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ISLSCP II MODIS (Collection 4) IGBP Land Cover, 2000-2001
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Revision date: February 24, 2010


The objective of the MODIS Land Cover Product is to provide a suite of land cover types useful to global system science modelers by exploiting the information content of MODIS data in the spectral, temporal, spatial, and directional domains.

This data set consists of three zip archives at one, half, and quarter degree spatial resolution containing global land cover classifications (dominant type, classification confidence and fractional cover) generated using a full year of MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data covering the period from October 2000 to October 2001 as defined. These products describe the geographic distribution of the 17 land cover classification scheme proposed by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP).

Additional Documentation:

This data set is one of the products of the International Satellite Land-Surface Climatology Project, Initiative II (ISLSCP II) data collection, which contains 50 global time series data sets for the ten-year period 1986 to 1995. A complete description of the data, their derivation, acknowledgements, and references provided by the ISLSCP II Data Management Staff is included with this data set as a companion file named 1_modis_landcover_doc.pdf.

ISLSCP II is a consistent collection of data sets that were compiled from existing data sources and algorithms, and were designed to satisfy the needs of modelers and investigators of the global carbon, water and energy cycle. The data were acquired from a number of U.S. and international agencies, universities, and institutions. The data and documentation have undergone two peer reviews.

ISLSCP is one of several projects of Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX) [] and has the lead role in addressing land-atmosphere interactions -- process modeling, data retrieval algorithms, field experiment design and execution, and the development of global data sets.


Data Citation:

Cite this data set as follows:

Friedl, M.A., A.H. Strahler, and J. Hodges. 2010. ISLSCP II MODIS (Collection 4) IGBP Land Cover, 2000-2001. In Hall, Forest G., G. Collatz, B. Meeson, S. Los, E. Brown de Colstoun, and D. Landis (eds.). ISLSCP Initiative II Collection. Data set. Available on-line [] from Oak Ridge National Laboratory Distributed Active Archive Center, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, U.S.A. doi:10.3334/ORNLDAAC/968

File Information:

The archived data sets for ISLSCP II have been organized by categories. This data set is in the vegetation category--a collection of vegetation and albedo data sets.

Data Set Spatial Extent: Global gridded

Westernmost Longitude: -180 W

Easternmost Longitude: 180 E

Northernmost Latitude: 90 N

Southernmost Latitude: -90 S

Projection: Geographic

Data Set Spatial Resolution: one, half, and quarter degree in both latitude and longitude

Data Set Temporal Extent: October 2000 to October 2001

Data File Format

All of the data files in each data set within the ISLSCP Initiative II data collection are in ESRI ASCII GRID format for ArcInfo. The file format consists of numerical fields of varying length, which are delimited by a single space and arranged in columns and rows.

The data files have been combined according to spatial resolution: one degree, half degree, and quarter degree respectively.




The values in the land cover class type and classifier confidence files are written as integers from 0 to 17 and 0 to 255, respectively. In the classifier confidence files a value of 254 is assigned to all water bodies while a value of 255 is assigned to cells with no data. All values in the land cover fraction files are written as real numbers. For  information regarding the derivation of the land cover classification method and algorithm utilized, please refer to 1_modis_landcover_doc.pdf.

IGBP Land Cover Legend

Value Description
0 Water Bodies
1 Evergreen Needleleaf Forest
2 Evergreen Broadleaf Forest
3 Deciduous Needleleaf Forest
4 Deciduous Broadleaf Forest
5 Mixed Forest
6 Closed Shrublands
7 Open Shrublands
8 Woody Savannas
9 Savannas
10 Grasslands
11 Permanent Wetlands
12 Croplands
13 Urban and Built-Up
14 Cropland/Natural Vegetation Mosaic
15 Permanent Snow and Ice
16 Barren or Sparsely Vegetated
17 Unclassified

Within each of the *.zip files, the data files fall into the following categories:

modis_landcover_class_XX.asc The land cover types, where XX is qd, hd, or 1d, denoting a spatial resolution of 1/4, 1/2 or 1 degrees, respectively. They contain land cover maps where the classes range from 0 to 17.
modis_landcover_conf_XX.asc The classifier confidence layer, assessment of the confidence in the classifier results for each cell (percent).
modis_landcover_XX_cZZ.asc The fractional files, containing percentages of each land cover class (ZZ ranging from 0 to 17).

Data file naming conventions are described in the 0_modis_landcover_readme.txt .

Data Access:

These data are available through the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC)

Data Archive Contact Information:

Telephone: +1 (865) 241-3952