Global Land Cover Characteristics

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Global Land Cover Characteristics


The U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) National Center for Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS), the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission have generated a 1-km resolution global land cover characteristics data base for use in a wide range of environmental research and modeling applications (Loveland and others, 2000). The land cover characterization effort is part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Earth Observing System Pathfinder Program and the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme-Data and Information System focus 1 activity. Funding for the project is provided by the USGS, NASA, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Forest Service, and the United Nations Environment Programme. Taken from USGS GLCC global readme.

  • Data is available globally, or by continent
  • The data can be downloaded from their FTP site, detailed here
  • Data is availble at a 1km resolution
  • The compressed filesize for the global set is 27.5mb. The uncompressed file size is 933mb
  • Data is in a headerless binary format with a .img file extension
  • Data is availble in Interrupted Goode Homolosine and a Lat Long Geographic projection.


Instructions below relate to Lat Long Geographic projection

  • Download required data
  • Open a lat/lon WGS84 location (EPSG code 4326)
  • Extract required binary grid (.img file) from downloaded archive
  • Open readme1st.txt from downloaded compressed archive and use the contained values to set GRASS region extents
  • Import using, in bounds tab enter all information from readme1st.txt

See also