The IIASA-LUC Project Georeferenced Database of Russia. Volumes 1 and 2: Soil and Terrain Digital Database (SOTER)

Stolbovoi, V., Fischer, G., Sheremet, B.V., & Savin, I.Y. (1998). The IIASA-LUC Project Georeferenced Database of Russia. Volumes 1 and 2: Soil and Terrain Digital Database (SOTER). IIASA Interim Report. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: IR-98-113

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The IIASA-LUC georeferenced database for the former U.S.S.R. was created within the framework of the project "Modeling Land Use and Land Cover Changes in Europe and Northern Asia" (LUC). For Russia, essential information on relief, soil, vegetation, land cover and use, etc., for routine environmental analysis was lacking when the LUC project started developing the database. In addition, the environmental data on the former U.S.S.R. which were available occurred in formats (papers, tables,etc.) that in general could not be used with modern information technology, and in particular in model building. In creating the LUC project database, we have established a threefold task: (1) to obtain the relevant information for the LUC project modeling excercises; (2) to develop data which is applicable to modern information technology; (3) to contribute a series of digital databases which could be applied for a number of other specific analyses by the national and international scientific community.

In defining the tasks it was agreed to create a set of digital databases which could be handled by geographic information systems (GIS). The full set of georeferenced digital databases was combined into the LUC project's GIS, using ARC/INFO. However, each individual item (physiography, soil, vegetation, etc.) was created as a separate digital database, allowing each item to be used independently, according to user's needs.

The complete set of the unique georeferenced digital databases for the territory of the former U.S.S.R. is described in the IIASA/LUC volumes: Volume 1 -- Physiography (landforms, slope conditions, elevations); Volume 2 -- Soil; Volume 3 -- Soil Degradation Status (Russia); Volume 4 -- Vegetation; Volume 5 -- Land Categories; Volume 6 -- Agricultural regionalization.

The main objective of the research summarized in this report was to compile, fully correlate, and update the FAO Soil Map of the World for the territory of Russia. It originated from several discussions with Dr. W. Sombroek (FAO), R. Brinkman (FAO), R. Oldeman (ISRIC) which took place at the International Soil Reference Information Center (ISRIC) in 1988-1989. These discussions were initiated through research being carried out by the project on Global Assessment of Human-Induced Soil Degredation (UNEP/ISRIC, 1990) which urgently required reliable soil information on Russia. It was recognized that several other environment related activities were facing a similar problem.

In response to the discussions, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) launched a project in 1993. According to the Letter of Agreement (CMT 73197) signed by the FAO and Dokuchaev Soil Institute, the project was aimed at preparing "a Soil map of Russia at 1:5 million scale using the Revised Legend of the Soil Map of the World (1988) and corresponding database reflecting the information contained in the map of the same region." The Agreement defined six layers of information to be distinguished for digitizing: (1) Soil mapping unit boundaries; (2) Topographic lines (rivers, contour lines and coastal line); (3) Geographical coordinates (longitude, latitude); (4) Physiographic (landform) units; (5) Graticule of the map; (6) Province boundaries.

In 1994, the requested products were completed and transferred to the FAO for digitizing by scanning. At that time, however, the compilation of a digital database could not be completed at FAO.

In 1995 all materials were passed to the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) with the objective to complete the database. Considerable efforts by the GIS group of the project "Modeling Land Use and Land Cover Changes in Europe and Northers Asia" at IIASA were put into checking, correcting, and linking the digital data, and making them mutually consistent.

Completion of the digital database at IIASA, the first product of this kind to be published on the territory of Russia, has provided a more comprehensive understanding of the territory and its environment. Using modern GIS techniques, this knowledge is now readily available to any scientific or applied analyses of the land resources and environment of Russia.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Interim Report)
Research Programs: Modeling Land-Use and Land-Cover Changes (LUC)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:10
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:16

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