The global land 1 km data set project represents an international effort to acquire, archive, process, and distribute 1 km AVHRR data of the entire global land surface in order to meet the needs of the international science community. A network of 26 high resolution picture transmission (HRPT) stations, along with data recorded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has been acquiring daily global land coverage since 1 April 1992. A data set of over 30000 AVHRR images has been archived and made available for distribution by the United States Geological Survey, EROS Data Center and the European Space Agency. Under the guidance of the International Geosphere Biosphere programme, processing standards for the AVHRR data 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 related to the study of surface vegetation cover. A prototype 10-day composite was produced for the period of 21–30 June 1992. Production of an 18-month time series of 10-day composites is underway.