This map of North American land cover at a spatial resolution of 250 meters provides a harmonized view of the physical cover of Earth's surface across the continent in 2005. Nineteen Level II land cover classes were defined using the Land Cover Classification System (LCCS) standard developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of United Nations.
The land cover map is the first in a series of maps produced by the North American Land Change Monitoring System (NALCMS). NALCMS is a collaborative initiative between Canada, Mexico, and the United States to monitor land cover and its change over time. The NALCMS product displayed in this map represents land cover based on monthly composites of 2005 Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite imagery. The NALCMS is a joint project between Natural Resources Canada/Canada Centre for Remote Sensing (NRCan/CCRS); the United States Geological Survey (USGS); and three Mexican organizations: Insituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía - INEGI; Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad - CONABIO); and Comisión Nacional Forestal - CONAFOR. The project is facilitated by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC).
This data set replaces Edition 1.0 of the 2005 Land Cover of North America published in March 2010. Following the release of the first 2005 land cover data, several errors were identified in the data and rectified, including both errors in labeling and misinterpretation of thematic classes. Access to the initial Land Cover 2005 map can be provided upon request.
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