GLCF: Landsat Tree Cover Continuous Fields

Dataset Availability
2000-01-01T00:00:00 - 2010-12-31T00:00:00
Dataset Provider
Earth Engine Snippet
forest landsat-derived glcf umd nasa


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 data represent three nominal epochs, 2000, 2005 and 2010, compiled from the NASA/USGS Global Land Survey (GLS) collection of Landsat data. The product is derived from all seven bands of Landsat-5 Thematic Mapper (TM) and/or Landsat-7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+), depending on the GLS image selection.

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.

The dataset has been produced for three year epochs: 2000, 2005, 2010, with an image in the collection for each available WRS2 path/row.


30 meters


Name Units Min Max Description
tree_canopy_cover % 0 100

The percentage of pixel area covered by trees.


RMSE for tree-canopy_cover


Identity of source image used for the particular pixel. This is an index into the per image metadata array 'sources'.

Image Properties

Image Properties

Name Type Description


pathrow STRING

Path and row



sources DOUBLE


tree_canopy_cover_class_palette DOUBLE

Tree canopy cover class palette

tree_canopy_cover_class_values DOUBLE

Tree canopy cover class values



Terms of Use

Terms of Use

Intellectual property rights to this dataset belong to University of Maryland, Department of Geographical Sciences and NASA. Usage is free if acklowedgement is made.


  • Data citation: Tree Canopy Cover, {Year, ...}, Global Land Cover Facility,

  • Paper/Methods 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.

Explore in Earth Engine

var dataset = ee.ImageCollection('GLCF/GLS_TCC')
                  .filter('2010-01-01', '2010-12-31'));
var treeCanopyCover ='tree_canopy_cover');
var treeCanopyCoverVis = {
  min: 0.0,
  max: 100.0,
  palette: ['ffffff', 'afce56', '5f9c00', '0e6a00', '003800'],
Map.setCenter(-88.6, 26.4, 3);
Map.addLayer(treeCanopyCover, treeCanopyCoverVis, 'Tree Canopy Cover');