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Global Ideas

Soil data from around the world

Europe isn’t alone: several international organizations study the state of soil around the world

A bird’s eye view of asparagus plants

Soil data helps harvest plants

The European Soil Data Centre (ESDAC) isn’t just interested in collecting information within EU borders. In fact, Switzerland, Egypt, Turkey and the Caucasus have also been included in studies, and a ground atlas on Africa is in the works.

But ESDAC isn’t the only authority studying soil. In 1961, both the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) decided to come up with the “Map of World Soil Resources.” The latest edition was published by the FAO in 1990.

The Harmonized World Soil Database combines more than 15,000 soil maps from various regions and countries around the world. Founded in 1964, another organization called the ISRIC World Soil Information has been designated a world data center by the International Council for Science (ICSU).

And the International Union of Soil Sciences hosts soil researchers from across the globe.