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Global Land Cover - SHARE (GLC-SHARE)

The Global Land Cover-SHARE (GLC-SHARE) is a global land cover database with spatial resolution of 30 arc-seconds (~1 sq.km). GLC-SHARE was created by the Land and Water Division of FAO in partnership with and based on contributions from various institutions by a combination of “best available” high resolution national, regional and/or sub-national land cover databases. GLC-SHARE provides a set of eleven major thematic land cover layers with each layer presenting the proportion of the 1-km pixel in the particular land cover class. The 11 aggregated land cover classes are: artificial surfaces (01), cropland (02), grassland (03), tree covered areas (04), shrubs covered areas (05), herbaceous vegetation, aquatic or regularly flooded (06), mangroves (07), sparse vegetation (08), bare soil (09), snow and glaciers (10), and water bodies (11).

The major benefit of the GLC-SHARE product is to combine its global extent with a capacity to preserve the available land cover information at the country level obtained by spatial and multi-temporal source data.  Thus the high accuracy obtained at national level by local mapping agencies and/or national projects at a more detailed scale is integrated with the best synthesis of global satellite-based, but less validated, datasets in areas where no better national data are available.  Some of these utilize medium- resolution satellite products (e.g. MERIS, MODIS) with a pixel resolution of 250-300 m. Harmonization  of the various available land cover databases is based on the utilization of the Land Cover Classification System (LCCS).


The data are made available in GeoTIFF Format in the World Geodetic System 1984 (WGS 84) coordinate system through the FAO Geonetwork site.


Global, Regional, National, Sub-national/Province/District, Watershed/Basin/Landscape
Global, Regional, National, Sub-national/ Province/ District, Watershed/Basin/Landscape
Databases/information systems
Land databases
Thematic areas
Land use/cover