European Soil Database

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The European Soil Database is the main source of soil information from which most other data information and services are derived Geographic_information_system. For instance, the European Soil Database v2 Raster Archive contains raster (grid) data files with cell sizes of 10km x 10km for a large number of soil related parameters. Each grid is aligned with the INSPIRE reference grid recommended in the 1st Workshop on European Reference Grids. These rasters are in the public domain and allow expert users to use the data for instance to run soil-, water- and air related models. The 10km x 10km grids fit with ideas from INSPIRE to develop “nested” systems for re-porting and updating European soil data at different scales, according to a hierarchy of grids with a com-mon point of origin and standardized location and size of grid cells. The European Soil Database may e downloaded from the European Soil Data Center (ESDAC).

The soil raster data files are accompanied by as many static soil maps (PDF Format, A3), which allow the user to have a quick overview of the distribution of soil characteristics in a spatial way. One of the main outputs of the ESBN has been a series of documents and research reports. All these are now on-line for public download.

Additionally, a number of mapping services has been developed in order to allow the general public to navigate and query soil data. The SOMIS (SOil Map Internet Service) is a web-based application for the navigation of ESDB related data through a map interface. This map service allows interaction through soil parameter selection and map operations such as zooming and panning. The data can be queried and identified; advanced printing capabilities are provided. According to INSPIRE principles, this application has been created and extended so that it is possible to combine layers of maps located in different map servers all around the World, based on International Web Map Service (WMS) standards and specifications from the Open GIS Consortium, as also laid down in the INSPIRE Guidelines, in order to attain the maximum interoperability of data and services.

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