FAO’s new database includes eleven global land cover layers each representing the major land cover classes defined by the FAO andSystem of environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) legend.
It brings global land cover data under one roof for the first time and represents the most-reliable global view of planetary land cover assembled to-date.
This new product collects previously scattered and unharmonized land cover information from around the globe into one centralized database, marking a major improvement in information regarding the physical characteristics of the Earth’s surface.
Up to now, one of the major challenges for countries and organizations was to identify, measure and record efficiently a good global overview of land cover.
The GLCSHARE database has been: compiled with data pulled from multiple sources; quality controlled and harmonized using internationallyaccepted definitions and standards; produced to bring a wealth of country-level information into one consolidated dataset spanning the entire planet.
Applications of the new database include monitoring of global land cover trends, evaluating the suitability of land for various uses, assessing the impact of climate change on food production, and land-use planning.
The basic concept and principles applied aim to integrate the best land cover data available, from local to global, into one single database using international standards; this task requires the harmonization among different layers and legends to create a consistent product