[GRASS-user] Managing the Harmonized World Soil Database in GRASS

Sylvain Maillard sylvain.maillard at gmail.com
Fri Mar 25 06:44:29 EDT 2011


some month ago I had to make some maps with the HWSD database. I used the
mdbtool (http://mdbtools.sourceforge.net/) to extract all tables from the
.mdb file to some sql files. Then I just imported all the table in a
postgres database, and it is quite easy to access them in GRASS ...


2011/3/24 Luigi Ponti <lponti at inbox.com>

> Dear listers,
> I seem to have successfully imported the Harmonized World Soil Database
> (HWSD) in BIL format to GRASS 6.4.svn via r.in.gdal. The data is available
> at
> http://www.iiasa.ac.at/Research/LUC/luc07/External-World-soil-database/HTML/index.html
> The HWSD is composed of a raster image file and a linked attribute database
> stored in Microsoft Access 2003 format. According to the documentation (page
> 28)
> http://www.iiasa.ac.at/Research/LUC/External-World-soil-database/HWSD_Documentation.pdf
> using the HWSD database in a GIS should be straightforward. The MU_GLOBAL
> attribute column in the database is also stored in each raster cell, and may
> therefore be considered as the link to the raster.
> My goal would be to obtain more raster maps that show other (soil)
> attributes from the database or combination of different attributes based on
> computations. The documentation suggests the following work flow:
> - if necessary, realize the appropriate calculations (ex: after exporting
> from Access to Excel);
> - convert final attributes table to a compatible GIS format;
> - join the MU_GLOBAL attribute and the GRID value (dbf or txt formats);
> - convert the attribute to a new GRID (in the case it is needed).
> What comes to mind is value replacement using r.recode but maybe there is a
> better course of action.
> This is seemingly the best available soil GIS database with global
> coverage, so I thought my question may be useful to others.
> Kind regards and thanks in advance for any hint,
> Luigi
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