Global Land Cover Released by ESA

A global land cover by ESA Global Monitoring of Essential Climate Variables (aka ESA Climate Change Initiative) for the epochs 2000, 2005, and 2010. 
The land cover map has been produced using MERIS images that have 300m resolution and 13 surface reflectance channels. A preview is available from here.
These data are very important for climate change studies because land cover is a non-climatic driver of climate change.

from http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2014/10/Land_cover_2010

The following is the classification legend based on the UN Land Cover Classification System (from ESA):
  • 0  No Data   
  • 10  Cropland, rainfed   
  • 11  Herbaceous cover   
  • 12  Tree or shrub cover   
  • 20  Cropland, irrigated or post‐flooding   
  • 30  Mosaic cropland (>50%) / natural vegetation (tree, shrub, herbaceous   
  • 40  Mosaic natural vegetation (tree, shrub, herbaceous cover) (>50%) /   
  • 50  Tree cover, broadleaved, evergreen, closed to open (>15%)   
  • 60  Tree cover, broadleaved, deciduous, closed to open (>15%)   
  • 61  Tree cover, broadleaved, deciduous, closed (>40%)   
  • 62  Tree cover, broadleaved, deciduous, open (15‐40%)   
  • 70  Tree cover, needleleaved, evergreen, closed to open (>15%)   
  • 71  Tree cover, needleleaved, evergreen, closed (>40%)   
  • 72  Tree cover, needleleaved, evergreen, open (15‐40%)   
  • 80  Tree cover, needleleaved, deciduous, closed to open (>15%)   
  • 81  Tree cover, needleleaved, deciduous, closed (>40%)   
  • 82  Tree cover, needleleaved, deciduous, open (15‐40%)   
  • 90  Tree cover, mixed leaf type (broadleaved and needleleaved)   
  • 100  Mosaic tree and shrub (>50%) / herbaceous cover (<50%)   
  • 110  Mosaic herbaceous cover (>50%) / tree and shrub (<50%)   
  • 120  Shrubland   
  • 121  Evergreen shrubland   
  • 122  Deciduous shrubland   
  • 130  Grassland   
  • 140  Lichens and mosses   
  • 150  Sparse vegetation (tree, shrub, herbaceous cover) (<15%)   
  • 152  Sparse shrub (<15%)   
  • 153  Sparse herbaceous cover (<15%)   
  • 160  Tree cover, flooded, fresh or brakish water   
  • 170  Tree cover, flooded, saline water   
  • 180  Shrub or herbaceous cover, flooded, fresh/saline/brakish water   
  • 190  Urban areas   
  • 200  Bare areas   
  • 201  Consolidated bare areas   
  • 202  Unconsolidated bare areas   
  • 210  Water bodies   
  • 220  Permanent snow and ice   

The land cover data are freely available from the online viewer. Also, the land cover change, MERIS surface reflectance, water bodies, and land surface seasonality are available.

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