Monday, August 16, 2010

National Land Cover Map and Online Map Viewer Now Available

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has just handed conservation professionals across the United States another tool to aid their efforts to preserve habitat for both sensitive and non-sensitive species nationwide. The USGS Gap Analysis Program (GAP) has released a comprehensive, seamless, national land cover dataset that can assist in the identification of those places in the country with sufficient habitat to support wildlife. The map can be viewed online via the GAP Web site. These data are freely available and can be downloaded. The GAP national land cover data are the most detailed, consistent map of vegetative associations ever available for the United States. These data are critical for determining the status of biodiversity, as baseline data for assessing climate change impacts, and for predicting the availability of habitat for wildlife. The new GAP dataset will facilitate the planning and management of biological diversity on a regional and national scale.


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