Saturday, 15 July 2006

Marketing Soil Survey Information.

Jon Hempel, USDA-NRCS-National Geospatial Development Center, 157 Clark Hall Annex, Prospect Street, West Virginia Univeristy, Morgantown, WV 26506 and Lynn Betts, Valadis Corporation, P.O. Box 14586, Des Moines, IA 50306.

The United States Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service has over 100 years of background and experience in creating soil survey information and has nearly all of the private land in the United States mapped. Currently about 2/3 of the soil surveys have detailed digital soil survey information (SSURGO). By 2007, all published soil surveys will be completed in a digital format. STATSGO, a more generalized soil survey digital dataset is completed and in the process of being updated. This electronic information has great potential for increasing public awareness as to the effectiveness of using soil survey information for environmental and land use planning, decision and policy making. Education of the general public about the usefulness and utility of soil survey information has been and remains difficult. New approaches in marketing plans and strategies to increase the awareness and use of the digital soil survey information at the governmental, academia and private sector levels is a key component in incorporating this important information as an institutional component for sound land use planning. Partnerships with the private sector to understand and implement these marketing techniques will make soil survey information available to a much wider audience.

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