WorldCover products

Two versions of the WorldCover products are available:

  • WorldCover 2020 produced using v100 of the algorithm
  • WorldCover 2021 produced using v200 of the algorithm

Since the WorldCover maps for 2020 and 2021 were generated with different algorithm versions (v100 and v200, respectively), changes between the maps include both changes in real land cover and changes due to the used algorithms.

WorldCover Annual Composites

Since June 2023 you can also access the WorldCover annual composites, a set of yearly median and percentiles composites at 10m resolution, derived from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 archives, for the years 2020 and 2021.

The products can be visualized and explored using the WorldCover viewer. WMS layers are also available from the Terrascope WMS service. 

The products are available free of charge for all users on Terrascope and the AWS Open Data Registry. The Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 composites are accessible on the public AWS buckets (eu-central-1 region) s3://esa-worldcover-s1 and s3://esa-worldcover-s2 respectively. 
A grid of the products is provided here. This FlatGeobuf file can be opened remotely in QGIS or python and can be used to retrieve the S3 paths (or URL links) of the desired tiles. 

Each product is delivered as a series of Cloud-Optimized GeoTIFFs (COGs) in WSG84 projection in a grid of 1 by 1 degrees and at approximately 10m resolution, except for the SWIR composite which is provided at 20m resolution. (Actual resolution in degrees is provided in the metadata table). The Sentinel-2 composites were produced from the L2A archive. The GAMMA0 composite was produced by pre-processing the Sentinel-1 GRD products using GAMMA software. More information about the products generation and pre-processing steps is available in the WorldCover V200 Product User Manual.  

Product Bands Values
Nodata Offset Scale Type

Pixel Size


Size (TB/

RGBNIR 4 0 - 10000 0 0 0.0001 uint16 0.0000834 8.5 TB
SWIR 2 0 - 250 255 0 0.004 uint8 0.000167 0.6 TB
NDVI 3 0 - 250 25 -1 0.008 uint8 0.0000834 3.1 TB
GAMMA0 3 0 - 65535  0 -45 0.001 uint16 0.0000834 6.3 TB

Discover more in the blog post 'Simplify your processing with the WorldCover annual composites'.



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 reference publication on the products is in progress.

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

© ESA WorldCover project [year] / Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data ([year]) processed by ESA WorldCover consortium
With year either 2020 or 2021 for the WorldCover 2020 and 2021 map, respectively.


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

  • WorldCover 2020 v100

    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. 
  • WorldCover 2021 v200

    Zanaga, D., Van De Kerchove, R., Daems, D., De Keersmaecker, W., Brockmann, C., Kirches, G., Wevers, J., Cartus, O., Santoro, M., Fritz, S., Lesiv, M., Herold, M., Tsendbazar, N.E., Xu, P., Ramoino, F., Arino, O., 2022. ESA WorldCover 10 m 2021 v200.

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 for WorldCover 2020 v100 and WorldCover 2021 v200.

Product Validation Report

The ESA WorldCover product has been independently validated by Wageningen University (statistical accuracy) and IIASA (spatial accuracy).

Delivery Mechanisms


WorldCover viewer

The WorldCover viewer is a simple web-mapping tool that allows users to navigate the globe visualizing the ESA WorldCover products without installing any software. Furthermore, it also allows users to compare the map with Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 median composites for 2020 and 2021, 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 products and compare with Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 composites.

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 ESA WorldCover products are 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.


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/v200/2021/map /local/path --no-sign-request 
for WorldCover 2021 v200 


aws s3 sync s3://esa-worldcover/v100/2020/map /local/path --no-sign-request 
for WorldCover 2020 v100 

(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

    5) ESA download

    Similar as for zenodo,  the 2020 and 2021 dataset can be downloaded as 18 60x60 degree macro tiles:, whereby each macro tile contains a zipped version of all covered 3x3 degree tiles.


    Please note that the Map data layer can be downloaded from all 5 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 2020 v100 data is available with Asset ID ESA/WorldCover/v100  while WorldCover 2021 v200 is available with Asset ID ESA/WorldCover/v200


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.