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National Land Cover Database (NLCD)

Summary

The National Land Cover Database (NLCD) serves as the definitive Landsat-based, 30-meter resolution, land cover database for the Nation. NLCD provides spatial reference and descriptive data for characteristics of the land surface such as thematic class (for example, urban, agriculture, and forest), percent impervious surface, and percent tree canopy cover. NLCD supports a wide variety of Federal, State, local, and nongovernmental applications that seek to assess ecosystem status and health, understand the spatial patterns of biodiversity, predict effects of climate change, and develop land management policy. NLCD products are created by the Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics (MRLC) Consortium, a partnership of Federal agencies led [...]

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Purpose

The primary objective of the MRLC NLCD is to provide the Nation with nationally complete, current, consistent, and public domain information on the Nation's land cover. Land cover information is critical for local, state, and federal managers and officials to assist them with issues such as assessing ecosystem status and health, modeling nutrient and pesticide runoff, understanding spatial patterns of biodiversity, land use planning, deriving landscape pattern metrics, and developing land management policies.

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