USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service has launched CropScape, a new cropland exploring service, which provides data users access to a variety of new resources and information, including the 2010 cropland data layer. This new service offers advanced tools such as interactive visualization, Web-based data dissemination and geospatial queries and automated data delivery to systems such as Google Earth.
Director of Research and Development for NASS, Mark Harris, says CropScape delivers data visualization tools directly into the hands of the agricultural community without the need for specialized expertise, GIS software or high-end computers. According to Harris this information can be used for addressing issues related to agricultural sustainability, land cover monitoring, biodiversity and extreme events such as flooding, drought and hail storm assessment.
NASS produced the 2010 CDL using satellite image observations at 30-meter or 0.22 acres per pixel resolution and collected from the Resourcesat-1 Advanced Wide Field Sensor and Landsat Thematic Mapper. The collection of images was categorized using on-the-ground farm information including field location, crop type, elevation, tree canopy and urban infrastructure. All prior CDL products dating back to 1997 are also hosted by CropScape.