World Soil Survey Archive and Catalogue

Welcome to WOSSAC

Programme of Work

The WOSSAC programme of work to date has included the following:

  1. Contact with organisations and individuals regarding report holdings as part of an intensive campaign to identify all soil reports and maps that have been made, and to meet with all principal stakeholders;
  2. Organise the current holdings of reports, surveys and maps. This involves determining methods of cataloguing and archiving to be used and ensuring that they are as consistent with other catalogues, collections and international methodologies as possible. It will be necessary to decide how to link with catalogues and archives of reports and maps already existing in Company and National libraries;
  3. Establish an on-line database and catalogue of all known surveys as well as a physical catalogue and project web presence;
  4. Establish a mechanism for visitors to the collection to consult reports and maps and publish the availability of this service as widely as possible.

ReportWork now underway focusses upon identifying the best means to promote the widest use of and access to the WOSSAC archive. A number of promising technical opportunities present to ensure the collection is revealed to the widest audience. One such example is the prototype placement of WOSSAC materials within the phenomenal 'Google Earth' project (see the News section), and investigations as to using OGC-compliant web-based services such as WMS/WFS to reveal the actual data contents of the archive. There are tens of thousands of maps from all over the world and thousands again of the reports associated with the soil surveys conducted. The process therefore of digitising and scanning the collection remains a major and significant task that will require significant funding. Securing such funding must therefore represent an important next step for the WOSSAC project to enable this next important phase in the ongoing development of the archive. See here for details as to how to support the Wossac project.

Another important focus looking forward will be the task of aligning the WOSSAC collection to other major significant and important collections of soil and soil-related surveys worldwide, such as those of EUDASM, ISRIC, IRD, FAO and USDA.