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For the first time, the soils of all the European countries, form West to East, are described according to a common methodology and soil classification system. This facilitates the exchange of information and makes agro-technology transfer possible.
The creation of the Soil Geographical Database for the whole of Europe, at 1:1 000 000 scale, is a great achievement. To complete the database, the European Soil Bureau, based at the Joint Research Centre ( in Ispra (Italy), built up a network of soil scientists, from all over the continent, who readily invested considerable amounts of time and energy.
The database is structured from Soil Typological Units (STU) defined precisely by variables describing the nature and properties of soils: for example, texture, water regime, etc. These STU are grouped into Soil Mapping Units (SMU) which constitute associations of soils. The SMU are delineated at a scale of 1:1 000 000. The information about the soils is based on a data dictionary that contains the precise definition of each variable.
The Soil Geographical Database of Europe is complemented by a Soil Profile Analytical Database containing the data for the principal soil types found in the countries of Europe. A knowledge base in the form of Pedotransfer Rules is also supplied for the estimation of variables not available directly from the geographic database: for example, organic matter content, density, available water content. Together these databases form the European Soil Database v. 1.0.

Additional information

Authors: No Author stated, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 20972 EN (2004), CD-ROM, Euro: 2000
Availability: EUR-OP reference: LB-NA-19-945-EN-Z Available from EUR-OP sales agents URL:
ISBN: ISBN: 92-894-1947-4
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