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USGS - science for a changing world

Global Land Cover Characterization

North America Land Cover Characteristics Data Base Version 2.0


PLEASE NOTE: This is the Version 2.0 release of the North America land cover characteristics data base. The land cover information has been updated from Version 1.2.  Please read section 5.0 for information about the revision process and what changes have been made to the data. 

Table of Contents

1.0 Data Description

The North America land cover data base is one portion of a global land cover characteristics data base that was developed on a continent-by-continent basis. All continents in the global data base share the same map projections (Interrupted Goode Homolosine and Lambert Azimuthal Equal Area), have 1-km nominal spatial resolution, and are based on 1-km AVHRR data spanning April 1992 through March 1993 (Loveland and others, 1999). Each continental data base has unique elements that are based on the salient geographic aspects of the specific continent. In addition, a core set of derived thematic maps produced through the aggregation of seasonal land cover regions are included in each continental data base. These are:

The legends for each of these derived data sets can be found in Section 4.2 - 4.8.

For a description of the methodology for the global data base, see the global readme file found under the LP DAAC home page (http://LPDAAC.usgs.gov/glcc/glcc.php).

The North America land cover characteristics data are in a flat, headerless raster format. The pixel values correspond to class numbers defined in the appropriate land cover classification scheme legend. Data are distributed as compressed and uncompressed single-band images. The files can be obtained either by anonymous file transfer protocol (ftp) or downloaded from the LP Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC) World Wide Web site: (http://LPDAAC.usgs.gov/glcc/na_int.php). The instructions for accessing these files are contained in the following two sections.

1.1 Anonymous FTP for PC or UNIX Users

  1. Contact the FTP server. At your command prompt, use the command: ftp edcftp.cr.usgs.gov
  2. Login as an anonymous user and use your email address as the password.
  3. Change to the directory pub/data/glcc
  4. Change to the North America subdirectory, na
  5. Change to the directory for the projection of interest (i.e., goode for Interrupted Goode Homolosine projection or lambert for Lambert Azimuthal Equal Area Projection).
  6. Locate the file of interest (a complete file listing is located in section 3.0 of this readme). The image files were compressed using the GNU 'gzip' software and can be identified by the ".gz" file extension. These files must be uncompressed before use with the 'gunzip' utility, a part of the 'gzip' software. Directions for acquiring the gzip software from GNU can be found on the WWW on the GNU home page (http://www.gnu.org/). If you do not have access to gzip, the ftp server can uncompress the files as they are retrieved.
  7. To FTP compressed files:
  8. To FTP uncompressed files:
1.2 Downloading from the World Wide Web Site

From the North America Land Cover page, select either data in Interrupted Goode Homolosine projection or data in Lambert Azimuthal Equal Area projection. The selection will link to a page that contains links to all documentation files and the image files (both compressed and uncompressed). NOTE: World Wide Web browsers can vary in how the files will be downloaded. On PCs, some browsers will allow a user to interactively select the location where the file will be saved and to edit the file name. However, on certain browsers files may be automatically downloaded to a default storage location on the local system.

  1. Select either button, compressed or uncompressed, for the file of interest.
  2. A pop-up screen may appear, showing information on the download procedure. At this point, choose the directory in which to save the file.
  3. For compressed files, the .gz extension must be added to the filename before downloading. However, if the browser will not accept adding an extension, continue with the download, and then rename the file with the .gz extension when the download is complete.
  4. For uncompressed files, leave the .gz extension off. If a pop-up screen shows the filename with a .gz extension either edit the filename, or proceed with the download and rename the file without the extension after the procedure is complete.
2.0 Geometric Characteristics

The North America data base is available in two different map projections: the Interrupted Goode Homolosine and the Lambert Azimuthal Equal Area (see Steinwand, 1994 , and Steinwand and others, 1995, for a complete description of these projections).

