Land use and land cover characterization contributes to our understanding of environmental conditions and of the extent of human influence on the landscape. A single time period of data provides land managers and others with a snapshot of landforms, vegetation, and human activities. Several time periods of data can provide an understanding of the dynamic nature of the Earth's surface.
GIRAS (Geographic Information Retrieval Analysis System) is one example of land use and land cover data collected by the USGS. Further information can be found at:
Information on other USGS Land Cover Programs and datasets can be found at:
U.S. Department of the Interior