The Netherlands has a long history of soil research. Over the past 150 years, seven national soil maps have been produced at scales ranging from 1:50,000 to 1:1,000,000. The maps were based on different conceptual models which reflected advances in soil science as well as societal demands. There are four phases in the development of soil mapping in The Netherlands. The first three are: (i) the geological phase (1837–1937), (ii) the physiographic phase (1937–1962) and (iii) the morphometric phase (1962–1995). The earliest soil maps, made in the mid-1800s, were largely based on surface geology. In 1950 the first national soil map was published based on physiographic soil mapping. From the 1960s onwards, mapping followed a pedogenetic–morphometric approach and these maps have been widely used in land use planning, hydrologic studies, re-allotments, and agricultural land evaluations. An increase in environmental awareness with the need to assess environmental impacts and developments in information technology induced the digital soil information phase (1995–present). New technologies have improved the collection, storage, analysis and presentation of soil geographic information. It is concluded that initial soil mapping in The Netherlands had a strong agricultural focus but that the current maps are used in a wide range of applications.
- seasonal fluctuation
- survey information