Esri Releases Latest Land Cover Map with Updated Sentinel-2 Satellite Data

by | May 9, 2024

Annual 10-Meter 2017–2023 High-Resolution Maps Available in Esri’s ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World

REDLANDS, Calif. —Esri, the global leader in location intelligence, in its partnership with Impact Observatory, has released an updated global land-use/land-cover map of the world based on the most up-to-date 10-meter Sentinel-2 satellite data. In the update, the Sentinel-2 10m Land Use/Land Cover Time Series includes new data from 2023, expanding the series to include global coverage from 2017-2023.

Organizations around the world use updated land-cover maps to inform policy and land management decisions around issues like sustainable development. The update has occurred every year since 2017. Year-over-year changes in the maps can be key indicators that help analysts and decision-makers better understand the impacts of earth processes and human activity on the environment. This in turn can inform sustainable land management policies.

“Users have the option to make year-over-year comparisons in global land cover today and into the future,” said Sean Breyer, Esri program manager for ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World. “Organizations like national government resource agencies often must use this data to define land-planning priorities and determine budget allocations. With the Sentinel-2 annual updates, governments, businesses, and scientists can now more reliably make these data comparisons.”

Last year, Esri released the Sentinel-2 Land Cover Explorer, a dynamic, ready-to-use online application that allows anyone anywhere to easily observe change on these high-resolution global land cover maps. Along with the 2023 content update, enhancements have been added to the Sentinel-2 Land Cover Explorer map panel, including:

  • Users can click the 1:1 button to zoom full resolution of a map at the location of interest.
  • Users can click the camera button to quickly create high-resolution screen captures.
  • A link button allows users to click and copy a link to the app in its current state to easily share what they are seeing.
  • In animation mode, users can download MP4 videos in a variety of aspect ratios and resolutions depending on where and how they want to share animations.

Esri developed its Sentinel-2 10-Meter Land Use/Land Cover Time Series with European Space Agency (ESA) Sentinel-2 imagery hosted on the Microsoft Planetary Computer and with machine learning workflows developed by Esri Silver Partner Impact Observatory.

The global LULC time series is available online to more than 10 million users of geographic information system (GIS) software through Esri’s ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World, the foremost collection of geographic information and services, including maps and apps. It can also be viewed on the Sentinel-2 Land Cover Explorer.

To explore Esri’s updated land cover map online now, visit livingatlas.arcgis.com/landcoverexplorer.

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