C-CAP Land Cover Atlas

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This online data viewer provides user-friendly access to regional land cover and land cover change information developed through NOAA’s Coastal Change Analysis Program (C-CAP). The Land Cover Atlas eliminates the need for desktop geographic information system software, or advanced technical expertise, by processing C-CAP data for the user and providing easy access to that distilled information. The tool summarizes general change trends (such as forest losses or new development) and can highlight specific changes of interest (salt marsh losses to open water, or evergreen forest losses to development, for instance).


  • Helps users to visually analyze and explore NOAA’s geospatial land cover data by county for areas of user interest
  • Allows users to query specific types of land cover changes for specific date ranges and potentially evaluate their amount and location in relation to past management practices
  • Creates summary reports and data tables to enhance communication and the decision-making process

Technical Specifications

  • A geographic information system (GIS) data visualization application such as ArcGIS Explorer is not necessary to view the land cover information, but it will be needed if any shapefiles are downloaded.
  • Adobe Reader (Download)

Data Requirements

No data are required from the user. The C-CAP Land Cover Atlas provides direct access to the regional land cover and change information developed through NOAA’s Coastal Change Analysis Program (C-CAP). This includes all currently available C-CAP data for the contiguous United States, which includes the following dates:

  • 1996
  • 2001
  • 2006

For access to these data layers, please visit the Coastal Change Analysis Program Regional Land Cover Digital Coast page.

Stories from the Field

Building Storm Ready and Resilient Communities in New Jersey
A research reserve adapted tools and maps to help communities build resilience.

Examining the Effects of Land Cover on Coral Reef Health in the Pacific Islands
C-CAP data helped examine the effects of land cover on coral reef health.

Expanding Land Cover Change Visualization to the Entire Nation
The C-CAP team helped the U.S. Geological Survey adapt the Land Cover Atlas to provide land cover change information at national and state scales.

Observing Landscape Changes at the Municipal Level in Wisconsin
Data and technical assistance from C-CAP helped Wisconsin municipalities examine local land cover change and apply that knowledge to future planning decisions.

Providing Easily Accessible Maps to Aid Ecosystem Restoration in the Gulf of Mexico
MarineCadastre.gov and Coastal Change Analysis Program land cover data are helping to inform ecosystem restoration planning.

Analyzing the Impacts of Hurricane Katrina on Forest Ecosystem Services
C-CAP data and additional land cover analysis highlight the loss of forests and related ecosystem services following Hurricane Katrina.

Assessing the Delaware River Basin Using Land Cover Information
C-CAP data were used in the assessment of water resource health and stability in the Delaware River basin.

Assessing the Impacts of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana
C-CAP data were used to evaluate the impacts of Hurricane Katrina in Breton Sound, Louisiana, and assess how this area had recovered almost one year later.