Open Data

Grassland Vegetation Inventory (GVI)


This dataset is produced for the Government of Alberta and is available to the general public. Please consult the Distribution Information of this metadata on how to acquire this dataset.

The Grassland Vegetation Inventory (GVI) represents the Government of Alberta's comprehensive biophysical, anthropogenic and land-use inventory of the southernmost portion of the province's White Area. The compilation of the inventory commenced in 2006 in the southeast corner of the province using digital colour-infrared stereo photography. Data capture has proceeded north and west.

The Grassland Vegetation Inventory is intended as an update to the Native Prairie Vegetation Inventory (NPVI) that was completed circa 1993. The Grassland Vegetation Inventory product is a more comprehensive and detailed geospatial representation of land cover that is intended to meet a multitude of business needs integral to land-use planning and management in Alberta. The Grassland Vegetation Inventory is a biophysical and land-use inventory rather than a purely vegetation inventory. It is comprised of ecological range sites based on soils information for areas of native vegetation and general land use for areas of non-native vegetation, namely those associated with agricultural, industrial, and residential developments.

Landscape Polygons are the basic map units in the Grassland Vegetation Inventory digital product. These polygons represent interpretations of relatively uniform biophysical or anthropogenic areas. The characteristics of Landscape Polygons are captured as records in the Sites table. The Grassland Vegetation Inventory site type classification is captured under the Site Types column in the Sites table to a maximum of four site types per Landscape Polygon. The Grassland Vegetation Inventory site types and their associated information plus the data capture methodology are described in the Grassland Vegetation Inventory Specifications.

Grassland Vegetation Inventory projects were initially funded under the Base Data Acquisition component of the Land-use Framework program, which represents the Alberta Government's comprehensive and integrated approach to land use planning and management. The primary funding agency is Alberta Environment and Parks.

The GVI data, index map, status map, views and specifications documents are available from Alberta Environment and Parks, Government of Alberta.


September 15, 2019


Title and Dataset Information

Alternative Title

Grassland Vegetation Inventory (GVI)

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Publisher / Creator Information


Environment and Parks

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Usage / Licence

Usage Considerations

There are increasing economic, social and ecological pressures on our native grasslands. This inventory will be a superior stratification tool for Public Lands and resource managers to ensure effective and sustainable use and allocation of these grasslands for the benefit of all Albertans. The Grassland Vegetation Inventory also facilitates wildlife habitat assessments, especially for species at risk. Land use decisions can be made with greater confidence using Grassland Vegetation Inventory data, particularly when minimization of impact on the native prairie is important.


Contact Name

Alberta Environment and Parks, Government of Alberta