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Remote Sens. 2014, 6(8), 7424-7441; doi:10.3390/rs6087424

The Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics (MRLC) Consortium — 20 Years of Development and Integration of USA National Land Cover Data

1
National Exposure Research Laboratory (E243-05), USA Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, USA
2
Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center, USA Geological Survey, 47914 252nd Street, Sioux Falls, SD 57198, USA
3
USA Geological Survey, North Carolina State University, 100 Eugene Brooks Ave., 127 David Clark Labs, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
4
National Agricultural Statistics Service, USA Department of Agriculture, 3251 Old Lee Highway, Ste. 305, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
5
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Coastal Services Center, 2234 S. Hobson Ave., Charleston, SC 29405, USA
6
USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station, 4700 Old Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 May 2014 / Revised: 16 July 2014 / Accepted: 24 July 2014 / Published: 11 August 2014
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Abstract

The Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics (MRLC) Consortium demonstrates the national benefits of USA Federal collaboration. Starting in the mid-1990s as a small group with the straightforward goal of compiling a comprehensive national Landsat dataset that could be used to meet agencies’ needs, MRLC has grown into a group of 10 USA Federal Agencies that coordinate the production of five different products, including the National Land Cover Database (NLCD), the Coastal Change Analysis Program (C-CAP), the Cropland Data Layer (CDL), the Gap Analysis Program (GAP), and the Landscape Fire and Resource Management Planning Tools (LANDFIRE). As a set, the products include almost every aspect of land cover from impervious surface to detailed crop and vegetation types to fire fuel classes. Some products can be used for land cover change assessments because they cover multiple time periods. The MRLC Consortium has become a collaborative forum, where members share research, methodological approaches, and data to produce products using established protocols, and we believe it is a model for the production of integrated land cover products at national to continental scales. We provide a brief overview of each of the main products produced by MRLC and examples of how each product has been used. We follow that with a discussion of the impact of the MRLC program and a brief overview of future plans. View Full-Text
Keywords: C-CAP; change detection; Cropland Data Layer (CDL); GAP; LANDFIRE; NLCD C-CAP; change detection; Cropland Data Layer (CDL); GAP; LANDFIRE; NLCD
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Wickham, J.; Homer, C.; Vogelmann, J.; McKerrow, A.; Mueller, R.; Herold, N.; Coulston, J. The Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics (MRLC) Consortium — 20 Years of Development and Integration of USA National Land Cover Data. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 7424-7441.

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