Land and Water Digital Media Series

Soil and Terrain Database for Latin America and the Carribean - 1:5 Million scale

FAO, Land and Water Digital Media Series n5,
December 1998,
ISBN 92-5-104170-9
Price: US$40.

Up till now the major source of geo-referenced soil data of Latin America and the Carribean at a scale of 1:5 Million was the FAO/UNESCO Soil Map of the World. Since the publication of the South and Cental America map sheets in the nineteen seventies, a wealth of new soil information has become available at national level in nearly every country of the region. The present publication taps this new material and at the same time uses the principles of the soil and terrain database (SOTER) to store and link soil information.
The principles of a soil and terrain database (SOTER) were developed at the International Soil Reference and Information Centre (ISRIC) on intiative of the International Union of Soil Science (IUSS, formerly ISSS) with support from UNEP, and later endorsed by FAO as the preferred methodology to store and update soil and terrain information at a global level. These principles are applied here to inventory the land resources in Latin America and the Carribean.
This CD ROM contains information on 1490 different SOTER mapping units, with more than 2000 terrain elements, while more than 1800 soil profiles with different measured attributes are present in the database.
Geographical information on mapping units is stored in Arc/Info export format. The attribute information is stored in a relational database system. Data on slope, relief intensity, major landform , general lithology , surface rockiness, rootable depth, soil classification in the FAO Revised Legend and in Soil Taxonomy, soil colour, texture, pH and Organic Carbon content are given for most of the soil profiles.
In addition a viewer programme, developed by ISRIC, that runs under Windows (3.1 or 95) is included that enables one to display thematic maps and search attribute data for non-GIS users.
The whole activity of collecting, correlating and storing the soil data took about 4 years and was made possible by financial contributions of UNEP, AGL's regular programme, CIP and ISRIC's internal funds. Base data and technical information were provided by a large number of national soil institutes in the region.

This CD-ROM contains information on the soil and terrain resources of Latin America and the Carribean compiled according to the soil and terrain database methodology (SOTER). Information is stored in a relational database and in Arc/Info export format. A GIS independent viewer programme allows access to all major information contained in the CD-ROM.

For technical information please contact :
Chief, Land and Plant Nutrition Management Service - AGLL
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
0100 Rome Italy

Copies of this CD-ROM can be ordered from :
FAO, Sales and Marketing Group
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
0100 Rome Italy
Fax : +39 06 5705 3360 - E-mail: