From the barren Sahara to lush jungles, the first high-resolution map classifying land cover types on the entire African continent has been released. The map was created using a year's worth of data from the Sentinel-2A satellite.
Land-cover mapping breaks down the different types of material on Earth's surface. This information is important for understanding changes in land use, modelling climate change extent and impacts, conserving biodiversity and managing natural resource
The map released this week comprises 180 000 Sentinel-2A images representing 90 terrabytes captured between December 2015 and December 2016. Considering the size of the map – about six gigabytes – a web interface was developed to visualise the data.