A WebGIS system for relating genetic soil classification of China to soil taxonomy

Xuezheng Shi, Guoxiang Yang, Dongsheng Yu, Shengxiang Xu, Eric D. Warner, Gary W. Petersen, Weixia Sun, Yongcun Zhao, William E. Easterling, Hongjie Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Soil classification is the basis for the exchange of soil science research results and the foundation for the application of modern soil resource management methods. A WebGIS-based system designed to relate genetic soil classification of China (GSCC) to soil taxonomy (ST) was developed to enhance global cooperation and to support communication between China and the other countries on important agricultural and environmental issues. The system has a Browse Server (B/S) structure and exploits the 1:1,000,000 soil databases of China using WebGIS functionality. This paper describes the application of the WebGIS system for easily accessing cross-reference information between GSCC to ST. First, we describe the three-level B/S structure of the system. The cross-reference methodologies, referenceability and maximum referenceability, are then explained and applied at three geographic scales (i.e. nation, region and pedon). Finally, three sub-modules based on the supported scales are described and illustrated with application scenarios to familiarize users with the inquiry system and its usage. The main advantage of the system is that it considers statistical similarity in the spatial distributions between the two different classification systems. Users with limited knowledge are able to obtain soil cross-reference information using an intuitive interface, which supports query, visualization and analysis via a web browser at the most detailed level. The inquiry system benefits the development of soil classification science and international academic exchange.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)768-775
Number of pages8
JournalComputers and Geosciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Computers in Earth Sciences


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