The historical roots of land-cover mapping reside in the early history of aerial photography and applications spanning forestry, agriculture, urban planning, and water-resources management. Considering this long span of mapping, any attempt to provide an exhaustive treatment of the full history of land-cover mapping will necessarily be incomplete. For that reason, this chapter on the history of land-cover mapping emphasizes the “modern” era of land-cover mapping, which has been arbitrarily de‡ned to begin in the early 1970s. This was when civil space-based remote sensing came of age, and intellectual efforts focused on strategies for using new observations in understanding the characteristics of, and the changes in, land use and land cover.