2.1 Interrupted Goode Homolosine Projection Parameters

The data dimensions of the Interrupted Goode Homolosine projection for the North America land cover characteristics data set are 7,793 lines (rows) and 11,329 samples (columns) resulting in a data set size of approximately 88 megabytes for 8-bit (byte) images. The following is a summary of the map projection parameters used for this projection:

Projection Type: Interrupted Goode Homolosine

2.2 Lambert Azimuthal Equal Area Projection Parameters

The data dimensions of the Lambert Azimuthal Equal Area projection for the North America land cover characteristics data set are 8,996 lines (rows) and 9,223 samples (columns) resulting in a data set size of approximately 83 megabytes for 8-bit (byte) images. The following is a summary of the map projection parameters used for this projection:

Projection Type: Lambert Azimuthal Equal Area



3.0 File Listing

File (or Directory ) Data Type Description
/pub/data/glcc/na   North America
/pub/data/glcc/na/goode   Goodes Interupted Homolosine Projection
nadoc2_0.txt ascii North America readme text
naslcr2_0.leg ascii North America seasonal land cover regions legend
nalcdbtab2_0.txt ascii North America land cover database table (tab delimited text)
bats2_0.leg ascii BATS legend
igbp2_0.leg ascii IGBP legend
oge2_0.leg ascii Olson Global Ecosystems legend
run2_0.leg ascii Running Vegetation Lifeforms legend
sib2_0.leg ascii SiB legend
sib22_0.leg ascii SiB2 legend
usgs2_0.leg ascii USGS land use/land cover legend
nabats2_0g.img.gz byte North America BATS image
nademg.img.gz 16bit North America DEM image
naigbp2_0g.img.gz byte North America IGBP image
naoge2_0g.img.gz byte North America Olson Global Ecosystems image
narun2_0g.img.gz byte North America Running Vegetation Lifeforms image
nasib2_0g.img.gz byte North America SiB image
nasib22_0g.img.gz byte North America SiB2 image
naslcr2_0g.img.gz byte North America Seasonal Land Cover Regions image
naurbang.img.gz byte North America Digital Chart of the World urban image
nausgs2_0g.img.gz byte North America USGS land use/land cover image

/pub/data/glcc/na North America
/pub/data/glcc/na/goode Goodes Interupted Homolosine Projection
/pub/data/glcc/na/goode/ndvimon Monthly NDVI Composites
naaprndg.img.gz byte April, 1992 NDVI image
namayndg.img.gz byte May, 1992 NDVI image
najunndg.img.gz byte June, 1992 NDVI image
najulndg.img.gz byte July, 1992 NDVI image
naaugndg.img.gz byte August, 1992 NDVI image
nasepndg.img.gz byte September, 1992 NDVI image
naoctndg.img.gz byte October, 1992 NDVI image
nanovndg.img.gz byte November, 1992 NDVI image
nadecndg.img.gz byte December, 1992 NDVI image
najanndg.img.gz byte January, 1993 NDVI image
nafebndg.img.gz byte February, 1993 NDVI image
namarndg.img.gz byte March, 1993 NDVI image

/pub/data/glcc/na North America
/pub/data/glcc/na/lambert Lambert Azimuthal Equal Area Projection
nadoc2_0.txt ascii North America readme text
naslcr2_0.leg ascii North America seasonal land cover regions legend
nalcdbtab2_0.txt ascii North America land cover database table (tab delimited text)
bats2_0.leg ascii BATS legend
igbp2_0.leg ascii IGBP legend
oge2_0.leg ascii Olson Global Ecosystems legend
run2_0.leg ascii Running Vegetation Lifeforms legend
sib2_0.leg ascii SiB legend
sib22_0.leg ascii SiB2 legend
usgs2_0.leg ascii USGS land use/land cover legend
nabats2_0l.img.gz byte North America BATS image
nademg.img.gz 16bit North America DEM image
naigbp2_0l.img.gz byte North America IGBP image
naoge2_0l.img.gz byte North America Olson Global Ecosystems image
narun2_0l.img.gz byte North America Running Vegetation Lifeforms image
nasib2_0l.img.gz byte North America SiB image
nasib22_0l.img.gz byte North America SiB2 image
naslcr2_0l.img.gz byte North America Seasonal Land Cover Regions image
naurbang.img.gz byte North America Digital Chart of the World urban image
nausgs2_0l.img.gz byte North America USGS land use/land cover image

