[Sdi-northamerica] First detailed national map of land-cover vegetation released
klance_remote at yahoo.com
Thu Jul 15 08:22:24 EDT 2010
First detailed national map of land-cover vegetation released
The most detailed national vegetation U.S. land-cover map to date was released
by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The map will enable conservation
professionals to identify places in the country with sufficient habitat to
Online map viewer shows data at multiple scales
The online map viewing interface has been designed to allow users to explore
land cover data at three levels of complexity. Level 1 contains eight classes:
grassland, shrubland, forest, aquatic, sparse and barren, recently disturbed,
riparian, and human land use. Level 2 contains 43 classes, and incorporates
information on elevation and climate. Level 3 contains the full 583 classes.
This online tool facilitates exploration of ecological system distribution
patterns at multiple scales and allows users to calculate statistics on the
types of vegetation occurring within a mapping zone, a state, or a county.
As part of the USGS National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) — a
collaborative program coordinated by the USGS to provide increased access to
data and information on the nation's biological resources — GAP data and
associated analytical tools have been used in hundreds of applications, from
basic research to comprehensive state wildlife plans, and from education
projects in schools to ecoregional assessments of biodiversity.
GAP has developed land cover data since the 1980s — initially on a
state-by-state basis and more recently on a regional basis. The national land
cover map provides seamless coverage across political boundaries, facilitating
its use by governmental agencies, researchers, conservation organizations and
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