European Digital Archive of Soil Maps (EuDASM); Metadata of The Soil Maps of Asia


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The European Digital Archive of Soil Maps (EuDASM) was initiated by the MOSES (Monitoring the State of European Soil) action team members of the Soil and Waste Unit (SWU) in the Institute of Environment and Sustainability (IES), located at the Joint Research Centre (JRC), Italy in collaboration with ISRIC – World Information Centre, Wageninegen, The Netherlands to establish a global digital inventory of the existing soil maps of the World. The EuDASM aims in developing a common platform to conserve the soil maps and the information underlying in them by adapting the modern technological tools and make it accessible to the global research communities (Selvaradjou et al., 2005).

The objective of the EuDASM initiative is to collect, organize and distribute the soil information existing in the soil maps (Soil map information and their subsequent proper metadata) to the global research communities. Primarily, this programme directs focus on the developing countries that are under serious threat of losing their soil maps either due to lack of proper support to maintain the existing storage and retrieval system or due to the decent of former institutions that were the former legalized holders of such the soil maps over the years. Especially, in the countries of African continent, parts of Asia and Latin America, which were the ancient colonized nations, had their soil map holding scattered all around the world. The knowledge of these countries on the information of the existence of their soil maps elsewhere that they have lost or unknown is meager. The international organizations like ISRIC, FAO etc. which had been making enormous efforts over many decades to collect and archive the soil maps especially in the developing countries, remains to be the kingpin at present to deliver such unknown information to the host itself and to the global public research communities. Nevertheless, EuDASM also covers archiving of pedo-maps pertaining to all developed nations. This programme functioning with a nature of pedoarchaeology narrates: the origin of the soil maps pointing back to the pre-world war; evolution of the soil survey and classification activities; systematic and schematic temporal development of soil information; the extensive application of soil map information in numerous interdisciplinary fields focusing on various global environmental studies (land degradation, soil erosion, soil compaction, agriculture, forestry, soil pollution, hydrology, etc.).

European Soil Information System (EUSIS)

The success of EUSIS stems through accomplishment of 1: 1 M Soil Geographical Database of Europe (SGDE) covering Europe (Jamagne et al., 2001), later extended to some non-EU nations (Mediterranean basin, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova etc.. (Montanarella, 2001; Stolbovoi et al., 2001). A new version of common Euro-Asian Soil Database was also accomplished in collaboration with Canada (Agriculture, Cananda) and the United States of America (USDA-NRCS) (Jones et al., 2005). The EUSIS, the only soil information system covering the entire European continent claims future focus on further extension to non-EU countries as per the directions of Directorate General of development (DG DEV) and DG RELEX. The pedoinformation archive (EuDASM) would assist the Directorate Generals to accomplish their needs through the system (EUSIS) to furnish adequate soil information of the developing nations assisting the framework of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

During the first phase of the archiving process, about 2030 maps pertaining to the soils of Africa were successfully added to the digital inventory (EuDASM). These maps are made available online for free access in the European Commission portal of the Soil and Waste Unit and also as a digital DVD-ROM version for distribution to all research

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