Global bare ground cover (bareground2010) are per pixel estimates of circa 2010 percent bare ground cover derived from annual seamless composites of Landsat 7 ETM+ per band median reflectance values of all cloud/shadow free growing season observations. Regression tree models estimating per pixel percentage of bare ground cover were applied to annual composites from 2000 to 2012 inclusive (Hansen and others, 2013). Data gaps and noise from individual years were replaced using multi-year median values. First, a median value among the percent bare ground cover values from 2009-2011 was used to estimate 2010 cover. For pixels still lacking an estimate, the median calculation was expanded to include bare ground cover values from 2008-2011, then from 2008-2012. Any remaining gaps were filled with bare ground cover values derived from regression tree models using all growing season Landsat ETM+ data as inputs. The resulting layer represents estimated bare ground cover per pixel, 1-100% for the year 2010 in integer values (1-100)

Product File Structure:

Percentage of bare ground cover per output grid cell is encoded as integer values (1-100). Files are unsigned 8-bit data with spatial resolution of 0.00025° per pixel (approximately 30 meters per pixel at the equator). Data coverage is from 80° north to 60° south. It is divided into tiles of 10 x 10 degrees. The naming convention per tile refers to the latitude and longitude value of the upper left corner of the tile. Tiles over ocean area are included for completeness.

Related Literature:

  • Ying, Q., Hansen, M. C., Potapov, P. V., Tyukavina, A., Wang, L., Stehman, S. V., … Hancher, M. (2017). Global bare ground gain from 2000 to 2012 using Landsat imagery. Remote Sensing of Environment, 194, 161–176.
  • Potapov, P., Turubanova, S., Tyukavina, A., Krylov, A., McCarty, J., Radeloff, V., and Hansen, M., 2015, Eastern Europe's forest cover dynamics from 1985 to 2012 quantified from the full Landsat archive: Remote Sensing of Environment, v. 159, p. 28-43, at
  • Hansen, M.C., Egorov, A., Potapov, P.V., Stehman, S.V., Tyukavina, A., Turubanova, S.A., Roy, D.P., Goetz, S.J., Loveland, T.R., Ju, J., Kommareddy, A., Kovalskyy, V., Forsyth, C., and Bents, T., 2014, Monitoring conterminous United States (CONUS) land cover change with Web-Enabled Landsat Data (WELD): Remote Sensing of Environment, v. 140, p. 466-484, at ://000329766200038.
  • Hansen, M. C., Egorov, A., Roy, D. P., Potapov, P., Ju, J., Turubanova, S., … Loveland, T. R. (2011). Continuous fields of land cover for the conterminous United States using Landsat data: first results from the Web-Enabled Landsat Data (WELD) project. Remote Sensing Letters, 2(4), 279–288.
  • Hansen, M.C., DeFries, R.S., Townshend, J.R.G., Sohlberg, R., Dimiceli, C., and Carroll, M., 2002, Towards an operational MODIS continuous field of percent tree cover algorithm: examples using AVHRR and MODIS data: Remote Sensing of Environment, v. 83, no. 1—2, p. 303-319, at


Hansen, M.C., Potapov, P.V., Moore, R., Hancher, M., Turubanova, S.A., Tyukavina, A., Thau, D., Stehman, S.V., Goetz, S.J., Loveland, T.R., Kommareddy, A., Egorov, A., Chini, L., Justice, C.O., and Townshend, J.R.G., 2013, High-Resolution Global Maps of 21st-Century Forest Cover Change: Science, v. 342, no. 6160, p. 850-853, at

Intellectual Property Rights:

University of Maryland, Department of Geographical Sciences and USGS; use is free to all if acknowledgement is made.

Data Download: