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Globe Pretty Image Global Land Use Data
Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment

      Our land use data sets can be aggregated into combinations of administrative units of the user's choice. Currently, the finest resolution we provide is at the first level administrative unit (i.e., state, province, etc.). Our database, based on ESRI's Admin98 boundaries dataset of the world, contains 2605 first level administrative units.

      The user begins with an initial choice of World Macro Regions as defined by the United Nations ( These regions can then be further subdivided or aggregated sequentially over several steps to arrive at a final set of regions that the user desires.

Step 1

      Select the regions that you would like to modify (split or aggregate), and then press the button corresponding to the action you would like to pursue - Split or Aggregate.

      Splitting a geographic unit will break the chosen unit down into its component units. In other words, splitting a region will return its component countries, while splitting a country will return its administrative units (states or provinces). State/province level is the finest resolution available, and cannot be split further. Please note that not all countries have sub-national splitting capability.

      Aggregating a collection of geographic units will combine the selected units into a single user-defined area. You must supply a name for aggregated geographic units. Note that to obtain this "aggregate" functionality on this website, the user should register first, by selecting the "create a user" option. Any aggregate units created by the user will then be saved for future sessions as well, and available whenever the user logs in again.

      You can use the "Manage selections" option to rename or delete any aggregates. The enable button allows you to turn on/off your aggregate choices.

      When you are done with all the splitting and aggregation operations, and have the final list of regions of your choice, please click and select the regions you would like data for. To select multiple geographic units, hold down the shift key while making your selections.

      When you have completed making your selections, proceed to step two by clicking on the button marked Proceed to Step 2.

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Questions about the page or data?
contact Navin Ramankutty

This database interface was written by Seth Price.