/pub/data/glcc/na North America
/pub/data/glcc/na/lambert Lambert Azimuthal Equal Area Projection
/pub/data/glcc/na/lambert/ndvimon Monthly NDVI Composites
naaprndl.img.gz byte April, 1992 NDVI image
namayndl.img.gz byte May, 1992 NDVI image
najunndl.img.gz byte June, 1992 NDVI image
najulndl.img.gz byte July, 1992 NDVI image
naaugndl.img.gz byte August, 1992 NDVI image
nasepndl.img.gz byte September, 1992 NDVI image
naoctndl.img.gz byte October, 1992 NDVI image
nanovndl.img.gz byte November, 1992 NDVI image
nadecndl.img.gz byte December, 1992 NDVI image
najanndl.img.gz byte January, 1993 NDVI image
nafebndl.img.gz byte February, 1993 NDVI image
namarndl.img.gz byte March, 1993 NDVI image

4.0 Derived Data Sets

4.1 North America Seasonal Land Cover Regions Legend

North America, v. 2.0
Value Description
1 Spruce Forest
2 Needleleaf Forest (Sitka Spruce, Western Hemlock)
3 Needleleaf Boreal Forest (Black and White Spruce, Aspen, Birch)
4 Ponderosa, Lodgepole Pine Forest
5 Black Spruce Forest with Balsam Fir
6 Evergreen Needleleaf Forest (Lodgepole Pine and Douglas Fir)
7 Needleleaf Forest (Dougland Fir, Spruce, Western Red Cedar)
8 Open Evergreen Needleleaf Forest (Ponderosa Pine)
9 Needleleaf Forest (Hemlock, Spruce, Douglas Fir)
10 Evergreen Needleleaf Forest (Lodgepole Pine, Englemann Spruce, Ponderosa Pine)
11 Needleleaf Forest (Spruce, Jack Pine, Aspen, Birch, Tamarack)
12 Ponderosa/Lodgepole Pine Woodland
13 Spruce and Pine Forest
14 Evergreen Needleleaf Forest (Ponderosa Pine, Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar)
15 Evergreen Needleleaf Forest (Douglas Fir, Lodgepole Pine, Larch, Western Red Cedar)
16 Mixed Boreal Forest (Aspen, Birch, Spruce, Pine)
17 Open Needleleaf Forest (Ponderosa Pine and Lodgepole Pine)
18 Needleleaf Forest (Western Red Cedar, Lodgepole Pine, Douglas Fir, Larch, Ponderosa Pine)
19 Needleleaf Forest (Lodgepole Pine, Ponderosa Pine, Englemann Spruce, Subalpine Fir)
20 Needleleaf Forest (Ponderosa Pine)
21 Needleleaf Forest (Ponderosa, Lodgepole and White Pine, Douglas Fir)
22 Ponderosa Pine Forest
23 Evergreen Needleleaf Forest (Spruce, Balsam Fir, Eastern White Pine, Eastern Hemlock)
24 Needleleaf Forest (Douglas Fir, Lodgepole Pine, Western White Pine)
25 Evergreen Needleleaf Forest (Chihuahua Pine, Apache Pine)
26 Evergreen Needleleaf Forest (Douglas Fir, Ponderosa, Jeffrey Pine)
27 Needleleaf Forest (Douglas Fir) with Mixed Hardwoods
