Land Information Systems in Greece past, present and future

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    Land Information Systems in Greece:

    past, present and future

    Among soil scientists, the concept our land resources, two Introduction of "land" is not to be confused nationwide surveys of land are

    with "soil"; because land is wider currently being undertaken in About two-thirds of Greece is than soil and soil is a part of the Greece. The first survey is mountainous country; only about land. The concept of land designed to further agricultural 4 million out of a total of 13.2 involves its physiography, planning by identifying the million hectares of its land is hydrology, climate, soil, etc. To detailed soil units of each area arable. In mountainous areas, describe land, one refers to its and provide some additional animal husbandry and forestry are land characteristics (single or laboratory results related to these the major sources of income and compound). Examples of land map units. The second survey large tracts are rocky outcrops characteristics are: slope, total determines the suitability of completely devoid of vegetation rainfall, soil depth, soil moisture terrain for forestry. While the or covered with brush and shrubs. holding capacity etc. Complex measures and classification Greece’s 13.2 million ha are clusters of land characteristics are scheme used to date by the two classified into four major land qualities. surveys are different, the end categories as follows: 30% arable, product is a similar mosaic of 44% pastures, 19% forest and 7% For the study of a Land Use polygons, each containing a other uses. System, we must describe the classification symbol. Land Utilization Type (LUT) with its key attributes that reflect The main mission of the forestry the biological, socio-economic, survey is an inventory of those technical and other aspects of the areas which are not suited to production environment that are agriculture, but would support relevant to the land’s production timber or range production. The capacity. We are aware of the polygon mosaic is produced by a single land use systems that is combination of aerial and ground LU-LUT in combination; multiple surveys and by reference to systems that have more than one 1:50,000 contour maps. Currently crop on the same field at the same only one thematic map and one T. Lelentjis time, and compound systems that interpretive map are produced.

    are treated as concatenations of The result is a complete polygon J. Alatas single and/or multiple systems. mosaic with each area labelled as L. Toulios to its suitability for timber

    Also, it is known that a farming growth. The label is well suited to S. Floras system (FS) is made up from computerization, having a G. Kapetanak different land use systems (LUS), standard format with clearly practiced in the context of one defined and consistent meanings farming enterprise. To advance of each field in the label. The the above, the presence of a soil boundaries at the polygons in the National Agricultural information system is a mosaic are produced from

    Research Foundation prerequisite for land system topographic features and follow

    analysis. We are dealing here the natural curves of these Institute of Soil

    with the Soil Information System. features. Classification and Mapping Theofrasfou 1, Seeking improved environmental GR-41335 Larissa, GREECE quality and the conservation of



    In the case of the agricultural Survey legend The soil survey method maps, the labels imply different symbol systems in Greece interpretations of the symbols.

    A system of classification Also, on the agricultural maps, Field work symbols was developed by the boundaries are produced by

    Yassoglou and Henrard. This manual interpolation of curves Field teams of experienced system was ameliorated and between the sample points.Once surveyors examine a dense completed by Professor the two surveys have reached the network of soil profiles and draw Yassoglou in order to cover the most detailed category, they have the boundaries of each mapping soil conditions met in Greece far more in common, unit on either aerial photographs (Yassoglou et al, 1971). This computationally. Each detailed or, more commonly, on local system is based on the texture and map consists of a polygon mosaic maps at a scale of 1:5,000, drainage classes of the whole with areas labelled with a 1:10,000 or 1:20,000. The profile, the degree and trend of particular classification scheme. morphological characteristics of soil genesis, the topography and each profile are examined for erosion of the soil surface, the The survey for agricultural land classification purposes according presence of organic matter layers makes more detailed soil surveys to a system described below. The and gravels throughout the (1:5,000-1:20,000) and uses the Soil soils are further examined by profile, the presence of carbonate Taxonomy system. The second study borings to 1.50 m depth, made salts, the presence of a calcic or a (on the suitability of land for forestry) with a hard soil auger. The petrocalcic horizon, of soluble works on semi-detailed soil surveys distance between the borings salts (salinity-alkalinity) and the in mountainous forest land and uses ranges from 50 to 200 m, depth of salinity. All these photo-interpretation in combination depending on the uniformity of attributes are indicated with with the FAO Unesco soil the soils. For most soil types, letters or numbers in the mapping classification (maps at the scale of water infiltration rates are unit symbol (Figure 1.). The set 1:50,000). measured using the method of of symbols corresponds to the soil two concentric cylinders or a Phase. If the symbols of slope, single cylinder with a shallow erosion and textural class 0-25cm ditch around it. are dropped, then the combination of symbols corresponds to the soil series.

