This page's content is no longer actively maintained, but the material has been kept on-line for historical purposes.
The page may contain broken links or outdated information, and parts may not function in current web browsers.

Global Land Cover Datasets


This page provides access to and describes the GISS dataset "Global Distribution of Vegetation at 1°×1° Resolution", which distinguishes 32 vegetation types. In combination with the Cultivation Intensity dataset, it may be used to calculate land cover.

Available Information

Items which you may download here are:

Explanation of Arrays

The contents of INFO1, INFO2, and INFO3 are:

GLOBAL VEGETATION TYPES                 DIMENSION = 360 X 180   SCALE = 1
OCEAN =   -9999     UNDEF =   99999     MIN =       1 MAX =      31

The possible values of the elements in IARRAY are:

  1. tropical evergreen rainforest
  2. trop/subtropical evergreen seasonal broad-leaved forest
  3. subtropical evergreen rainforest
  4. temperate/subpolar evergreen rainforest
  5. temperate evergreen seasonal broadleaved forest, summer rain
  6. evergreen broadleaved sclerophyllous forest, winter rain
  7. tropical/subtropical evergreen needle-leaved forest
  8. temperate/subpolar evergreen needle-leaved forest
  9. tropical/subtropical drought-deciduous forest
  10. cold-deciduous forest, with evergreens
  11. cold-deciduous forest, without evergreens
  12. xeromorphic forest/woodland
  13. evergreen broadleaved sclerophyllous woodland
  14. evergreen needle-leaved woodland
  15. tropical/subtropical drought-deciduous woodland
  16. cold-deciduous woodland
  17. evergreen broadleaved shrubland/thick, evergreen dwarf-shrubland
  18. evergreen needle-leaved or microphyllous shrubland/thicket
  19. drought-deciduous shrubland/thicket
  20. cold-deciduous subalpine/subpolar shrubland/dwarf shrub
  21. xeromorphic shrubland/dwarf shrubland
  22. arctic/alpine tundra, mossy bog
  23. tall/medium/short grassland, 10-40% woody cover
  24. tall/medium/short grassland, < 10% woody cover
  25. tall/medium/short grassland, shrub cover
  26. tall grassland, no woody cover
  27. medium grassland, no woody cover
  28. meadow, short grassland, no woody cover
  29. forb formations
  30. desert
  31. ice
  32. cultivation


Return to Global Land Cover Datasets