We reconstructed data sets of historical land cover maps for about 200 years. The paper describing the method and data sets was published in 2012 (Meiyappan and Jain, 2012).
These datasets describe annual historical changes in land cover and underlying land-use conversions at 0.5 °x0.5 ° resolution. Three distinct estimates of land-cover change and land-use conversions were reconstructed using three different datasets on cropland and pastureland. The method of reconstruction utilized multiple years of MODIS land cover data as boundary conditions to implicitly account for unaccounted land-cover change. The land-cover maps produced for recent years are consistent with MODIS satellite estimates. The three estimates cover the period 1770-2010. The annual land-cover maps contain the area (as percentage of grid cell area) of 28 land-cover types within each 0.5x0.5 degree grid cell. The annual land-use conversion maps contain the area transitioned (as percentage of grid cell area) for each of the 92 unique conversions possible.