    Figure 1. Mapping unit symbol

     textural class order

     75-150 cm suborder

     textural class textural class great group

     25-75 cm 0-25 cm subgroup

     4 3 5

     Drainage class C ---------------------------------------- I o x v*

     slope A 0 1 k f s b

     erosion depth of alkalinity


     calcic hor. presence

     alkalinity salinity * Ioxv : Inceptisol-ochrept-xerochrept-vertic



After finishing the field work A database includes levels of The ORACLE RDBMS observations and measurements, factors such as topographic

    and with all additional laboratory conditions, soil types, urban The ORACLE RDBMS is a high-results, the standardization of the structures and so on. These levels performance, fault-tolerant attributes is a desk exercise. are derived either from direct database management system, observation or from sources such especially designed for outline The field work map units are as published maps or aerial transaction processing and large matched with the final chemical photographs, and they are database applications. At the analytical data, making the registered with respect to a heart of the ORACLE RDBMS is proportional corrections, to common cartographic base. the SQL data language. SQL was construct the source map. Existing levels can thus be developed and defined by IBM selectively retrieved and Research and has been refined by The traditional method is based graphically transformed to the American National Standards on manual production of thematic generate new levels of site Institute (ANSI) as the standard maps. The thematic maps are : characteristics. The process is language for relational database soil map, soil series map, known as overlay mapping. management systems. SQL offers irrigability map, infiltration map, a complete set of data definition slope maps, calcium carbonate Geographic data processing is a and manipulation functions. map, etc. field that has grown from roots in geography and computing, and With SQL we can : from application areas ranging from the natural and social The transition from create tables in the database sciences to urban planning and store information in tables tradition to computer environmental management. It is select exactly the information we a field that has grown steadily need from our database. since the 1960s and continues to The transition from traditional make changes to our data and the grow in terms of the number of databases into GIS systems is a structure of underlying tables practitioners involved, the range major change. The introduction of combine and calculate data to of applications addressed and the RDBMSs in connection with the generate the information we sophistication of tasks performed. GIS have facilitated the whole need. procedure of delineation and evaluation of graphic and Data We can use all SQL facilities attribute data. interactively, embedded in standard Data are simply recorded facts. In programming languages such as Land Information the case of geographic data, these COBOL, FORTRAN, PASCAL, C, are facts pertaining to locations System (LIS) and ADA as well as through a variety on or near the surface of the of ORACLE tools, including report earth. There are a number of ways writers, application generators, The Land Information System in which such geographic data spread-sheets and graphics packages. described is a sophisticated GIS, can be stored for digital a configuration of computer processing. The data construct is In the current method, we digitised hardware and software intended to provide a common the hard copy map, inputting graphic specifically designed for the frame of reference that can be data into the computer memory. This acquisition, maintenance and use easily translated both to and from was done after defining the Co-of cartographic data. a variety of storage formats. ordinate System. We selected the Cartographic modeling is one Among the major components UTM (Universal Transverse approach to the use of this organized as a hierarchy are Mercator) System, the user-defined technology. It involves models included the following: (non-standard) Geodetic Datum, and expressed in cartographic form or cartographic models, map levels, the Bessel 1841 Elipsoid, with Zones as maps. Geographic data are titles, zones, values, labels, co-34 and 35 of the Northern organized and manipulated in the ordinates, etc. Hemisphere in the system form of single factor maps called parameters. Kilometres were overlays or levels. defined as the master working units and metres as the sub-units.



