National Land Cover Database Visualization and Information Tool

Science Center Objects

The National Land Cover Database (NLCD) serves as the definitive Landsat-based, 30-meter resolution, land cover database for the Nation. NLCD supports a wide variety of Federal, State, local, and nongovernmental applications that seek to assess ecosystem status and health, understand the spatial patterns of biodiversity, predict effects of climate change, and develop land management policy. How...

The National Land Cover Database (NLCD) serves as the definitive Landsat-based, 30-meter resolution, land cover database for the Nation. NLCD supports a wide variety of Federal, State, local, and nongovernmental applications that seek to assess ecosystem status and health, understand the spatial patterns of biodiversity, predict effects of climate change, and develop land management policy. However, access to NLCD products for the USGS community and the public is a concern due to large file sizes, limited download options, and the expectation that users must download and analyze multiple land cover products in order to answer even basic land cover change questions. Therefore, the goal of the NLCD Evaluation, Visualization and Analysis (NLCD EVA) Tool was to facilitate unprecedented online access to wall-to-wall national land cover and land change data for USGS scientists and managers across all mission areas, as well as the public. 



The NLCD EVA Tool provides a solution that transfers land cover data from the Scientific Data Life Cycle Processes to the Information and Knowledge: Understanding of Earth Systems horizontal element in the CDI Science Support Framework. Furthermore, this solution supports Goal Three of the USGS Global Change Science Strategy: A Framework for Understanding and Responding to Climate and Land-Use Change which aims to ― improve understanding of land-use and land-cover changes: rates, causes, and consequences. The shifting emphasis of the NLCD program from mapping to a monitoring initiative provides the opportunity for subsequent NLCD data products (i.e., NLCD 2011, 2016…) to be added to the tool which will result in continued innovative access to USGS land cover data.

 

Success of the NLCD EVA Tool would not have been possible without NOAA agency personnel who provided unyielding technical resources learnt from their existing C-CAP Land Cover Atlas viewer.



Benefits:

  • Delivers consistent user-friendly access to wall-to-wall NLCD data
  • Helps users of all abilities to visually analyze and explore NLCD data
  • Allows users to query specific types of land cover changes between 2001, 2006, and 2011.
  • Generate summary reports and data tables of land cover changes to enhance communication and advance understanding of U.S. land changes and trends

Deliverables:

  • An online tool ( http://www.mrlc.gov/eva/) that provides the first ever, spatially explicit, nationally standardized database of land cover and land change information, delivering an immediate solution to an existing USGS data integration and access challenge.

Note: this description is from the FY13 Annual Report