National Land Cover Database (NLCD)

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The National Land Cover Database (NLCD) provides nationwide data on land cover and land cover change at 30-meter resolution. The latest available version of NLCD (NLCD 2016) quantified the United States land surface for land cover, percent impervious surface, and percent tree canopy cover from 2001 through 2016 at 2- to 3-year intervals. Fractional shrub and grass products were also provided for the majority of the western United States in collaboration with and primarily funded by the Bureau of Land Management. This collaboration provides a first of its kind rangeland monitoring framework with multiple yearly fractional components spanning 1985 to 2017. USGS is currently working in partnership with the Interagency Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics (MRLC) Consortium to produce the next version of the National Land Cover Database, NLCD 2019. The NLCD 2019 land cover product uses Landsat composites derived from Landsat Analysis Ready Data (ARD) and a complex, multi-step modeling process to provide an update of U.S. land cover based on 2019 imagery. The mapping and modeling process results in a temporally consistent and spatially coherent land cover and land cover trajectory throughout the NLCD time span (2001 through 2019). Through July 2020, Landsat ARD composites have been generated and all land cover, land cover change, and impervious procedures, models, and documentation have been completed. Scientific models are being scripted to automate the process and operational production is underway. Production includes ingesting partner data from 10 different Government partners and Federal agencies that are used to improve accuracy and ensure a cohesive product across these partners. NLCD also ingests an increasing number of ancillary data like building footprints, well pads, wind turbine footprints, and other data to increase the accuracy of its impervious products. The NLCD 2019 is scheduled to be completed by December 2020, with public release upon data review and production of relevant metadata.

National Land Cover Database (NLCD) 2020.

Author Name
Jon Dewitz
Author Email