[OSGeo Africa] SHP data for Zambia soils

Calle Hedberg chedberg at telkomsa.net
Sat Dec 1 09:07:55 PST 2012



Your request triggered some memories..  


I worked with the Zambia Soil Survey Unit at Mount Makulu Research Station
during 1990 and 1991 as a GIS specialist (we expats are all experts, y'a
know J ) to establish their GIS mapping section, after doing some research
with them in 1989. I was involved with organising the printing of that map
you are referring to, partially by creating the underlying GIS data (using
PC-Arc/Info) and partially by refurbishing the printing machines at the
government printer in Lusaka.


It was the end of the KK rule, though, and Zambia was in turmoil - the Soil
Survey Unit closed down a year or two later due to no donor funding and the
staff dispersed.


I believe two or three of them are still alive, but I've had no contact with
them for nearly 15 years and I seriously doubt any of them will have kept
data from that time. There was at the time an old British expatriate soil
advisor at Mount Makulu assisting commercial farmers, but I doubt he's alive
- he must have been close to 70 at that time (old colonialist weirdo - used
to drive around with the dog in the front seat and his servant in the


I also doubt the Ministry was organised enough at the time to keep copies of
electronic data (we only had backups on diskettes at the time).


BUT I might have it somewhere - there are some advantages to being a little
bit anal about collecting and retaining data J.  Not sure where, though, and
the data will in any case be on 3.5" diskettes - I got my first luggable
laptop with a 20MB hard disk when moving to Uganda in late 1991, before that
I only had a diskette-driven notebook. And since then I've been dragging
increasing amounts of baggage and papers and data from continent to
continent before (currently) ending up in Cape Town, with electronic stuff
increasing from a few MB to a few TB.


I've just looked through some diskette boxes, but only found stuff from
1996-99 - will look a bit more tomorrow. If I find anything, and if those
diskettes are still readable, I'll be happy to share.


If not, you might have to take the paper map and re-digitise it - that is,
if anybody knows how to digitise any more.


Funny, isn't it - we are still able to read 5,000 year old papyrus or stone
tablets, or 500 year old books. But we are not that good at retaining 30
years old digital data..


Apologies for the rambling email  - bottom line is I'll see what I can


Best regards

Calle Hedberg



From: africa-bounces at lists.osgeo.org [mailto:africa-bounces at lists.osgeo.org]
On Behalf Of Pieter Schoeman
Sent: 30 November 2012 11:40 AM
To: africa at lists.osgeo.org
Subject: [OSGeo Africa] SHP data for Zambia soils


Good day,


Can somebody help me with digital data for the soils of Zambia, please? I
have a printed map of soils of Zambia which was published by the Department
of Agriculture of Zambia in 1991. This has more detail than the Dominant
Soils Map of the World (DSMW).


Thanks in advance.




Pieter Schoeman

Professional Geoinformatic Practitioner  (PGP0051)

Managing Director - Farm IT Solutions

Cell:  (+27)83 - 653 6244  /  Tel:  (+27)12 - 666 7000  /  Fax: (+27)86 -
654 4422

E-mail: pschoeman at farm-it.co.za 

Web: www.farm-it.co.za 




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