Use of orthophotos and GIS in spatio-temporal assessment of land use land cover change : a case of Pietermaritzburg city, KwaZulu-Natal.
In order to manage the often highly dynamic urban landscapes, it is important to map different themes from time to time. This study made use of Geographical Information System and aerial photographs to determine LULC transformation in the eastern suburbs of Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Land use land cover maps for the eastern suburbs (Copesville, Eastwood, Raisethorpe and Willowton) for the years 1989 to 2009 were generated and transformations based on twelve LULCs determined. Results in this study showed that the most significant increase were in residential (formal and informal) and industrial LULCs while the most significant decrease were recorded in the cultivated and open LULC. Generally, results in this study further show that urban LULC attributed to human influx has been at the expense of internal open green spaces and peripheral cultivated and uncultivated lands. The study concludes that aerial photographs in concert with GIS are valuable tools in mapping rapidly changing urban landscapes.