Environmental Data

Environmental data help researchers detect changes in natural resource availability, biodiversity, ecosystem goods and services, and climate. Many environmental data are obtained through satellite-based remote sensing. Other monitoring systems, such as temperature, wind and water gauges, also gather environmental data. IPUMS Terra includes land use / land cover data and climate data, allowing assessment of changes in environmental conditions over time.

Land use / land cover data describe the distribution of types of vegetation over the earth’s surface and the agricultural, urban or other purpose for which people use the land. Land use / land cover data are typically provided in a grid in which each cell is coded to represent the type of cover or use at that location. This type of information is interpreted from satellite images, sometimes supplemented by information from surveys.

IPUMS Terra includes the following land use / land cover datasets:

  • Global Land Cover 2000 - Land cover in the year 2000 in 23 classes at 1 km resolution. Produced by the European Commission Joint Research Center.
  • MODIS Land Cover Type product - Land cover at annual time steps over 2001-2013 at 1 km resolution. Several classification systems are available. Produced by NASA.
  • Agricultural Lands - Area of cropland and pasture land, circa 2000, at 10 km resolution. Produced by the Global Landscapes Initiative
  • Harvested Area and Yield for 175 Crops - Harvested area and yield for 175 individual crops, circa 2000, at 10 km resolution. Produced by the Global Landscapes Initiative

Climate data describe temperature, precipitation, and other weather-related variables over time. These data are primarily derived from measurements made at weather stations around the world. Data from multiple stations are interpolated to create continuous grids.

IPUMS Terra's climate data are from the WorldClim dataset. WorldClim provides long-term average values covering the period 1950-2000 for temperature, precipitation, and a number of bioclimatic variables at 1 km resolution.