    The geographic data for cartographic that supports the ORACLE relational Climatic data modelling are organised and database and uses Intergraph's manipulated in the level forms. The Relational Interface System (RIS) to Generally the climatic conditions access non-spatial data (attributes) database includes levels of factors are Mediterranean; i.e dry and hot such as topographic conditions for use within our GIS environment. in summer and rainy and cold in (contours), polygon mosaics of soil RIS allows us to retrieve and review winter. According to the Koppen types, urban structures, road related information by establishing a classification these are climatic networks, railroad networks, direct link to remote databases. This types Csa and Cfb. capability speeds inter-departmental drainage patterns and so on. access and allows departments to

    Textural classes These levels derived from direct share current information. RIS observation or from existing maps supports a number of popular or aerial photographs relational databases including DB2, According to the system used, the Informix, Sybase, Ingres. soil profile is divided into three The digitised maps, at a detailed sections: scale of 1:5,000, are merged with The database is a relational database (A) surface, 0-25 cm, each other. After correcting the containing feature, category, maps, (B) subsoil, 25-75 cm errors in 2-D digitised linework and user-defined attribute tables of (C) substratum, 75-150 cm. (line cleaner) and creating the information for the project. Twelve centroids of mosaic polygons database tables are generated by Numerals from 0 to 5 are (cartographic units), we construct MGE/SX (attribute_catalog, assigned to each section the database. We use the domain_catalog, join_catalog, according to texture, as indicated Intergraph Corporation Modular list_domain, range_domain, in Table 1. The textural classes GIS Environmental System view_catalog, view_content, are grouped in five, four and three Nucleus (MGE/SX computerized view_join, feature, category, label, groups for the sections A, B and database management system) for and maps) and one table is required C respectively. capturing, storing, retrieving, by Microstation (mscatalog). analysing, and displaying spatial data

Table 1: Textural classes

    Section A Section B Section C

    symbol: 0-25 cm 25-75 cm 75-150 cm

    * gravels < 60% gravels < 60% gravels < 60% 0 gravels > 60% gravels > 60% gravels > 60% 1 S, LS S, LS, SL or stratified S, LS, SL

    2 SL Si, SiL, L or stratifi Si, SiL, L or stratified L, Si, SiL or stratified but

    predominantly medium


     3 Si, SiL, fSL CL, SiCL, SCL or stratified, but Finer than loam but

    predomi nantly medium fine predominantly fine texture


    4 SCL, CL, SiCL SC, SiC, C or stratified but

    predominantly, fine texture --------

    5 SC, SiC, C -------- --------

P Peat Peat Peat

M Muck Muck Muck

     S= Sand, L= Loam, Si= Silt, C= Clay



    according to the following Thus it is possible that a series Degree and direction scheme: includes more than one family as of soil genesis According to the Soil Taxonomy the textural classes are different from those used for the families (Soil Survey Staff, 1975) the soil For classification purposes the in Soil Taxonomy. It should be series is defined as the detailed USDA Soil Taxonomy System is noted that all technical aspects taxonomic unit. The family used. Soils are classified down to and differentiating criteria for the contains soils within the subgroup the subgroup level and sometimes establishment of a taxonomic unit with common physical and to the family level. Taxa are at the level of the "family" for use chemical properties which affect symbolized with the initial letters in Greek conditions are already their reaction to management i.e. Axhm means: Alfisol-Xeralf-being considered in the Greek practices and land use. The Haploxeralf-Mollic system. In detailed mapping various phases within the family (scale 1:5,000), the soil series and are similar enough for the

    its phases form the basis of soil interpretation of such reaction to Drainage classes

    interpretation. The phase of the be possible.

    soil series is the most The drainage class is determined

    homogenous taxonomic unit. The series within a subgroup is on the basis of the colour

    defined on the basis of the throughout the soil profile, the

    drainage class and the texture of presence of iron and manganese

    the subsurface and the subsoil. mottling as well as gleying,

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Drainage class Characterization ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

     A Very well drained, soil profile dry, no mottling

     B Well drained, limited mottling below 100 cm

     C Moderately drained, obvious mottling below 50 cm

     D Imperfectly drained, mottling starts at 25 cm below the surface

     E Poorly drained, mottling starts in depths shallower than 25 cm

When a permanent water table exists throughout the years in depths shallower than 150 cm, the

    following symbols are employed

     F Permanent water table between 50 and 150 cm depth.

