Global Land Cover Characterization
Updated Land Cover Regions (Version 2.0)
The first release of the global land cover database occurred in November, 1997. The users of the global land cover characteristics database have provided considerable feedback as to needed refinements and added alternatives. Through this website, we now offer Version 2.0 of the Global Land Cover Database. This release provides updated land cover categories for approximately 10 percent of the land surface of the globe. More details about the revisions to land cover regions are found in the
and by consulting the ascii tables* that contain detailed information about the updated seasonal land cover regions for each of the continents in the database:
*Tables are in a tab delimited, ascii text format.
The following classification schemes are now available in a global geographic projection with 30 arc second grid cell size. Please consult the Global Readme for the image projection parameters.
Version 2 of the database includes two separate water classes, Inland Water and Ocean Water. The inland water class is found in several classification schemes (Seasonal Land Cover Regions, Biosphere Atmosphere Transfer Scheme, and Global Ecosystems). Water delination was performed using simple manual GIS methods to separate inland water at or near the coastline.
We have added Vegetation Lifeforms classification scheme to the GLCC database. Based on the work of Running and others (1994, 1995), this scheme includes the categories listed below. Vegetation is mapped into a simple scheme where categories are defined based on the presence or absence of trees and the leaf longeavity.
Global data are expressed in the following categories.
1 Evergreen Needleleaf Vegetation
2 Evergreen Broadleaf Vegetation
3 Deciduous Needleleaf Vegetation
4 Dedicuous Broadleaf Vegetation
5 Annual Broadleaf Vegetation
6 Annual Grass Vegetation
7 Non-Vegetated Land
8 Water Bodies