The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in partnership with several international agencies and universities, has produced a global land cover characteristics database. The land cover data were created using multitemporal analysis of advanced very high resolution radiometer satellite images in conjunction with other existing geographic data. A translation table permits the conversion of the land cover classes into several conventional land cover schemes that are used by ecosystem modelers, climate modelers, land management agencies, and other user groups. The alternative classification schemes include Global Ecosystems, the Biosphere Atmosphere Transfer Scheme, the Simple Biosphere, the USGS Anderson Level 2, and the International Geosphere Biosphere Programme. The distribution system for these data is through the World Wide Web ( the web site address is: http://edcwww.cr.usgs.gov/landdaac/glcc/glcc.html) or by magnetic media upon special request. The availability of the data over the World Wide Web, in conjunction with the flexible database structure, allows easy data access to a wide range of users. The web site contains a user registration form that allows analysis of the diverse applications of large-area land cover data. Currently, applications are divided among mapping (20 percent), conservation (30 percent), and modeling (35 percent).
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Applications of the U.S. Geological survey's global land cover product