Metadata on Soil Maps of Africa Soil Maps of Africa, encompassing the Africa map collection of ISRIC

  • View

  • Download

Embed Size (px)

Text of Metadata on Soil Maps of Africa Soil Maps of Africa, encompassing the Africa map collection of ISRIC


    (EuDASM )


    Senthil-Kumar Selvaradjou Luca Montanarella Otto Spaargaren

    David Dent

    EUR 21657 EN 2005




    Senthil-Kumar Selvaradjou, Luca Montanarella, Otto Spaargaren and David Dent

    EUR 21657 EN 2005

  • This document may be cited as follows:

    Selvaradjou, S-K., L. Montanarella, O. Spaargaren and D. Dent, (2005). European Digital Archive of Soil Maps (EuDASM) - Soil Maps of Africa. EUR 21657 EN, 386 pp.



    Senthil-Kumar Selvaradjou1, Luca Montanarella1, Otto Spaargaren2 and David Dent2

    1 Institute of Environment & Sustainability, Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italy

    2 ISRIC – World Soil Information, Wageningen, the Netherlands

    EUR 21657 EN 2005

  • MISSION OF THE INSTITUTE FOR ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY The mission of the Institute of Environment and Sustainability is to provide scientific and technical support to EU strategies for the protection of the environment and sustainable development. Employing an integrated approach to the investigation of air, water and soil contaminants, its goals are sustainable management of water resources, protection and maintenance of drinking waters, good functioning of aquatic ecosystems and good ecological quality of surface waters.


    Neither the European Commission nor any person acting on behalf of the Commission is responsible for

    the use, which might be made of the following information.

    A great deal of additional information on the European Union is available on the Internet. It can be accessed through the Europa server


    EUR 21657 EN  European Communities, 2005

    Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged Printed in Italy

  • Preface Soil is our life-support system. It delivers food and fresh water; it recycles wastes; we build on it and with it; and it’s not all the same, either globally or locally. Decision makers need good baseline information about soils and land – for development planning, avoidance of natural hazards, investment, and management. The oldest recorded soil information, the Soil Altar in Beijing, dates back 7000 years; from the early 19th century, information was collected systematically from around the globe and stored as paper maps and reports. This information is invaluable but, often, difficult to access, costly to reproduce, and always at risk from natural and man-made calamities. Technological advances now enable us to store, retrieve and distribute information more effectively through electronic digital media. 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 is the beginning of a European Digital Archive of Soil Maps (EuDASM) with global coverage. The archive will be freely accessible at cost of handling and, eventually, on line. This will be of immediate value to the developing world, where much soil information is threatened by deterioration and loss of paper documents, and to international conventions dealing with the wise use of the world’s natural resources. Soil Maps of Africa, encompassing the Africa map collection of ISRIC – World Soil Information is a start, a baseline. We appeal to other organizations that hold archives that that can contribute additional material to EuDSM to join this initiative, making the archive more comprehensive and securing the information for the future.

    DAVID DENT LUCA MONTANARELLA Director Action Leader, MOSES ISRIC – World Soil Information European Commission Joint Research Centre


    Title Page No.


    “EUDASM” 2




    Details of the digital soil maps of Africa

    African continental maps 7 Eastern part of Africa 23 Northern part of Africa 29 Southern part of Africa 33 Western part of Africa 37 Algeria 41 Angola 47 Benin 49 Botswana 53 Burkina Faso 61 Burundi 69 Cameroon 71 Cape Verde 83 Chad 85 Comoros island 99 Congo DR and Congo PR 101 Côte d’Ivoire 105 Egypt 113 Ethiopia 127 Gabon 135 Gambia 139 Ghana 143 Guinea 155 Kenya 161 Lesotho 219 Liberia 223 Libya 225 Madagascar 229 Malawi 237 Mali 239 Mauritania 245 Mauritius 249 Morocco 251 Mozambique 255 Namibia 261 Niger 263 Nigeria 265 Reunion 297

  • CONTENTS (continued…)

    Title Page No.

    Rwanda 299 Senegal 301 Seychelles 305 Sierra Leone 307 Somalia 311 South Africa 315 Sudan 325 Swaziland 331 Tanzania 335 Togo 351 Tunisia 359 Uganda 363 Zambia 365 Zimbabwe 375


  • 1

    INTRODUCTION ‘Data and information are essential building blocks of science. Many types of data, including extant historical data which have newly appreciated scientific importance for the analysis of changes over time, are not being used for research because they are not available in digital formats’ (International Council for Science, 2004).

    Maps made in the past remain the backbone for present and future studies. Soil maps are resources for researchers in many fields apart from soil science; they are the source of databases, related to and dependent on soils, used to monitor land degradation and improvement, changes in land use and water resources, and to predict climatic and other environmental changes.

    Less and less new, fundamental soil data are being produced these days; the older data and information are being pumped around more and more. Therefore it is vital to preserve the older data (in this case maps) as they are building blocks of most current soil information. The user of present-day, derived information should have easy access to

    the source material, if only to assess the reliability of the derived material.

    But, in many countries, soil maps are being lost because of lack of proper attention to storage and retrieval, often compounded by a loss of institutions that have been responsible for the acquisition and maintenance of soil and land resources data. This problem is acute in developing and transitional countries where valuable data, currently only available on paper, must be digitized before they are lost forever.

    In Africa, though not only in Africa, this type of information is rapidly being lost; much is already lost. The digitization of the African maps will enable the African countries to recover and re-use their soil information.

    Translation of soil information from paper maps and reports into digital format is a prerequisite of the next step - the development of a digital information system on soil and terrain that may be drawn upon for manifold applications.

  • 2


    For some 40 years, ISRIC – World Soil Information has been providing significant support to the international science community by collecting and archiving regional-, national- and global-scale maps of soils and land resources.

    Despite effective procedures for storage and maintenance, most organizations involved in archiving struggle to arrest the deterioration of paper maps and the quality of information they contain. Deterioration occurs for various reasons that include handling, transport, exposure to light, moisture and atmospheric pollution.

    Realizing the need to conserve the information on existing maps, which underpin the fast-developing thematic mapping strategies to support soil protection, the Institute of Environment and Sustainability (IES) in the European Commission (Italy) and ISRIC – World Soil Information initiated the European Digital Archive of Soil Maps (EuDASM). The immediate objective is to transfer soil information into digital format, with the maximum resolution possible, to preserve the information of paper maps that are vulnerable to deterioration.

    Beyond data rescue, the archive is expected to develop into a common platform for storing soil maps from around the world and making the information readily accessible. Organisations that maintain soil map archives in paper form, and wishing to conserve this information by transferring it into digital form, are invited to join the EuDASM programme.

    Figure 1: Stored paper soil maps

    Figure 2: Soil maps of Africa in preparation for digital


    The initiative for this programme was taken by Dr Luca Montanarella of the European Joint Research Centre and Dr Otto Spaargaren of ISRIC – World Soil Information in October 2004. The formulation of digital conversion was carried out by Dr Senthil-Kumar Selvaradjou. Maps of dif