Global Ecosystems

Global Ecosystems logo Data Download

All of the data generated by the global and continental efforts are available as pre-packaged downloadable zip files at


The ecosystems data for each of the continental efforts is available as continuous raster where each pixel value represents class codes which are described in the metadata for each dataset. To assign a color for each class, a downloaded data file needs to be saved as thematic (discrete) data, and then colors can be assigned using RGB values. The RGB values of the colors used in the data viewer (and various images and publications) are also available for download.

*All Metadata files are in XML format.
Content Accuracy and Completeness

Development of the continental and global ecosystems data was based on the premise that a biophysical stratification approach would generate reasonably robust and satisfactory results without a multi-year, multi-million dollar investment, making it suitable as an application under GEOSS. And although each dataset obtained and used for these efforts was considered to be "best available data" they were not always of the same quality or spatial resolution. Therefore these data should not be construed, in and of themselves, as "definitive" products since they could be improved in terms of strength of concept, quality of source data, and spatial resolution.

Usability of USGS Data and Information

We make every effort to provide and maintain accurate, complete, usable, and timely information on our Web sites. However, some USGS data and information accessed through these pages may, of necessity, be preliminary in nature and presented prior to final review and approval by the Director of the USGS. These data and information are provided with the understanding that they are not guaranteed to be correct or complete. Users are cautioned to consider carefully the provisional nature of these data and information before using them for decisions that concern personal or public safety or the conduct of business that involves substantial monetary or operational consequences. Conclusions drawn from, or actions undertaken on the basis of, such data and information are the sole responsibility of the user.

Although these data have been processed successfully on a computer system at the U.S. Geological Survey, no warranty expressed or implied is made regarding the display or utility of the data on any other system, or for general or scientific purposes, nor shall the act of distribution constitute any such warranty. The U.S. Geological Survey shall not be held liable for improper or incorrect use of the data described and/or contained herein.

Any use of trade, product or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U. S. Government.