[Keyword='Subject Disciplines > Soil Mapping']
FAO-UNESCO SOIL MAP OF THE WORLD FOR ASIA; GRID VERSIONEntry ID: GNVd0054_104
Abstract: UNEP/GRID Documentation Summary for Data Set:
FAO-Unesco Soil Map of the World; UNEP/GRID 1986 Version.
The Global Soils database resident at UNEP/GRID was digitized by the
ESRI Corporation in Redlands, California (USA) from the 1974
FAO-Unesco Soil Map of the World at 1:5,000,000 scale. The legend of
the Soil Map of the World comprises an estimated 5000 different
mapping units, consisting of ... soil units or associations thereof,
occurring within the limits of a mappable physiographic unit (Africa
alone in three map sheets has a total of 1509 map units). The number
of soil unit classes which compose the FAO-Unesco Soil Map of the
World legend is 106. In the UNEP/GRID version, this has been
increased to 129 to allow the identification of soils where
insufficient information existed to specify the dominant soil unit.*
Instead, the dominant soil GROUP is identified (e.g., 'Acrisols' when
the dominant Acrisols UNIT is not known). When a map unit is not
homogeneous, it is composed of a dominant soil and associated soils,
with the latter covering at least 20 per cent of a given area.
Important soils covering less than 20 per cent of a given area are
added as inclusions.
The original FAO-Unesco Soil Map of the World, published in a total of
19 map sheets (including the legend), was in the Bipolar Conic
Conformal Projection for the Western Hemisphere, and in the Miller
Oblated Stereo- graphic Projection for the Eastern Hemisphere. In
order to have a global digital data set that was consistent and
uniform, the vector-based data files were first rasterized and then
re-projected at GRID-Geneva into the Plate Carree or Simple
Cylindrical Projection (a particular form of the Equirectangular).
The original digitized polygon vertices in table coordinates were
rasterized and georeferenced using the ELAS (NASA's Earth Resources
Laboratory Applications Software) programs on a Perkin- Elmer 3241
minicomputer, with an output cell (pixel) size of 30 seconds
latitude/longitude spatial resolution (approx. 925 meters at Equator),
or 0.86 square kilometers/pixel. The resulting database was also
generalized (resampled) to two minutes latitude/longitude resolution
(approximately 3.7 km. on a side), yielding an output cell size of
13.7 square kilometers. This is the spatial resolution which
UNEP/GRID ( - Geneva) normally recommends to users and most frequently
The original FAO-Unesco Soil Map of the World included information
on texture, slope and phase, but separate data layers depicting
these variables have not been developed by UNEP/GRID.
The proper reference or original source document for this data set
is as follows: "FAO-Unesco Soil Map of the World, 1:5000000, ten
volumes, Unesco-Paris 1974."
The FAO-Unesco Soil Map of the World data file consists of 5400 lines
by 10800 elements, with an origin of 180 degrees West longitude and 90
degrees north latitude. At two minutes lat./long. spatial resolution,
(approx. 3.67 km. or 30 per degree), the data file covers the entire
globe to 180 degrees East and 90 degrees south, and comprises 58.32
* - There are 106 original Soil Units, and 27 ("Great") Soil Groups;
of these, 23 were composed of various soil units and four had ONLY
the Group name designations. Therefore, it was only necessary to
add 23 new classes to the UNEP/GRID version legend, for 129 in total
(106 + 23 = 129). There are three additional categories in the
GRID legend for Rock, Salt and Water, or 132 classes altogether.
(Click for Interactive Map)
Data Set Citation
Online Resource: http://geonetwork.grid.unep.ch/geonetwork/srv/en/main.home
Access Constraints Public
Distribution Media: FTP
Distribution Size: Approx 484 MB per file
Distribution Format: HDF-EOS
KNMI P.O.Box 201
City: De Bilt
Province or State: AE
Postal Code: 3730
Role: TECHNICAL CONTACT
Role: DIF AUTHOR
Email: Suraiya.Ahmad at nasa.gov
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Code 610.2
Province or State: MD
Postal Code: 20771
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Transactions, American Geophysical Union 85 , Number 18, 4 May
Extended Metadata Properties
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Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2007-08-03
Last DIF Revision Date: 2013-04-29