Land cover indicates the physical and biological cover over the surface of the land

Land cover indicates the physical and biological cover over the surface of the land, such as water, vegetation, bare soil and man-made structures; while Land use refers to how people are using the land. Natural scientists define land use in terms of patterns of human activities such development purpose, conservation or mixed uses. Whereas social scientists and land managers define land use more broadly to include the social and economic purposes and contexts for and within which lands are managed (or left unmanaged), such as subsistence versus commercial agriculture, rented vs. owned, or private vs. public land. The different types of land cover can be managed or used quite differently.