Where can I get global land cover data?

Access global land cover data using two sources on EarthExplorer:

Global Land Cover Characterization (GLCC) 

  • Select "GLCC" under "Land Cover" in the "Data Sets" tab in EarthExplorer
  • Derived from 1-km Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data collected April 1992-March 1993. 

Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Land Cover 

Learn more: 

Related Content

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Does the USGS monitor global warming?

Not specifically. Our charge is to understand characteristics of the Earth, especially the Earth's surface, that affect our Nation's land, water, and biological resources. That includes quite a bit of environmental monitoring. Other agencies, especially NOAA and NASA, are specifically funded to monitor global temperature and atmospheric phenomena...

How do changes in climate and land use relate to one another?

The link between land use and the climate is complex. First, land cover--as shaped by land use practices--affects the global concentration of greenhouse gases. Second, while land use change is an important driver of climate change, a changing climate can lead to changes in land use and land cover. For example, farmers might shift from their...

Where can I find land cover data for the U.S.?

Information on land cover data from the National Land Cover Database (NLCD) can be found on the Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics (MRLC) website. The MRLC website serves several vintages of the National Land Cover Database (NLCD). At this writing, NLCD 2016 is the most recent version.
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Date published: February 27, 2020

EROS contributes to New Land Cover Maps for U.S., Canada, Mexico

The three largest countries in North America share trade, climate and culture in a host of broad and specific ways. A new set of land cover maps for the U.S., Canada, and Mexico highlights a specific, long-standing scientific collaboration designed to benefit each nation.

Date published: August 14, 2018

Unique Mapping Tool Brings Unprecedented Look at Land Cover Change in West Africa

They say there are forests in West Africa where spirits abide. Where people walk among woodland burial grounds and speak to the dead. Where life plays out from beginning to end.

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Mexico City map, color, from North American Land Change Monitoring System 2015
February 27, 2020

Mexico City Land Cover 2015

Land cover map of the Mexico City area, circa 2015, from the North American Land Change Monitoring System

Color image of land use and land cover along the Gambia River at 1-km resolution, circa 2013
December 31, 2013

Gambia 1-km land Use Land Cover 2013

Map of land use and land cover along the Gambia River at 1-km resolution, circa 2013, used for the U.S. Geological Survey project "Landscapes of West Africa: A Window on a Changing World."

Color map of land use and land cover in West Africa, circa 2013
December 31, 2013

Land Cover and Land Use in West Africa 2013

Map of land use and land cover in West Africa, circa 2013, used for the U.S. Geological Survey project "Landscapes of West Africa: A Window on a Changing World."

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June 29, 2018

Eurasia Land Cover Characteristics Data Base Version 2.0

Global Land Cover Characteristics (GLCC) - Eurasia Land Cover Characteristics Data Base Version 2.0

download file
June 29, 2018

South America Land Cover Characteristics Data Base Version 2.0

Global Land Cover Characteristics (GLCC) - South America Land Cover Characteristics Data Base Version 2.0