Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Internet-Based Soil Survey Database Management System.

Bryan D. Mayhan, Jennifer L. Goyne, and Garry M. Gunder. Center for Agricultural, Resource and Environmental Systems, 130 Mumford Hall, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211

Historically, pedologists, armed with shovel, map, color book, and notepad, conducted their work in relative isolation using low-tech methods.  High-tech tools including computers, GIS, and pedon entry and analysis programs are now available to the field pedologist.  Simultaneously, their method of survey has evolved into the Major Land Resource Area (MLRA) concept in which the pedologist works across county and state boundaries with other pedologists in adjoining MLRA offices.  Desktop systems do not adequately address data entry, analysis, and dissemination needs for the new type of soil survey office.  The Missouri Cooperative Soil Survey website (MCSS) is the central data communication facility for the Missouri soil survey that helps multiple soil survey offices coordinate efforts, facilitate data entry, analysis, and retrieval, and increase individual productivity through a set of online tools.  Through MCSS, soil survey data is delivered to the public in a user-friendly format along with hundreds of other data and image layers and query and analysis tools through the Missouri Map Room.  These tools not only increase the productivity and efficiency for the pedologist, they also provides an educational tool for the general public to achieve a better understanding of the complex world of soils.