European Digital Archive of Soil Maps (EuDASM); Volume 1: Soil Maps of Africa


Courtesy of

Soils are vital for the existence of mankind. It acts as medium to produce food and fiber, it regulates water storage and filtering, and provides raw material for construction. The oldest recorded information on soil distribution dates back around 7000 years: the famous Soil Altar in Beijing (China). More systematically, information has been collected since the 19th century, starting in Europe. Methodical collection spread in the 20th century around the globe, producing national soil inventories of all most any country and more detailed surveys for regional and local development. The original information was stored mostly in reports and soil maps.

Of late, technological advancements permit to store, retrieve and distribute soil information more effectively and durable than the traditional paper formats. These developments necessitate safeguarding the older information and making it accessible through new means. The initiative taken by JRC/IES at Ispra (Italy) in cooperation with ISRIC - World Soil Information in Wageningen (the Netherlands) - to digitize soil map archives in order to preserve the analogue data - is a start to create a European archive of soil and soil-related maps with global coverage (the European Digital Archive on the Soil Maps – EuDASM). Such an archive will be of particular benefit to the developing world where much soil information is threatened to be lost through deterioration, and to international conventions dealing with wise use of the world’s biophysical resources.

Organisations wishing to join this initiative and add their archives to EuDASM are encouraged to do so.

Customer comments

No comments were found for European Digital Archive of Soil Maps (EuDASM); Volume 1: Soil Maps of Africa. Be the first to comment!