The National Land Cover Database in the Living Atlas

Need some land cover data or maps in your project? Simply connect to the 2014 revision of the National Land Cover Database (NLCD) through the Living Atlas of the World.

2011 Land Cover, Trenton, New Jersey

Layer USA NLCD Land Cover 2011, Trenton, New Jersey

Using the most recent NLCD datasets, Esri has built six new thematic image layers for you to discover and use:

USA NLCD Tree Canopy
USA NLCD Impervious Change
USA NLCD Impervious Surface
USA NLCD Land Cover 2006
USA NLCD Land Cover 2011
USA NLCD Land Cover Change

Standardized land cover is mapped in 20 classes for both 2006 and 2011. The USA NLCD Land Cover Change layer shows only the land cover that changed type between 2006 and 2011, displaying areas of no change with a transparent symbol.

Also included in this release are thematic image layers of the percentage of tree cover within each 30 meter pixel, and the percentage of each pixel that is impervious surface. Both layers are supplementary products of the NLCD.

To view or quantify the change in imperviousness due to land cover change, use the special USA NLCD Impervious Change layer.

These new layers are available for the 48 coterminous US states. Some of these layers also cover parts of Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or the US Virgin Islands.

We created some simple analyses to introduce these layers. You can view them in our story map called What Covers America.

The National Land Cover Database has been helping America manage its resources since its first edition in 1992.

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  1. fquinon1968 says:

    This is great, but…..the updates are to 2011, published in 2014. More than 6 years since the data was assembled, which is a long time for the technology we now have. As an extreme, look at today’s land cover in my home island of Puerto Rico, demolished by hurricanes Irma and MarĂ­a a few months ago. We have incredible satellites that can collect this data in a whimp of time, not neccesarily as quick as to reflect the changes from the effects of the recent hurricanes, but certainly more recent than 6 years ago. It is obsolete data for today’s remote sensing technology.

    • Michael Dangermond says:

      Thanks for your comment! Yes it’s been a few years. We serve the latest freely available land cover. 2011 is still the latest edition of the NLCD. Also in the Living Atlas you might try BaseVue 2013 data for the world at 30m resolution. If it is useful for you, we also have some multispectral imagery from landsat8, updated every 16 days. The service has about a dozen processing templates which identify agriculture, burn areas, land/water, etc. If you find something more current or useful, please nominate it to the Living Atlas. This page shows you how to do that. Thanks again! Michael

  2. subhashini.herath says:

    I am wanting to interpret the data of the layer “NLCD 2011 Percent Developed Imperviousness” found at
    Is there any documentation available to help me interpret values in the cells of the attribute table?
    Thanks! in advance!

  3. georgiana.bostean says:

    Is land use zoning (e.g., industrial, residential) available? Looking for a state or national file. Thank you!