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Soil and landform information is needed for a wide range of applications but available data are often inaccessible, incomplete, or out of date. Within the European FP7 project ‘e-SOTER’, following recognised harmonisation principles, we developed an XML schema to serve as an exchange format for soil and terrain data derived from e-SOTER methodologies (SoTerML). It encompasses existing SOTER database conceptual modelling as well as the WRB (World Reference Base of soil resources) and the FAO soil data structures and classifications, therefore covering major soil and terrain databases such as the European Soil Database (ESD). The flexibility of the modelling achieved is demonstrated from legacy data integrated in the new scheme and made available using an OGC Web Feature Service. Along with the description of SoTerML, the paper aims at pointing out the modelling approach and the modelling principles used for soil and terrain observations, which extracted from our proposal, could prove useful for emerging initiatives towards defining an exchange standard framework for the soil theme
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