FAO brings global land cover data under one roof
17 March 2014, Rome- A new FAO database collects previously scattered and unharmonized land cover information from around the globe into one centralized database. This marks a major improvement in information regarding the physical characteristics of the Earth's surface. Getting a good global overview of land cover – such as, how much land is covered by croplands, tree covered areas, bare soils, etc. – has been a great challenge of experts in the field, until now. Generally speaking, different countries and organizations go about identifying, measuring and recording such data in diverse ways. For FAO's new Global Land Cover SHARE database (GLC-SHARE), data pulled from multiple sources and partners has been quality controlled and harmonized using internationally accepted definitions and standards, bringing a wealth of country-level information into one consolidated dataset spanning the entire planet.
John Latham is a Senior Officer in FAO’s Land and Water Division. In the following interview he explains what kind of information can be found in the database, why it is significant and how this information relates to overall Food Security.
Produced by: Sandra Ferrari