Land Unit

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A Land Unit is an atomic geographic element that is used as a smallest geographic element in a land use change model. Land Units could be Parcels or Administrative Regions or raster cells. The modeller assumes that land use characteristics can be related to land units and thus that they are relatively homogeneous.

When Land Units are small, one could reasonably assume that its use is homogeneous or of one type (at one specific instant of time, think of crop rotation) and a Discrete Allocation Model might be useful.

When Land Units are larger, they are often heterogeneous (but less fluctuating in time) and a Continuous Allocation Model might be better.

When Land Units all have the same area (such as raster cells of an equal area projection of the Earth's surface), and all land use types are mutually exclusive and the intensity of land use can be assumed location invariant (and all land use types have one claim without bandwidth for the whole study area), a discrete allocation problem reduces to a variant of lambda-assignment (aka Semi Assignment Problem).

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