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Global Land Cover Datasets

Reading the Data

Except for the Country Codes dataset, the land cover characteristics datasets all use the same format in how they store their information. Once you have opened one of them, the following snippet of FORTRAN code demonstrates how the data within may be read:


      CHARACTER*80 INFO1, INFO2, INFO3
      INTEGER   IARRAY(360,180)
C
      READ(10,910) INFO1
      READ(10,910) INFO2
      READ(10,910) INFO3
      READ(10,920) IARRAY
C
  910 FORMAT (A80)
  920 FORMAT (10I8)
C
      STOP
      END

In the sample code, four variables are used to store the extracted information: INFO1, INFO2, and INFO3, and the array IARRAY. The first three are character strings which describe the dataset. For example, the following three lines at the start of the Population Density dataset would be read in as INFO1, INFO2, and INFO3:

HUMAN POPULATION DENSITY :PEOPLE/SQ KM  DIMENSION = 360 X 180   SCALE = 1000
OCEAN =   -999999   UNDEF =   9999999   MIN =      32 MAX = 1754747
NUMREC = 6483 (NUMBER OF RECORDS IN DATA FILE)

The value of a member of IARRAY varies widely depending on the dataset and you will have to read the appropriate explanatory webpage.

The 1°×° surface grid IARRAY(I,J) is arranged such that:

  • I = 1 is centered at 179.5°W
  • I increases eastward
  • J = 1 is centered at 89.5°S
  • J increases northward

For example:


       87S - : - - - : - - - : - - - : - -
             : (1,3) : (2,3) : (3,3) :
       88S - : - - - : - - - : - - - : - -
             : (1,2) : (2,2) : (3,2) :
       89S - : - - - : - - - : - - - : - -
             : (1,1) : (2,1) : (3,1) :
       90S - : - - - : - - - : - - - :
            180W    179W    178W    177W

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