28 Needleleaf Forest (Western Hemlock, Sitka Spruce, Douglas Fir)
29 Open Needleleaf Forest (Ponderosa Pine, Pinyon-Juniper)
30 Evergreen Needleleaf Forest (Pine Species)
31 Needleleaf Forest (Douglas Fir)
32 Evergreen Needleleaf Forest (Douglas Fir, Western Hemlock, Ponderosa Pine)
33 Evergreen Needleleaf Forest (Loblolly, Slash Pine) with Hardwoods (Gum, Cypress)
34 Evergreen Needleleaf Forest (Longleaf, Slash Pine)
35 Evergreen Needleleaf Forest (Douglas Fir, Ponderosa Pine, Redwoods)
36 Tropical Dry Forest
37 Montane Tropical Broadleaf Forest
38 Tropical Broadleaf Forest
39 Tropical Dry Forest
40 Tropical Broadleaf Forest
41 Degraded Tropical Forest
42 Degraded Tropical Forest
43 Semi-Deciduous Dry Forest
44 Semi-Deciduous Tropical Forest
45 Evergreen Broadleaf Tropical Forest
46 Deciduous Woodlands (Aspen)/Shrubland (Mountain Mahogany)
47 Deciduous Forest (Aspen) with Cropland
48 Deciduous Forest (Aspen)
49 Deciduous Tropical Dry Woodland
50 Deciduous Forest (Maple, Beech, Birch) with Cropland (Pasture, Hay)
51 Deciduous Forest (Oak)
52 Deciduous Forest (Maple, Beech, Birch, Oak, Hickory) with Pasture
53 Deciduous Forest (Oak, Hickory, Sweet Gum, Southern Pines) with Cropland and Pasture
54 Subalpine Forest (Englemann Spruce, Subalpine Fir, Douglas Fir)
55 Tall/Low Shrubs with Spruce Woodlands
56 Spruce Woodlands and Shrub Bogs
57 Subalpine Transitional Forest
58 Evergreen Needleleaf Forest (Balsam Fir, White Spruce, Black Spruce)
59 Mixed Forest (Aspen, Birch, Spruce)
60 Evergreen Needleleaf Forest and Woodland (Black and White Spruce)
61 White, Black Spruce Forest
62 Evergreen Needleleaf Forest (Balsam Fir, Black Spruce, White Spruce)
63 Spruce Woodlands with Low/Tall Shrubs
64 Open Mixed Forest (Aspen, Birch, White Spruce, Black Spruce)
65 Mixed Forest (Aspen, Birch, Balsam Poplar, Black and White Spruce)
66 Open Needleleaf Boreal Forest (Black and White Spruce, Tamarack, Aspen)
67 Mixed Forest (Black and White Spruce, Aspen, Birch)
68 Mixed Forest (Balsam Fir, Jack Pine, Black and White Spruce, Jack Pine, Aspen, Birch)
69 Needleleaf Forest (Red Pine, Jack Pine, Spruce, Aspen, Birch, Tamarack)
70 Mixed Forest (Aspen, Birch, Spruce, Balsam Fir)
71 Mixed Forest (Pine and Oak)
72 Mixed Forest (Pine and Oak)
73 Northern Mixed Forest (Maple, Beech, Birch, Pine)
74 Mixed Forest (Aspen, Maple, Oak, Jack Pine, Red Pine, Spruce)
75 Mixed Forest (Pine, Oak)
76 Caribbean Montane Mixed Forest
77 Mixed Forest (Oak, Pine Species)