     G Soil with permanent water table in a depth shallower than50 cm.

The combination D/E or E/F e.t.c means that up to the water table depth the drainage class is indicated

    by the numerator.




    1. Slope

     Slope Phase Symbol/class

     A 0-2 Flat

     B 2-6 Slightly sloping

     C 6-12 Moderately sloping

     D 2-18 Strongly sloping

     E 18-25 Extremely sloping

     F 25-35 Slightly steep

     G 35-50 Moderately steep

     H >50 Strongly steep

2. Erosion

Symbol Description Phase

     0 No erosion no subsurface Not eroded

     horizon or layer is present

     on the surface of the soil

     1 Slight erosion, subsurface Slightly eroded

     horizon on layer is present

     in less than 30% of the


     2 Moderate erosion, subsurface Moderately eroded

     horizons is present in more

     than 30% of the surface

     3 Strong erosion, deep lying Strongly eroded

     subsurface horizons or layers

     are present on the surface

3. Carbonates (CaCO) 3

    Symbols are employed according to the reaction of the soil material upon addition of an HCl solution, as follows :

     Symbol Description

     0 No reaction to HCl

     1 No reaction in the surface (A) but reaction evident in

     the subsurface ( B) and/or substratum ( C )

     2 Weak reaction in section A, regardless of the reaction

     in B and C sections

     3 Strong reaction in section A regardless of the reaction

     in B and C sections

If a calcic horizon exists, it takes symbols according to its depth as follows :

     Symbol Depth

     k2 40 - 60 cm

     k1 60 -100 cm

     k0 100 -150 cm



4. Alkalinity

    For Alkalinity, symbols are used as follows :

     Symbols Descriptions

     f1 Degree of Alkalinity 15-25

     f2 Degree of Alkalinity 25-50

     f3 Degree of Alkalinity ;50

5. Salinity

    Symbols for salinity description are used as follows :

     Symbol Description

     S1 Electrical conductivity 4-8 mmhos/cm

     S2 Electrical conductivity 8-15 mmhos/cm

     S3 Electrical conductivity ; 15

    Symbols for the depth of Salinity - Alkalinity

     Symbol Depth cm

     b1 0-25 cm

     b2 25-75 cm

     b3 75-150 cm

     b4 in all the depth

The presence of less than 60% stones in the three depth sections is indicated as follows :

    A star symbol above the corresponding symbol of textural class is used, e.g :

     * * * ***

     334 225 111

     C----- I B----- E A---- I

     A01 B12 A01

    Inceptisol, suborder = Ochrept, identify each state by the codex Codification of profile great group = Xerochrept and symbol. Other multistate characteristics subgroup = Typic; then, when we morphological characters want to retrieve the information describe the moisture state of the In the Greek Soil Survey System, about this unit, we use the SQL soil and the degree of structural symbols are used for profile command as follows: select development. description according to the "Soil mapping_unit from table ' ' Survey Manual, Agriculture where mapping unit = 'B Properties are recorded in a fully Handbook No. 18" and the FAO-4*R5/C20 Iox';. quantitative way when they are UNESCO Guidelines for Soil measured and assigned values on Profile Description (Rome, In the same way we retrieve the a continuous scale. Examples 1977). For computing purposes, codes of other soil characteristics include the thickness of horizons, we correspond numbers and mottles, structure, etc. organic carbon content symbols in the following manner. (proportion). The Munsell colour A mapping unit that has drainage Generally, properties such as the scales are regarded as class B, textural classes in section shape of structural aggregates are alphanumeric form (character B=4 and where the presence of described in qualitative terms: column types) since the Hue is stoniness is less than 60%, granular, blocky, prismatic, platy, recorded as character and the namely *, R in section C, 5 in and so on. When there are more value and chroma as numeric e.g section A and slope C(6-12%), than two states they are said to 10YR 7/1. The information are erosion 2 and the reaction of the constitute multi-state characters. retrieved through SQL commands soil material upon addition of a For computing purposes we (e.g : select colour munsell from HCl solution 0, the order =



    table ' ' where colour data in "vector" mode. But a strong Integrating soil data Munsell < '10YR 7/3' ;. synergy exists between them: remote with satellite sensing is one of the best means of In Greece, soils with 10YR creating GIS data (inventory, imagery and GIS

