Open-ECOCLIMAP is available since the 30 June 2014.

The ECOCLIMAP programme is a dual database at 1 km resolution that includes an ecosystem classification and a coherent set of land surface parameters that are primarily mandatory in meteorological modelling (notably leaf area index and albedo). Hence, the aim of this innovative physiography is to enhance the quality of initialisation and impose some surface attributes within the scope of weather forecasting and climate related studies.

ECOCLIMAP-I is a global database that can be used to initialize the soil–vegetation–atmosphere transfer schemes (SVATs) in meteorological and climate models (at all horizontal scales). The database supports the “tile” approach, which is utilized by an increasing number of SVATs. Two hundred and fifteen ecosystems representing areas of homogeneous vegetation are derived by combining existing land cover maps and climate maps, in addition to using Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) satellite data. Then, all surface parameters are derived for each of these ecosystems using lookup tables with the annual cycle of the leaf area index (LAI) being constrained by the AVHRR information. The resulting LAI is validated against a large amount of in situ ground observations, and it is also compared to LAI derived from the International Satellite Land Surface Climatology Project (ISLSCP-2) database and the Polarization and Directionality of the Earth's Reflectance (POLDER) satellite.

ECOCLIMAP-II is an improvement of ECOCLIMAP-I over Europe. The strategy for implementing ECOCLIMAP-II is to depart from prevalent land cover products such as CLC2000 (Corine Land Cover) and GLC2000 (Global Land Cover) by splitting existing classes into new classes that possess a better regional character by virtue of the climatic environment (latitude, proximity to the sea, topography). The leaf area index (LAI) from MODIS and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) from SPOT/Vegetation (a global monitoring system of vegetation) yield the two proxy variables that were considered here in order to perform a multi-year trimmed analysis between 1999 and 2005 using the K-means method. Further, meteorological applications require each land cover type to appear as a partition of fractions of 4 main surface types or tiles (nature, water bodies, sea, urban areas) and, inside the nature tile, fractions of 12 plant functional types (PFTs) representing generic vegetation types – principally broadleaf forest, needleleaf forest, C3 and C4 crops, grassland and bare land – as incorporated by the SVAT model ISBA (Interactions Surface Biosphere Atmosphere) developed at Météo France.

The license is a CECIL-C license (a French equivalent to the L-GPL license).


The code and data can be downloaded in the Files section. Note that you will need 3 Go to install it on your computer.
The Open-ECOCLIMAP_V1 comes with ECOCLIMAP-I version 1.5 and ECOCLIMAP-II v2.2 and soil texture from FAO.

The README file of the V1 version

Scientific references for ECOCLIMAP :

Faroux, S., Kaptué Tchuenté, A. T., Roujean, J.-L., Masson, V., Martin, E.,
and Le Moigne, P.: ECOCLIMAP-II/Europe: a twofold database of ecosystems
and surface parameters at 1 km resolution based on satellite information
for use in land surface, meteorological and climate models, Geosci. Model Dev.,
6, 563-582, doi:10.5194/gmd-6-563-2013, 2013.

Masson V., Champeaux J.-L., Chauvin F., Meriguet C., and Lacaze R.:
A Global Database of Land Surface Parameters at 1-km Resolution in
Meteorological and Climate Models, J. Clim., 16,1261-1282, 2003.