Land Characteristics (land cover, impervious cover, vegetation)

Global Environment Monitoring Unit

Raster data for global land cover for the year 2000.

Global Land Cover Facility

From the GCLF web site: “The GLCF is a center for land cover science with a focus on research using remotely sensed satellite data and products to assess land cover change for local to global systems.” – find data and publications here. The use of data on this site assume good knowledge of ecological and biogeochemical modeliing and database design.

EarthData (NASA Earth Observatory System Data and Information System)

Gateway to NASA’s global satellite data and derivatives.

Multi-Resolution Land Cover Data (US government agencies)

Good site for downloadng the most recent land cover (National Land Cover Data 2006 – NLCD), impervious cover, and canopy cover data sets for the entire US produced by the MRLC Consortium of US federal agencies (EPA, USGS, US Forest Service, etc.). The 1992 landcover data set is complete for the entire US. The 2001 landcover, impervious cover, and canopy cover appears to be complete as of February 2007. Read the metadata to understand the attribute information. The data is a raster data set with 30 meter pixels.   List of land cover classifications at: (NOTE FOR TUFTS USERS – the 2001 Area 13 land cover, impervious cover, and tree cover data sets can be found on the M: drive in the GIS Center – no need to download them – look in M:\country\US\NLCD).  You can download smaller areas that you define from The National Map service.

USGS Land Cover Institute

Good background information on land cover mapping and analysis, publications, research projects, and data sets.  Great links to other sites that are doing research and sharing data.