• History of soil geography in the context of scale

    Categories of cartographic scale correspond to the selection of environmental soil predictors used to initially create historical soil maps. Paradigm shifts in soil mapping and classification can be best explained by not only their correlation to historical improvements in scientific understanding, but also by differences in purpose for mapping, and due to advancements in geographic technology. Although the hierarchy of phenomena scales observed in this study is generally known in pedology today, it also represents a new view on the evolution of soil science.

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  • Soil mapping, classification, and pedologic modeling: History and future directions

    Soil mapping, classification, and pedologic modelling have been important drivers in the advancement of our understanding of soil. Advancement in one of these highly interrelated areas tend to lead to corresponding advances in the others. Traditionally, soil maps have been desirable for purposes of land valuation, agronomic planning, and even in military operations. The expansion of the use of soil knowledge to address issues beyond agronomic production, such as land use planning, environmental concerns, energy security, water security, and human health, to name a few, requires new ways to communicate what we know about the soils we map as well as bringing forth research questions that were not widely considered in earlier soils studies.

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  • Productivity Index Grid (conterminous U.S.)

    This raster describes the inherent, soil productivity of the lower 48 states, as determined by the ordinally based Natural Soil Productivity Index (PI). The PI uses family-level Soil Taxonomy information, i.e., interpretations of taxonomic features or properties that tend to be associated with natural low or high soil productivity, to rank soils from 0 (least productive) to 19 (most productive).

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  • Drainage Index Grid (conterminous U.S.)

    This raster contains the natural, inherent, soil wetness of the lower 48 states, as determined by the ordinally based Natural Soil Drainage Index (DI). The DI is intended to reflect the amount of water that a soil can supply to growing plants under natural conditions. It ranges from 0 for the very driest soils and exposed bedrock, to 99 for areas of open water.

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  • The historical role of base maps in soil geography

    This paper reviews the historical development of base maps used for soil mapping, and evaluates the dependence of soil mapping on base maps. Formerly, as a reference for spatial position, paper base maps controlled the cartographic scale of soil maps. However, this relationship is no longer true in geographic information systems. Today, as parameters for digital soil maps, base maps constitute the library of predictive variables and constrain the supported resolution of the soil map.

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  • The Soil Productivity Index (2012 AAG Conference)

    This poster introduces a new, ordinally based, Soil Productivity Index (PI). The demonstration map shows the PI for the lower 48 states. The PI uses family-level Soil Taxonomy information, i.e., interpretations of taxonomic features or properties that tend to be associated with natural low or high soil productivity, to rank soils from 0 (least productive) to 19 (most productive). The index has wide application, because, unlike competing indexes, it does not require copious amounts of soil data, e.g., pH, organic matter, or CEC, in its derivation.

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  • The Soil Productivity and Drainage Indexes (2011 NCSS Conference)

    This poster presents the Soil Drainage Index (DI) and introduces a new, Soil Productivity Index (PI). These indexes are taxonomically-based, ordinal estimates of relative soil properties and are shown mapped side-by-side for the lower 48 states. The DI is intended to reflect the amount of water that a soil can supply to growing plants under natural conditions. The PI uses interpretations of taxonomic features or properties that tend to be associated with naturally low or high soil productivity to rank soils from 0 (least productive) to 19 (most productive).

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  • Using Soil Surveys to Delineate Quaternary Parent Materials and Landforms (2010 Binghamton Geomorphology Symposium)

    We sought to create the best possible Quaternary geology map of the Des Moines Lobe solely using readily available National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS) data. We then sought to test whether that map is comparable to Quaternary geology maps previously published by geologists. Categorization of soil map units with respect to geologic unit successfully created a detailed Quaternary geologic map for the Des Moines Lobe, showing strong agreement with the existing Quaternary geologic maps while adding a user-controlled level of scale.

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  • The need to continue improving soil survey maps

    Soil Survey maps are the preeminent data set collected about our environment. Although there are other impressive data sets that are regularly used for studying and utilizing the environment, none match the wide utility and potential of soil maps. Recent innovations create opportunities to increase both the resolution and the efficiency at which Soil Survey maps are made.

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  • A taxonomically based, ordinal estimate of soil productivity for landscape-scale analyses

    We introduce, evaluate, and apply a new ordinally based soil Productivity Index (PI). The index has a wide application generally at landscape scales. Unlike competing indexes, it does not require copious amounts of soil data, for example, pH, organic matter, or cation exchange capacity, in its derivation. Geographic information system applications of the PI, in particular, have great potential. For regionally extensive applications, the PI may be as useful and robust as other indexes that have much more exacting data requirements.

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