The scientific requirements for mapping the global land surface using 1 km advanced very high resolution radiometer (AVHRR) data have been set forth by the U.S. Global Change Research Program; the International Geosphere Biosphere Programme (IGBP); The United Nations; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); the Committee on Earth Observations Satellites; and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) mission to planet Earth (MTPE) program. Mapping the global land surface using 1 km AVHRR data is an international effort to acquire, archive, process, and distribute 1 km AVHRR data to meet the needs of the international science community. A network of AVHRR receiving stations, along with data recorded by NOAA, has been acquiring daily global land coverage since April 1, 1992. A data set of over 70,000 AVHRR images is archived and distributed by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) EROS Data Center, and the European Space Agency. Under the guidance of the IGBP, processing standards have been developed for calibration, atmospheric correction, geometric registration, and the production of global 10-day maximum normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) composites. The major uses of the composites are for the study of surface vegetation condition, mapping land cover, and deriving biophysical characteristics of terrestrial ecosystems. A time-series of 54 10-day global vegetation index composites for the period of April 1, 1992 through September 1993 has been produced. The production of a time-series of 33 10-day global vegetation index composites using NOAA-14 data for the period of February 1, 1995 through December 31, 1995 is underway. The data products are available from the USGS, in cooperation with NASA's MTPE program and other international organizations.