78 Tall Shrubs (Willow, Birch, Alder)
79 Tall/Low Shrubs (Willow, Alder) and Wet Herbaceous
80 Tall/Low Shrubs, Tundra, Spruce
81 Tall Shrubs (Willow, Birch, Alder) and Wet Herbaceous Meadows
82 Artic Tall Shrubs (Willow, Birch, Alder)
83 Chaparral
84 Deciduous Shrubland (Oak) with Pinyon Juniper
85 Herbaceous Alpine Tundra with Low/Dwarf Shrubs
86 Herbaceous Alpine Tundra
87 Sparsely Vegetated Desert Shrubland
88 Herbaceous Arctic Tundra with Low/Dwarf Shrubs
89 Open Arctic Shrubland
90 Open Alpine Shrubland
91 Woody Arctic Tundra with Lichen
92 Woody Arctic Tundra, Tall, Low, and Dwarf Shrubland
93 Herbaceous Alpine Tundra with Low/Dwarf Shrubs
94 Desert Shrublands (Creosote, Saltbush, Sand Sage) - Sonoran
95 Tall/Low Shrubs, Tundra, Spruce
96 Black Spruce Woodlands, Bogs with Dwarf/Tall Shrubs
97 Woody Arctic Tundra (Dwarf and Low Shrubs)
98 Desert Shrubland (Creosote, Saltbush, Sand Sage, Mesquite) - Chihuahan
99 Desert Shrubland (Creosote, Saltbush, Mesquite, Sand Sage)
100 Shrubland/Grassland (Saltbush, Sand Sage, Rabbitbrush)
101 White Spruce and Black Spruce Fens
102 Shrubland/Grassland (Needlegrass, Big Sage, Rabbitbrush)
103 Black Spruce, Tamarack, Lichen Woodland
104 Open Spruce Forest with Tall Shrubs (Willow, Birch, Alder)
105 Desert Shrubland (Creosote, Saltbush, Mesquite, Sand Sage)
106 Desert Shrubland/Grassland (Creasote, Saltbush, Mesquite, Sand Sage)
107 Desert Shrubland (Creosote, Saltbush, Mesquite, Cactus) with Grasses
108 Juniper Woodland
109 Pinyon-Juniper Woodland
110 Open Deciduous Woodland (Oak, Populus) with Evergreen Needleleaf Species
111 Pinyon-Juniper Woodland
112 Pinyon-Juniper Woodland
113 Woody Savanna
114 Oak Woodlands
115 Grassland/Woodland (Oak) Mosaic with Cropland
116 Deciduous Dry Forest
117 Open Mixed Forest (Pine, Oak)
118 Grassland/Forest
119 Oak Savanna
120 Savanna
121 Wet Herbaceous Meadows
122 Grassland (Short Grass Prairie)
123 Grassland (Short- Mid Grass Prairie)
124 Grassland with Cropland (Small Grains)
125 Grassland with Shrubland
126 Grassland
127 Grassland with Shrubland
128 Grassland (Warm Season Grasses)
129 Grassland with Cropland (Small Grains, Pasture)
130 Grassland with Shrubland
131 Grassland/Shrubland with Crops, Fallow
132 Grassland with Cropland
133 Grassland with Woodland and Wetlands
134 Grassland with Cropland
135 Grassland (Tall Grass Prairie)
136 Grassland
137 Wetlands with Tall/Low Shrubs, Tundra, Spruce
138 Herbaceous Wetlands
139 Cropland (Small Grains and Pasture) with Grasslands
