MODIS Land Cover

Data Access

Global Mosaics of the standard MODIS land cover type data product (MCD12Q1) in the IGBP Land Cover Type Classification are reprojected into geographic coordinates of latitude and longitude on the WGS 1984 coordinate reference system (EPSG: 4326). The data set boundaries are -180.0 <= longitude <= 180.0; -64.0 <= latitude <= 84.0. The data are organized as an array of values uniformly spaced across latitude and longitude with the indexed as [0, 0] at 84.0 latitude, -180.0 longitude.

Spatially aggregated data for each year in the period 20012012 are available at two spatial resolutions:

  • 5' x 5' resolution comprising 1776 rows x 4320 columns at a geographic pixel size of approximately 0.083333; and
  • 0.5 x 0.5 resolution comprising 296 rows x 720 columns of 0.5 pixels.

The global land cover data sets are available as GeoTIFF format files (*.tif) with embedded metadata or as ESRI ASCII Grid format files (*.asc) with limited metadata in header lines. Native resolution data in the GLCF tile framework are available as GeoTIFF format files (*.tif).

Code Values
Value Label
1Evergreen Needleleaf forest
2Evergreen Broadleaf forest
3Deciduous Needleleaf forest
4Deciduous Broadleaf forest
5Mixed forest
6Closed shrublands
7Open shrublands
8Woody savannas
11Permanent wetlands
13Urban and built-up
14Cropland/Natural vegetation mosaic
15Snow and ice
16Barren or sparsely vegetated
255Fill Value
How to Cite This Data Set

Data set development attribution:
Channan, S., K. Collins, and W. R. Emanuel. 2014. Global mosaics of the standard MODIS land cover type data. University of Maryland and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, College Park, Maryland, USA.

MODIS standard data product attribution:
Friedl, M.A., D. Sulla-Menashe, B. Tan, A. Schneider, N. Ramankutty, A. Sibley and X. Huang (2010), MODIS Collection 5 global land cover: Algorithm refinements and characterization of new datasets, 2001-2012, Collection 5.1 IGBP Land Cover, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA.

Intellectual Property Rights

University of Maryland, Department of Geography and NASA; use is free to all if acknowledgement is made. UMD and NASA hold ultimate copyright.


Source for this dataset is the Global Land Cover Facility,

Copyright © 1997-2016 University of Maryland. All rights reserved
University of Maryland National Aeronautics and Space Administration GOFC_GOLD