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Data Delivery Updates

National Land Cover Database (NLCD)

December 18, 2012:    Changes with the delivery of NLCD data

As part of the National Geospatial Program's plan for delivering data from a public Internet cloud provider by the end of 2015, The National Map is preparing staged products for faster and more efficient downloads. As of December 18, 2012, National Land Cover Database (NLCD) data is available through pre-packaged 3x3-degree tiles in GeoTIFF format only. Users can still define custom areas of interest. However, all tiles intersecting the area of interest are included in the delivery.

Since the dynamic download option for NLCD in The National Map Viewer was disabled on December 18, land cover data is no longer distributed in ArcGrid, GridFloat, BIL, or IMG formats. To assist users who need raster data in other formats, we are providing downloadable file conversion scripts. These scripts require either Esri ArcGIS or Geospatial Data Abstraction Library (GDAL) software for raster data file conversions. The archive file includes documentation and batch files to support conversion of NED, NLCD, and HRO products. The documentation is in HTML and is under the 'how_to' folder. It includes documentation on getting GDAL from, and Esri based scripts that should work with ArcGIS 10.x.

Users also still have an option to receive NLCD in other formats, other than GeoTIFF, by using the Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics (MRLC) Consortium Viewer at Click on the 'Download Data' tool under Data, choose either the rectangular box tool or define coordinate extents over your area of interest, and specify the requested land cover product. The default output format is GeoTIFF but you can then modify the data request to change to other formats, such as ArcGrid, GridFloat, BIL, or IMG, before downloading the data.

If you have questions or concerns about these changes, please contact us at

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