140 Cropland (Small Grains) with Grasslands
141 Cropland (Sugar Cane)
142 Cropland
143 Cropland (Small Grains, Pasture) with Grasslands
144 Irrigated Agriculture
145 Cropland (Truck Crops) with Deciduous Woodlands (Oak)
146 Cropland (Winter Wheat)
147 Cropland (Small Grains, Row Crops)
148 Irrigated Agriculture
149 Irrigated Agriculture
150 Irrigated Agriculture
151 Cropland (Corn, other Row Crops, Forage Crops) with Woodland
152 Irrigated Agriculture
153 Cropland (Small Grains, Hay, Pasture) with Wetlands
154 Cropland (Corn and Soybeans)
155 Irrigated Agriculture
156 Cropland (Corn and Soybeans)
157 Irrigated Agriculture
158 Cropland (Corn and Soybeans)
159 Irrigated Agriculture
160 Cropland (Cultivated Grassland)
161 Cropland (Mixed Row Crops) with Woodland
162 Cropland (Grass Seed, Small Grains) with Mixed Woodlands
163 Cropland (Winter Wheat)
164 Cropland (Cotton, Soybeans, Rice)
165 Cropland (Sugar Cane)
166 Irrigated Agriculture
167 Cropland with Savanna
168 Cropland (Cultivated Grasses) with Savanna
169 Irrigated Agriculture
170 Cropland (Corn, Soybeans, Cotton, Rice) with Pasture
171 Cropland
172 Cropland
173 Cropland with Woodland
174 Grassland, Cropland (Small Grains), Fallow Mosaic
175 Cropland, Woodland, Urban Mosaic
176 Cropland (Small Grains, Pasture)/Grassland Mosaic
177 Grassland/Cropland (Wheat, Corn) Mosaic
178 Cropland (Row Crops, Small Grains)/Grassland Mosaic
179 Cropland/Deciduous Forest (Aspen) Mosaic
180 Cropland (Small Grains, Row Crops)/Grassland
181 Deciduous Forest (Maple, Beech, Birch)/Cropland
182 Cropland (Corn, Sorghum, Small Grains)/Grassland Mosaic
183 Cropland (Corn, Soybeans, Alfalfa)/Woodlands Mosaic
184 Cropland/Grassland
185 Cropland (Corn, Cotton, Sorghum, Pasture)/Grassland Mosaic
186 Deciduous Forest (Maple, Elm)/Cropland (Corn, Soybeans, Pasture)
187 Cropland/Deciduous Dry Forest Mosaic
188 Cropland (Corn, Small Grains)/Deciduous Forest (Oak, Hickory) Mosaic
189 Cropland (Cultivated Grasses)/Deciduous Forest Mosaic
190 Cropland/Deciduous Forest Mosaic
191 Cropland/Woodland
192 Cropland (Corn, Soybeans, Pasture)/Woodland (Oak, Hickory) Mosaic
193 Cropland(Corn, Cotton, Soybeans)/Evergreen Needleleaf Forest (Slash Pine) Mosaic
194 Cropland (Pasture)/Grassland Mosaic
195 Ice and Snow
196 Barren
197 Barren Or Sparsely Vegetated
198 Sparsely Vegetated Arctic Tundra
199 Herbaceous Arctic Tundra
200 Herbaceous Arctic Tundra
201 Inland Water
202 Ocean

