The ESA WorldCover product is provided free of charge, without restriction of use. For the full license information see the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Publications, models and data products that make use of these datasets must include proper acknowledgement, including citing the datasets and the journal article as in the following citation.


A publication on the product will be available in the next month.

If you are using the data as a layer in a published map, please include the following attribution text:

© ESA WorldCover project 2020 / Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2020) processed by ESA WorldCover consortium

To cite these maps as data source in your publication, please add: 

Zanaga, D., Van De Kerchove, R., De Keersmaecker, W., Souverijns, N., Brockmann, C., Quast, R., Wevers, J., Grosu, A., Paccini, A., Vergnaud, S., Cartus, O., Santoro, M., Fritz, S., Georgieva, I., Lesiv, M., Carter, S., Herold, M., Li, Linlin, Tsendbazar, N.E., Ramoino, F., Arino, O., 2021. ESA WorldCover 10 m 2020 v100. 

The ESA WorldCover 10 m 2020 V100 product is delivered in 3x3 degree tiles as Cloud Optimized GeoTIFFs (COGs) in EPSG:4326 projection (geographic latitude/longitude CRS). There are 2651 tiles  

Each tile contains 2 data layers:

  • Map: Land cover map with 11 classes, a total of approximately 117 GB
  • InputQuality: Three band GeoTIFF providing three per pixel quality indicators of the Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 input data 

The dataset can be accessed and/or downloaded in different ways (more info below).

Product User Manual

For a description of the ESA WorldCover product and details on how to use the data please see the Product User Manual.

Product Validation Report

The ESA WorldCover product has been independently validated by Wageningen University (statistical accuracy) and IIASA (spatial accuracy). The WorldCover 2020 v100 product reaches an overall accuracy of 74.4%. For more details please see the Product Validation Report.

Delivery Mechanisms


WorldCover viewer

The WorldCover viewer is a simple web-mapping tool that allows users to navigate the globe visualizing the ESA WorldCover product without installing any software. Furthermore, it also allows users to compare the map with Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 median composites for 2020, view land cover statistics per administrative area and provides the possibility to give feedback on the product. 

Google Earth Engine App

A dedicated Earth Engine App has been made which allows users to visualize the ESA WorldCover product and compare with Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 composites for 2020. 

Web Map Services

The ESA WorldCover product can also be used within other websites or GIS clients by 'Web Map Services'. These services provide a direct link to the cached images and are the best option if you simply want to map the data and produce cartographic products. They are not suitable for analysis as the data are represented only as RGB images. 



The dataset can be downloaded from

1) WorldCover viewer (login required)

  • Navigate to the WorldCover viewer 

  • Register for VITO’s Terrascope platform (see the link in the top right) 

  • Log in the WorldCover viewer with your Terrascope credentials 

  • From the 'Download' tab in the WorldCover viewer, zoom to an area of interest or draw a polygon to retrieve the list of tiles covering that area. The platform will zip the tiles and initiate the download. 


2) Terrascope with Python (login required)

Tiles can be downloaded programmatically using Python and the terracatalogueclient package. Please use your Terrascope credentials to download  (see 1)

pip install --extra-index-url terracatalogueclient 
  • Customize and run the following script: 

3) AWS S3 bucket

The products are hosted on the esa-worldcover S3 bucket. See for more info. To download all the products:

pip install awscli
  • run 
aws s3 sync s3://esa-worldcover/v100/2020/map/ /local/path --no-sign-request

(please modify /local/path to the desired download location) 
  • or alternatively use this python snippet to download a subset by country from AWS URLs

4) Zenodo

The dataset can be downloaded as a single tar.gz file from Zenodo


Please note that the Map data layer can be downloaded from all 4 options. The InputQuality layer is so far only available from options 1 or 2.



The WorldCover data can also be accessed and used in the Google Earth Engine platform - for more information see here. The WorldCover data is available with Asset ID ESA/WorldCover/v100  


Supporting files


The WorldCover map layer contains a colormap which will display the files in desktop GIS tools (such as QGIS or ArcGIS) using the symbology that has been used in the WorldCover viewer. However, these colormaps do not contain the labels for the values. These can be added to the files by using the symbology files for either QGIS or ArcGIS

  • To use the *.qml file in QGIS: Double click on the layer to open the Layer properties dialog. At the bottom of the dialog, click Style | Load Style… Navigate to the location of the *.qml file and click Open.  
  • To use the *.lyr file in ArcGIS: Double click on the layer to open the Layer properties dialog Click on the Symbology tab and change the rendered to Unique Values. Click ‘Yes’ when prompted to build an attribute table. Click on the Import Symbology button in the top right Navigate to the location of the *.lyr file and click Add 

Besides the standard WorldCover colormap also colormap files with a symbology used in the CCI land cover maps is provided for either QGIS or ArcGis.

There are no symbology files for the InputQuality layer. 


If you have any feedback on the ESA WorldCover product please contact us via the contact form.