Knowing what’s on the land

The Global Land Cover Network (GLCN) exists to bring together all that’s known about what’s covering the land, everywhere there is land to be covered. This very ambitious project involves the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and others.

Last month GLCN announced a database called Global Land Cover-SHARE (GLC-SHARE) which ‘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.’ The database is to be automatically updated whenever new information becomes available. I don’t think there’s a strict timetable for updating. If you tried a strict timetable for mapping the world, you might as well try to herd cats.

Living my whole life in the United Kingdom, I’m used to expecting that there’ll be maps available. But for many people and in many places that’s not so. You don’t have to be a geography geek to know how important GLC-SHARE is. How useful it can be.

GLCN says, ‘Applications of the database include assessment, monitoring and reporting of the distribution of the major land cover classes, land suitability evaluation, land accounting, environmental accounting, climate change impact assessments in productivity and yields, land use planning and sustainable development addressing food security and environmental threats.’

I’m grateful to my fellow bloggers at Trade News in Brief for drawing attention to this.


About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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