About GLCF

The Global Land Cover Facility (GLCF) provides earth science data and products to help everyone to better understand global environmental systems. In particular, the GLCF develops and distributes remotely sensed satellite data and products that explain land cover from the local to global scales.

Primary data and products available at the GLCF are free to anyone via FTP. Online datasets may be accessed electronically through the Earth Science Data Interface (ESDI).

The majority of users accessing GLCF datasets (certainly not all) come from the following communities:

  • Science: geography, Earth science, ecology, climatology, conservation, education
  • Environmental Policy: global warming, sustainable development, risk management
  • Resource Management: biodiversity assessment, forestry, protected area management, forest inventory
  • Disaster Management: fire, flood and drought monitoring, disaster mitigation, food security
  • Computer Science: data mining, data fusion, computer vision

GLCF research focuses on determining land cover and land cover change around the world. Land cover is the discernible vegetation, geologic, hydrologic or anthropogenic features on the planet's land surface. These features, such as forests, urban area, croplands and sand dunes, can be measured and categorized using satellite imagery. Land cover change can be assessed by comparing one area with two images taken at different dates. Determining where, when, how much and why change occurs with land cover is a crucial scientific concern. It is imperative that appropriate tools be made available to better manage and adapt to change.

Please review available datasets at the GLCF or contact GLCF staff directly for further information.