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MCD12Q1 - MODIS/Terra+Aqua Land Cover Type Yearly L3 Global 500m SIN Grid

Update Frequency: As Needed
Latest Data Update: 2020-05-21
Status: Ongoing
Online Status: ONLINE
Publication State: Published
Publication Date: 2021-04-15
Download Stats: last 12 months
Dataset Size: 5.98K Files | 24GB


These data are a copy of MODIS data from the NASA Level-1 and Atmosphere Archive & Distribution System (LAADS) Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC). The copy is potentially only a subset. Below is the description from

The MODIS Land Cover Type product contains multiple classification schemes, which describe land cover properties derived from observations spanning a year's input of Terra and Aqua data. The primary land cover scheme identifies 17 land cover classes defined by the International Geosphere Biosphere Programme (IGBP), which includes 11 natural vegetation classes, 3 developed and mosiacked land classes, and three non-vegetated land classes.

The MODIS Terra + Aqua Land Cover Type Yearly L3 Global 500 m SIN Grid product incorporates five different land cover classification schemes, derived through a supervised decision-tree classification method:

Land Cover Type 1: IGBP global vegetation classification schemeLand Cover Type 2: University of Maryland (UMD) schemeLand Cover Type 3: MODIS-derived LAI/fPAR schemeLand Cover Type 4: MODIS-derived Net Primary Production (NPP) schemeLand Cover Type 5: Plant Functional Type (PFT) scheme

Additional layers include a Land Cover Type Assessment SDS, a Land Cover Percent SDS, and a Land Cover Quality Control SDS.

Collection 5.1 Land Cover Type products are produced with revised training data and certain algorithm refinements. For further details, please consult the following paper:

Friedl, M. A., Sulla-Menashe, D., Tan, B., Schneider, A., Ramankutty, N., Sibley, A., andHuang, X. (2010). MODIS Collection 5 global land cover: Algorithm refinements and characterization of new datasets. Remote Sensing of Environment, 114, 168-182.

Shortname: MCD12Q1 , Platform: Combined Aqua Terra , Instrument: MODIS , Processing Level: Level-3 , Spatial Resolution: 500 m , Temporal Resolution: annual , ArchiveSets: 6 , Collection: MODIS Collection 6 (ArchiveSet 6) , PGE Number: PGE41 , File Naming Convention: MCD12Q1.AYYYYDDD.hHHvVV.CCC.YYYYDDDHHMMSS.hdf AAYYYYDDD = Acquisition Year and Day of Year hHH = Horizontal tile number (0-35) vVV = Vertical tile number (0-17) CCC = Collection number YYYYDDDHHMMSS = Production Date and Time , Citation: Mark Friedl, Damien Sulla-Menashe - Boston University and MODAPS SIPS - NASA. (2015). MCD12Q1 MODIS/Terra+Aqua Land Cover Type Yearly L3 Global 500m SIN Grid. NASA LP DAAC. , Keywords: Climate Change, Climate Modeling, Land Cover

Citable as:  National Aeronautics and Space Administration (2021): MCD12Q1 - MODIS/Terra+Aqua Land Cover Type Yearly L3 Global 500m SIN Grid. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, date of citation.
Abbreviation: MCD12Q1
Keywords: Climate Change, Climate Modeling, Land Cover


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Access rules:
Public data: access to these data is available to both registered and non-registered users.
Use of these data is covered by the following licence: When using these data you must cite them correctly using the citation given on the CEDA Data Catalogue record.
Data lineage:

Data were downloaded from to support UK research groups, especially NCEO.

Data Quality:
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File Format:

Process overview

This dataset was generated by instruments deployed on platforms as listed below.

Mobile platform operations

Mobile Platform Operation 1 Terra Satellite orbit details
Mobile Platform Operation 2 Aqua Satellite orbit details
Output Description


  • var_id: LC_Prop1
  • long_name: Land_Cover_Property_1
  • var_id: LC_Prop1_Assessment
  • long_name: Land_Cover_Property_1_Assessment
  • var_id: LC_Prop2
  • long_name: Land_Cover_Property_2
  • var_id: LC_Prop2_Assessment
  • long_name: Land_Cover_Property_2_Assessment
  • var_id: LC_Prop3
  • long_name: Land_Cover_Property_3
  • var_id: LC_Prop3_Assessment
  • long_name: Land_Cover_Property_3_Assessment
  • var_id: LC_Type1
  • long_name: Land_Cover_Type_1
  • var_id: LC_Type2
  • long_name: Land_Cover_Type_2
  • var_id: LC_Type3
  • long_name: Land_Cover_Type_3
  • var_id: LC_Type4
  • long_name: Land_Cover_Type_4
  • var_id: LC_Type5
  • long_name: Land_Cover_Type_5
  • var_id: LW
  • long_name: Land_Water_Mask
  • var_id: QC
  • long_name: Quality_Flags

Co-ordinate Variables

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