ESA WorldCover 2020: a new baseline global land cover product at 10m resolution

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#Données et outils , #Copernicus , #ESA , #Surveillance globale

Publié le 21 octobre 2021


The ESA WorldCover Team is proud to announce the successful development of a new baseline global land cover product at 10m resolution that is developed and validated in almost near-real time and at the same time maximizes the impact and uptake for the end users.

Inspired by the 2017 WorldCover conference organized by ESA, the cardinal requirements of the WorldCover project are:

  • fast generation and validation of a world land cover based on Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-1 constellations
  • 10 land cover classes
  • 10 meters resolution
  • 75% overall accuracy

The WorldCover products are delivered in a regular latitude/longitude grid (EPSG:4326) with the ellipsoid WGS 1984 (Terrestrial radius=6378 km). The legend includes 11 generic classes that appropriately describe the land surface at 10m: "Tree cover", "Shrubland", "Grassland", "Cropland", "Built-up", "Bare / sparse vegetation”, “Snow and Ice”, “Permanent water bodies”, “Herbaceous Wetland”, “Mangrove” and “Moss and lichen".

The ESA WorldCover product is provided free of charge, without restriction of use (see full license information here).


Considering the heavy download of the WorldCover map at 10m, a web interface was developed to mainly visualize and interact with data. A left click, anywhere on the layer, highlights the LC-Map label of the selected pixel in the legend description of the left panel.

Go to the viewer

 WorldCover map in Sentinel Hub


The WorldCover consortium consists of a group of highly experienced major European service providers and research organizations, covering all relevant aspects of land cover mapping including the validation. The consortium has a long track record of collaboration in diverse European and ESA projects, as well as the Copernicus Land and Climate Change Service.

One of the project's partners is VITO. Yesterday they organised a webinar allowing participants to discover this baseline land cover product and learn how to access this new open and free product. If you  missed the release, you can view it here.