I would be curious to know if there is GIS data of the historical land cover (land use) in Central Asia? It has to be finer grained than half a (spatial) degree like the DAAC dataset to be useful for my (socio-economic) analysis.
I suppose that newer datasets like FAO's GLCN maps are based on satellite pictures. Hence, I have no idea if it would be realistic to expect good resolution land cover data earlier than the 1990s, as orbital objects were still carrying dogs instead of GPS technology back then. I would be particularly interested in agriculture and grassland coverage in the *stan countries. :-P