Analysis of Land Use, Dulles, Loudoun County

Name: Indela Vanaja Parimala Rani
Course: Advanced Image Processing—ES 775
Instructor: Dr. James S. Aber
Institution: Emporia State University


To observe and analyze the land use change for urban and water bodies in Dulles, Loudoun County, Virginia.


Dulles is located around the Dulles Airport in Loudoun County. The Loudoun county is growing constantly with population since 1980. In 1980 the land use for agricultural was 37.7% and forest area was 36.9%. Since then the county was growing with population constantly. In 2015 the total population estimated is 375,629. This project estimates and calculates the area changed and used for urban (residential and commercial) development from 1985 to 2015.


This study is limited for Dulles area around Dulles Airport in Loudoun County. The analysis is done for water bodies and urban area in and around Dulles. The analysis is also limited on the availability of Landsat images.

This satellite image shows the Dulles area, Loudoun County, Virginia in 1984. The image is acquired by Landsat 5, TM that shows the water (black or blue), vegetation (green) and Urban area(pink).


Landsat images were downloaded from USGS Global Visualization Viewer for year 1984 and 2015. The images were processed using IDRISI GIS Analysis software. The images were first overlaid, re-classed the similar values, grouped the similar pixels, added same attribute values and assigned to the image and finally calculated the area for land use and water bodies. This study compares August 27th, 1984 Landsat 5 image with August 8th, 2015 Landsat 8 image.


The following Landsat images display the Dulles, Loudoun County on August 27th, 1984 and on August 8th, 2015, which is 30 years later. The Urban Land use and water bodies change can be observed. Compare the images below; processed by Rani Indela.



There is a significant change of land use in Dulles, Loudoun county. This project mainly focused on urban land use and water bodies.

Related sites

Text and imagery Rani, Indela (2017).