4.2 Global Ecosystems Legend

Value Description
1 Urban
2 Low Sparse Grassland
3 Coniferous Forest
4 Deciduous Conifer Forest
5 Deciduous Broadleaf Forest
6 Evergreen Broadleaf Forests
7 Tall Grasses and Shrubs
8 Bare Desert
9 Upland Tundra
10 Irrigated Grassland
11 Semi Desert
12 Glacier Ice
13 Wooded Wet Swamp
14 Inland Water
15 Sea Water
16 Shrub Evergreen
17 Shrub Deciduous
18 Mixed Forest and Field
19 Evergreen Forest and Fields
20 Cool Rain Forest
21 Conifer Boreal Forest
22 Cool Conifer Forest
23 Cool Mixed Forest
24 Mixed Forest
25 Cool Broadleaf Forest
26 Deciduous Broadleaf Forest
27 Conifer Forest
28 Montane Tropical Forests
29 Seasonal Tropical Forest
30 Cool Crops and Towns
31 Crops and Town
32 Dry Tropical Woods
33 Tropical Rainforest
34 Tropical Degraded Forest
35 Corn and Beans Cropland
36 Rice Paddy and Field
37 Hot Irrigated Cropland
38 Cool Irrigated Cropland
39 Cold Irrigated Cropland
40 Cool Grasses and Shrubs
41 Hot and Mild Grasses and Shrubs
42 Cold Grassland
43 Savanna (Woods)
44 Mire, Bog, Fen
45 Marsh Wetland
46 Mediterranean Scrub
47 Dry Woody Scrub
48 Dry Evergreen Woods
49 Volcanic Rock
50 Sand Desert
51 Semi Desert Shrubs
52 Semi Desert Sage
53 Barren Tundra
54 Cool Southern Hemisphere Mixed Forests
55 Cool Fields and Woods
56 Forest and Field
57 Cool Forest and Field
58 Fields and Woody Savanna
59 Succulent and Thorn Scrub
60 Small Leaf Mixed Woods
61 Deciduous and Mixed Boreal Forest
62 Narrow Conifers
63 Wooded Tundra
64 Heath Scrub
65 Coastal Wetland, NW
66 Coastal Wetland, NE
67 Coastal Wetland, SE
68 Coastal Wetland, SW
69 Polar and Alpine Desert
70 Glacier Rock
71 Salt Playas
72 Mangrove
73 Water and Island Fringe
74 Land, Water, and Shore
75 Land and Water, Rivers
76 Crop and Water Mixtures
77 Southern Hemisphere Conifers
78 Southern Hemisphere Mixed Forest
79 Wet Sclerophylic Forest
80 Coastline Fringe
81 Beaches and Dunes
82 Sparse Dunes and Ridges
83 Bare Coastal Dunes
84 Residual Dunes and Beaches
85 Compound Coastlines
86 Rocky Cliffs and Slopes
87 Sandy Grassland and Shrubs
88 Bamboo
89 Moist Eucalyptus
90 Rain Green Tropical Forest
91 Woody Savanna
92 Broadleaf Crops
93 Grass Crops
94 Crops, Grass, Shrubs
95 Evergreen Tree Crop
96 Deciduous Tree Crop

4.3 IGBP Land Cover Legend
Value Description
1 Evergreen Needleleaf Forest
2 Evergreen Broadleaf Forest
3 Deciduous Needleleaf Forest
4 Deciduous Broadleaf Forest
5 Mixed Forest
6 Closed Shrublands
7 Open Shrublands
8 Woody Savannas
9 Savannas
10 Grasslands
11 Permanent Wetlands
12 Croplands
13 Urban and Built-Up
14 Cropland/Natural Vegetation Mosaic
15 Snow and Ice
16 Barren or Sparsely Vegetated
17 Water Bodies


4.4 USGS Land Use/Land Cover System Legend (Modified Level 2)

Value Code Description
1 100 Urban and Built-Up Land
2 211 Dryland Cropland and Pasture
3 212 Irrigated Cropland and Pasture
4 213 Mixed Dryland/Irrigated Cropland and Pasture
5 280 Cropland/Grassland Mosaic
6 290 Cropland/Woodland Mosaic
7 311 Grassland
8 321 Shrubland
9 330 Mixed Shrubland/Grassland
10 332 Savanna
11 411 Deciduous Broadleaf Forest
12 412 Deciduous Needleleaf Forest
13 421 Evergreen Broadleaf Forest
14 422 Evergreen Needleleaf Forest
15 430 Mixed Forest
16 500 Water Bodies
17 620 Herbaceous Wetland
18 610 Wooded Wetland
19 770 Barren or Sparsely Vegetated
20 820 Herbaceous Tundra
21 810 Wooded Tundra
22 850 Mixed Tundra
23 830 Bare Ground Tundra
24 900 Snow or Ice
4.5 Simple Biosphere Model Legend
Value Description
1 Evergreen Broadleaf Trees
2 Broadleaf Deciduous Trees
3 Deciduous and Evergreen Trees
4 Evergreen Needleleaf Trees
5 Deciduous Needleleaf Trees
6 Ground Cover with Trees and Shrubs
7 Groundcover Only
8 Broadleaf Shrubs with Perennial Ground Cover
9 Broadleaf Shrubs with Bare Soil
10 Groundcover with Dwarf Trees and Shrubs
11 Bare Soil
12 Agriculture or C3 Grassland
17 Persistent Wetland
18 Dry Coastal Complexes
19 Water
20 Ice Cap and Glacier

