Global Forest Cover Change (GFCC) Tree Cover Multi-Year Global 30m

Dataset Availability
Dataset Provider
Earth Engine Snippet
forest glcf landsat-derived nasa umd


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 dataset is available for four epochs centered on the years 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015. The dataset is derived from the GFCC Surface Reflectance product (GFCC30SR), which is based on enhanced Global Land Survey (GLS) datasets. The GLS datasets are composed of high-resolution Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM) and Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) images at 30 meter resolution.

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 four year epochs: 2000, 2005, 2010, and 2015 with an image in the collection for each available WRS2 path/row.


Provider's Note: Due to the end of NASA MEaSUREs funding, free versions of this dataset are no longer being produced. Interested parties can obtain updated and expanded versions at


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'. Only available for 2000, 2005, and 2010.

Image Properties

Image Properties

Name Type Description


pathrow STRING

Path and row



sources DOUBLE

Sources. Only available for 2000, 2005, and 2010.

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.


  • 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 with Earth Engine

Code Editor (JavaScript)

var dataset = ee.ImageCollection('NASA/MEASURES/GFCC/TC/v3')
                  .filter('2015-01-01', '2015-12-31'));
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.mean(), treeCanopyCoverVis, 'Tree Canopy Cover');
Open in Code Editor