Landsat Tree Cover Continuous Fields

Data Access

The Landsat Vegetation Continuous Fields (VCF) tree cover layers contain estimates of the percentage of horizontal ground in each 30-m pixel covered by woody vegetation greater than 5 meters in height. The product is derived from all seven bands of Landsat-5 Thematic Mapper (TM) and/or Landsat-t Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+),

Tree cover, the proportional, vertically projected area of vegetation (including leaves, stems, branches, etc.) of woody plants above a given height, affects terrestrial energy and water exchanges, photosynthesis and transpiration, net primary production, and carbon and nutrient fluxes. Tree cover also affects habitat quality and movements of wildlife, residential property value for humans, and other ecosystem services. The continuous classification scheme of the VCF product enables better depiction of land cover gradients than traditional discrete classification schemes. Importantly for detection and monitoring of forest changes (e.g., deforestation and degradation), tree cover provides a measurable attribute upon which to define forest cover and its changes. Changes in tree cover over time can be used to monitor and retrieve site-specific histories of forest change.

Code Values
Value Label
0-100 Percent of pixel area covered by tree cover
200 Water
210 Cloud
211 Shadow
220 Filled Value
How to Cite This Data Set

Citation Format: Author(s), (Publication Date), Collection Name, Product Name {optional}, Version, Collection Publisher, Publisher Location, Product Coverage Date {optional}.

Citation Parameters Example:

  • Author:Sexton, J. O., Song, X.-P., Feng, M., Noojipady, P., Anand, A., Huang, C., Kim, D.-H., Collins, K.M., Channan, S., DiMiceli, C., and Townshend, J.R.G.
  • Publication Date: (2013)
  • Collection Name: Landsat Tree Cover Continuous Fields
  • Product Name: Landsat Tree Cover
  • Version: beta
  • Publisher:Global Land Cover Facility, University of Maryland
  • Publisher Location: College Park, Maryland
  • Product Coverage Date: 2000

Full Example Citation: Sexton, J. O., Song, X.-P., Feng, M., Noojipady, P., Anand, A., Huang, C., Kim, D.-H., Collins, K.M., Channan, S., DiMiceli, C., Townshend, J.R.G. (2013). Global, 30-m resolution continuous fields of tree cover: Landsat-based rescaling of MODIS Vegetation Continuous Fields with lidar-based estimates of error. International Journal of Digital Earth, 130321031236007. doi:10.1080/17538947.2013.786146.

Intellectual Property Rights

University of Maryland, Department of Geographical Sciences and NASA; use is free to all if acknowledgement is made. UMD and NASA hold ultimate copyright.


Source for this dataset is the Global Land Cover Facility,

Landsat Treecover
Web Accessibility
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University of Maryland National Aeronautics and Space Administration GOFC_GOLD

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