Land use/land cover

Data comparison

Earth Map provides the user with many types of Land Cover Maps such as CCI and CGLS from ESA and MODIS-LCCS from NASA. These three land Cover Maps are used for land cover statistics computed by FAO to perform annual maps of three medium-resolution global land cover products. All three datasets have been validated by their data producers and statistics of overall accuracy, measured globally for all classes and including commission and omission errors, were produced.

The three source of land cover are:

1) CCI Land Cover. Catholic University of Louvain (UCLouvain) Geomatics land cover, produced as part of the Climate Change Initiative of the European Spatial Agency and currently under the framework of the European Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) (Defourny et al., 2017) available for 1992– 2018. These maps have a spatial resolution of 300m. Data validation indicates an overall accuracy of 73 percent;

2) MODIS-LCCS. NASA MODIS Land Cover Collection 6 (MCD12Q1), available for 2001–2018 (SullaMenashe and Friedl, 2018; Sulla-Menashe et al., 2019). MODIS Land Cover Classification System (LCCS) types at 500m resolution are used to compute the FAOSTAT data. The overall accuracy for the MODIS LCCS layers is 80 percent;

3) Copernicus Global land cover produced under the Copernicus Global Land Service (CGLS), available for 2015–2019 (Buchhorn et al., 2020) with a spatial resolution of 100m. FAOSTAT statistics utilize CGLS discrete land cover maps but this dataset also contains fractional land cover information. The overall accuracy of this product is 81 percent.

The FAOSTAT Land Cover statistics are available for 198 countries and 41 territories over 1992–2019. The domain provides statistics of land cover area, aggregated at the national level by country for the 14 land cover classes adopted by the UN System for Environmental-Economic Accounting (United Nations, European Commission, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and World Bank, 2014; FAO and UNSD, 2020), based on FAO Land Cover Classification System (LCCS) classifiers (Di Gregorio, 2005).

Further details can be found in this FAO Publication:

Data comparison