4.6 Simple Biosphere 2 Model Legend

Value Description
1 Broadleaf Evergreen Trees
2 Broadleaf Deciduous Trees
3 Broadleaf and Needleleaf Trees
4 Needleleaf Evergreen Trees
5 Needleleaf Deciduous Trees
6 Short Vegetation/C4 Grassland
7 Shrubs with Bare Soil
8 Dwarf Trees and Shrubs
9 Agriculture or C3 Grassland
10 Water, Wetlands
11 Ice/Snow

4.7 Biosphere-Atmosphere Transfer Scheme Legend

Value Description
1 Crops, Mixed Farming
2 Short Grass
3 Evergreen Needleleaf Trees
4 Deciduous Needleleaf Tree
5 Deciduous Broadleaf Trees
6 Evergreen Broadleaf Trees
7 Tall Grass
8 Desert
9 Tundra
10 Irrigated Crops
11 Semidesert
12 Ice Caps and Glaciers
13 Bogs and Marshes
14 Inland Water
15 cean
16 Evergreen Shrubs
17 Deciduous Shrubs
18 Mixed Forest
19 Forest/Field Mosaic
20 Water and Land Mixtures

4.8 Running Vegetation Lifeforms Legend

Value Description
1 Evergreen Needleleaf Vegetation
2 Evergreen Broadleaf Vegetation
3 Deciduous Needleleaf Vegetation
4 Deciduous Broadleaf Vegetation
5 Annual Broadleaf Vegetation
6 Annual Grass Vegetation
7 Non-vegetated Land
8 Water Bodies

5.0 Information on Version 2.0

The first version of the global land cover database was completed and released to the public in November, 1997.  We applied the feedback we received from the users of this database (Brown and others, 1999) and broad lessons learned from the validation exercise of the IGBP DISCover land cover data (Scepan, 1999; Muchoney and others, 1999) to the development of this revised version of the database.  Version 2.0 of the North America land cover database contains updated land cover classes and revised labels.  Users can identify the revised images and documentation by observing  "2.0" or "2_0" in file names (for example, naigbp2_0g.img).  Links to the previous version (1.2) of the land cover database are found on glcc_version1.php. Please send any questions to our Land Cover Applications Center ( lcac@usgs.gov ).

We have provided the specific changes to the North America land cover database in the ascii text file, nalcdbtab2_0.txt .  The file contains 42 fields (columns) and the data are of variable width with tabs as field delimiters.  The first record (row) of the file corresponds to the field titles.  The following records in the file are indexed by the second field to the North America Seasonal Land Cover Regions (Version 2.0).  The field entitled "Update" contains information specific to the action taken in order to revise the particular Seasonal Land Cover Region (for example, the class was split, merged with another region, or relabeled).

6.0 References

Anderson, J.R., Hardy, E.E., Roach J.T., and Witmer R.E., 1976, A land use and land cover classification system for use with remote sensor data: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 964, 28 p.

Belward, A.S., ed., 1996, The IGBP-DIS global 1 km land cover data set (DISCover)-proposal and implementation plans: IGBP-DIS Working Paper No. 13, Toulouse, France, 61 p.

Brown, J.F., Loveland, T.R., Ohlen, D.O., Zhu, Z., 1999. The Global Land-Cover Characteristics Database: The Users' Perspective. Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing , v. 65, no. 9, p. 1,069-1,074.

Dickinson, R.E., Henderson-Sellers, A., Kennedy, P.J., and Wilson, M.F., 1986, Biosphere-atmosphere transfer scheme (BATS) for the NCAR community climate model: NCAR Technical Note NCAR/TN275+STR, Boulder, CO. 69 p.

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