New global map most comprehensive ever

March 18th, 2008 - 7:02 pm ICT by admin  

New York, March 18 (IANS) A new global map that details the planet’s land cover with a resolution 10 times sharper than any of its predecessors is also the most comprehensive ever. The map is based on 20 terabytes of imagery - the equivalent of data in 20 million books - acquired from May 2005 to April 2006 by Envisat’s Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) instrument.

There are 22 different land cover types shown in the map, including croplands, wetlands, forests, artificial surfaces, water bodies and permanent snow and ice.

For maximum user benefit, the map’s thematic legend is compatible with the UN Land Cover Classification System (LCCS).

Scientists who will use the data to plot land-cover trends, study natural and managed ecosystems are hailing the product generated under the ESA-initiated GlobCover project as ‘a milestone’.

The preliminary version of the map was presented last week at the second GlobCover User Consultation workshop held in Rome.

“The GlobCover system is a great step forward in our capacities to automatically produce new global land cover products with a finer resolution and a more detailed thematic content than ever achieved in the past,” Fr

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