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Global Land Cover Datasets

Normalized Difference Vegetation Index

This page provides access to and describes the GISS datasets "Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI)", which were derived from radiances measured by the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) on NOAA7-9. Data are gridded at 1° × 1° resolution around the globe.

Available Information

ASCII datasets (all gzipped and none larger than 40 kb) which you may download here are:

Explanation of Arrays

The contents of INFO1, INFO2, and INFO3 are:

GLOBAL NDVI   JULY      1983            DIMENSION = 360 X 180   SCALE = 1000
OCEAN =   -9999     UNDEF =   99999     MIN =     -85 MAX =     525

The possible values of the elements in IARRAY are NDVI*1000, with NDVI values ranging from -0.1 to >0.5.


  • Fung, I.Y., C.J. Tucker, and K.C. Prentice 1987. Application of Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer vegetation index to study atmosphere-biosphere exchange of CO2. J. Geophy. Res. 92, 2999-3015.
  • Holben, B.N. 1986. Characteristics of maximum-value composite images from temporal AVHRR data. Int. J. Remote Sensing 7, 1417-1434.
  • Tarpley J.D., S.R. Schneider and R.L. Money 1984. Global vegetation indices from the NOAA-7 meteorological satellite. J. Clim. Appl Meteorol. 23, 491-494.
  • Tucker, C.J., and P.J. Sellers 1986. Satellite remote sensing of primary production. Int. J. Remote Sensing 7, 1395-1416.
  • Tucker, C.J., J.R.G. Townshend, and T.E. Goff 1985. African land cover classification using satellite data. Science 227, 369-375.

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