Land Cover

The National Land Cover Database (NLCD) provides nationwide data on land cover and land cover change at a 30m resolution with a 16-class legend based on a modified Anderson Level II classification system. The database is designed to provide cyclical updates of United States land cover and associated changes. Systematically aligned over time, the database provides the ability to understand both current and historical land cover and land cover change, and enables monitoring and trend assessments. The latest evolution of NLCD products are designed for widespread application in biology, climate, education, land management, hydrology, environmental planning, risk and disease analysis, telecommunications and visualization.

For additional information regarding creation of NLCD Land Cover products:

Dewitz, J., and U.S. Geological Survey, 2021, National Land Cover Database (NLCD) 2019 Products (ver. 2.0, June 2021): U.S. Geological Survey data release,

Homer, Collin G., Dewitz, Jon A., Jin, Suming, Xian, George, Costello, C., Danielson, Patrick, Gass, L., Funk, M., Wickham, J., Stehman, S., Auch, Roger F., Riitters, K. H., Conterminous United States land cover change patterns 2001–2016 from the 2016 National Land Cover Database: ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, v. 162, p. 184–199, at

Jin, Suming, Homer, Collin, Yang, Limin, Danielson, Patrick, Dewitz, Jon, Li, Congcong, Zhu, Z., Xian, George, Howard, Danny, Overall methodology design for the United States National Land Cover Database 2016 products: Remote Sensing, v. 11, no. 24, at

Yang, L., Jin, S., Danielson, P., Homer, C., Gass, L., Case, A., Costello, C., Dewitz, J., Fry, J., Funk, M., Grannemann, B., Rigge, M. and G. Xian. 2018. A New Generation of the United States National Land Cover Database: Requirements, Research Priorities, Design, and Implementation Strategies, ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 146, pp.108-123.