database Engine as per the ERIN standard. NVIS attributes were then populated using Oracle database tables provided by custodians, mostly using PL/SQL Developer or in ArcGIS using the field calculator (where simple).

Each spatial dataset was joined to and checked against a lookup table for the relevant State/Territory to ensure that all mapping codes in the dominant vegetation type of each polygon (NVISDSC1) had a valid lookup description, including an allocated MVG. Minor vegetation components of each map unit (NVISDSC2-6) were not checked, but could be considered mostly complete.

Each NVIS vegetation description was allocated to a Major Vegetation Group (MVG) by manual interpretation at ERIN. The Australian Natural Resources Atlas (http://www.anra.gov.au/topics/vegetation/pubs/native_vegetation/vegfsheet.html) provides detailed descriptions of most Major Vegetation Groups. Three new MVGs were created for version 4.1 to better represent open woodland formations and forests (in the NT) with no further data available. NVIS vegetation descriptions were reallocated into these classes, if appropriate:

  • Unclassified Forest

  • Other Open Woodlands

  • Mallee Open Woodlands and Sparse Mallee Shublands

(Thus there are a total of 33 MVGs existing as at June 2012). Data values defined as cleared or non-native by data custodians were attributed specific MVG values such as 25 - Cleared or non native, 27 - naturally bare, 28 - seas & estuaries, and 99 - Unknown.

As part of the process to fill gaps in NVIS, the descriptive data from non-NVIS sources was also referenced in the NVIS database, but with blank vegetation descriptions. In general. the gap-fill data comprised (a) fine scale (1:250K or better) State/Territory vegetation maps for which NVIS descriptions were unavailable and (b) coarse-scale (1:1M) maps from Commonwealth and other sources. MVGs were then allocated to each description from the available desciptions in accompanying publications and other sources.

Parts of New South Wales, South Australia, QLD and the ACT have extensive areas of vector "NoData", thus appearing as an inland sea. The No Data areas were dealt with differently by state. In the ACT and SA, the vector data was 'gap-filled' and attributed using satellite imagery as a guide prior to rasterising. Most of these areas comprised a mixture of MVG 24 (inland water) and 25 (cleared), and in some case 99 (Unknown). The NSW & QLD 'No Data' areas were filled using a raster mask to fill the 'holes'. These areas were attributed with MVG 24, 26 (water & unclassified veg), MVG 25 (cleared); or MVG 99 Unknown/no data, where these areas were a mixture of unknown proportions.

Each spatial dataset with joined lookup table (including MVG_NUMBER linked to NVISDSC1) was exported to a File Geodatabase as a feature class. These were reprojected into Albers Equal Area projection (Central_Meridian: 132.000000, Standard_Parallel_1: -18.000000, Standard_Parallel_2: -36.000000, Linear Unit: Meter (1.000000), Datum GDA94, other parameters 0).

Each feature class was then rasterised to a 100m raster with extents to a multiple of 1000 m, to ensure alignment. In some instances, areas of 'NoData' had to be modelled in raster. For example, in NSW where non-native areas (cleared, water bodies etc) have not been mapped. The rasters were then merged into a 'state wide' raster. State rasters were then merged into this 'Australia wide' raster dataset.

November 2012 Corrections

Closer inspection of the original 4.1 MVG Extant raster dataset highlighted some issues with the raster creation process which meant that raster pixels in some areas did not align as intended. These were corrected, and the new properly aligned rasters released in November 2012.

Dataset Citation

Department of the Environment (2012) Australia - Present Major Vegetation Groups - NVIS Version 4.1 (Albers 100m analysis product). Bioregional Assessment Source Dataset. Viewed 10 July 2017, http://data.bioregionalassessments.gov.au/dataset/57c8ee5c-43e5-4e9c-9e41-fd5012536374.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Title Australia - Present Major Vegetation Groups - NVIS Version 4.1 (Albers 100m analysis product)
Type Dataset
Language eng
Licence Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, (c) Commonwealth of Australia (Department of the Environment)
Data Status NONE
Update Frequency NONE
Landing Page https://data.gov.au/data/dataset/8bb2b104-dd6e-47f3-88b3-e4a5602c5f5c
Date Published 2016-03-22
Date Updated 2019-11-19
Contact Point
Bioregional Assessment Program
Temporal Coverage N/A - N/A
Geospatial Coverage POLYGON ((0 0, 0 0, 0 0, 0 0))
Jurisdiction NONE
Data Portal data.gov.au
Publisher/Agency Bioregional Assessment Program