Global Land Use Map Data

The land use data sets developed at SAGE have a native resolution of 0.5 degree in latitude x longitude. Here users can choose to interpolate their variable of choice into any resolution, including latitude x longitude grids or Gaussian grids (the latter are normally used by global climate models). For Gaussian grids, we currently support only nine types.

Data can be output in either ASCII format or NetCDF format. Please note that a land-ocean mask is created "on the fly." It uses a fairly generous definition of land (>20% land fraction) in order to include different masks used by different groups. Please let us know if our mask generates ocean points in grid cells where you have land.

The output ASCII file will have a header of 6 or 7 lines describing the parameters of the output data, and the remaining lines have data written out sequentially from west to east starting from the northwestern most grid cell, with data in each new latitude starting a new line. The output ASCII file can be read using the following FORTRAN program, (read_ascii.f). The output of this FORTRAN program will be a simple data table with each row containing a longitude, latitude, and data value. If your choice is a regular latitude x longitude grid (i.e., x resolution = y resolution), then the output ASCII file can be directly imported into ArcGIS software.

Panoply, a free software package, can be downloaded to view NetCDF files.

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Step 1


  • Enter latitude and longitude resolutions (in degrees, for example, 3.0, 2.0) that are divisors of 180 and 360, respectively, or
  • Choose the type of gaussian grid that you want

Values less than 0.5 degree is not permitted.

Lat. Resolution: (grid spacing in degrees)
Lon. Resolution: (grid spacing in degrees)


Please choose output option:

Step 2

Select the datasets for which you would like data based on the geographic areas you selected during the previous step.

You can only make one selection at a time.

Data Sets Description Items
(You can only make one selection at a time)

(You can only make one selection at a time)