    (Entisols, Inceptisols, Vertisols) standardisation and actualisation of commonly occur. Also, 2.5YR data), and GIS data are mandatory for The traditional methods of and 5YR correspond to the "Red the regular and rational use of remote cartography and inventory are rather Mediterranean Soils" and soils sensing. long and expensive as they need with Munsell colour 2.5Y (poorly ground surveys at large scales. Over drained) rarely occur. In the past, ground data collection was the last twenty years, major the pre-eminent source of information developments in data processing for land resource surveys, but remote Maps entailed great changes in all areas of sensing imagery has reduced its the classical chain of information, importance for many types of survey from the setting up of geographical The following soil and soil including soil survey. Ground data information to the cartographic interpretation maps are made: collection nevertheless remains an realisation and its recording and later essential element even in surveys exploitation. The revolution was Detailed soil maps, at heavily dependent on remote sensing. brought about by two complementary 1:5,000 or 1:20,000 scale techniques: remote sensing and Scientists involved in the geographical geographical information systems. A map of soil series and soil types distribution of soil especially in based on the detailed soil map medium and small-scale surveys, can Remote sensing includes all the with the same scale and gain much from remote sensing techniques developed to obtain indications of the soil types techniques because they offer an information about the earth's surface. (textural class of section A, 0-25 overview of large areas and facilitate For twenty years the satellites of Earth cm). In the Greek classification the study of various landscape observation (the Landsat and SPOT system, the textural class of elements as individual items as well as series, etc. ) have allowed us to obtain sections B and C and the drainage in their interrelationships. more and more precise images all over class define the soil series. the Earth for land use and agricultural Several studies have reported positive planning. Data obtained by satellite Maps of cultivation groups or soil results in the use of satellite data to remote sensing are multispectral management maps. These show delineate and map important soil (recording the radiation emitted by the areas with similar soil and differences, and to determine objects in precise and significant water properties for land important soil properties and radiometric bands as visible, near management practices. characteristics. The conclusions infra-red, middle infra-red and reported in the literature during microwave) and numerical (they are Map of irrigability classes. Six recent years suggest that the aspects composed from all numeric values classes are used on the basis of and possibilities with satellite-recorded on the different points or soil, topography and drainage acquired reflectance data which pixels of the image). limitations. provide a significant new tool to aid in soil survey are: a synoptic view of According to the studied themes and the survey area and surroundings: a to the regional contexts, the use of quantitative assessment of the Non-graphic data remote sensing should be optimized homogeneity of the map unit; through the choice of the satellite, the repetitive coverage; digital format; choice of the dates of image The non-graphic data are retrieved computer-implemented image acquisition, the methods used to define with the SQL data language of the proccessing possibilities; and and manage the data and the form of ORACLE RDBMS, saved in ASCII possibilities for registering, the final data. form. Afterwards we transform the overlaying and combining multiple data list from UNIX into DOS status data sets. Schematically, remote sensing and GIS for further statistical processing. are the two ends of an operating chain. In operational surveys, the ground These techniques employ rather data collected are primarily for different modes of work: remote extrapolations over the whole target sensing processes raw data in "raster" area, and may include some of the mode and GIS processes elaborated



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    carbonates and salts, the degree of ground level and remotely sensed usually those needed to describe the

    final classes or properties in the terrain compaction, soil structure as data, using the strengths of both. analysis. Some sets of characteristics represented by the size and shape of An expansion of research work on have a direct effect on the appearance surface aggregates) and land cover. all aspects of ground data of remotely sensed data, namely those collection is necessary for a more

    Particularly in terms of spatial productive use of remote sensing of surface forms (as slope, angle and

    aspect) surface materials (texture, extent, satellite imagery may in a imagery in soil survey.



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