Publication Date



land management, soil database, capability map, dataset, salinity, Ebro Delta


The chosen area of this case study is the northern part of the Ebro Delta in northeast Spain. It used to be an unhealthy swamp until sixty to eighty years ago. Within a relatively short period, this area has been transformed into a productive rice-growing area where interests of nature are to be respected. Still, the potential of the area has not yet been reached and the major objective of this study was to create a soil geographical database (SGD), so as to derive ways and means to further improve the management of natural resources. Two approaches were used to define the required terrain features: (i) The “object-oriented” approach where datasets with discrete units were created and the limits were drawn based on the refinement’s of the surveyor model. (ii) The “field” approach where continuous datasets were created by interpolation from point data and its attributes. The main advantage of the SGD was its flexibility in terms of data management. Each information layer was stored independently with the georeferenced data and its attributes allowing quick and easy manipulation. Finally, an assessment of the integrated use of the SGD, GIS- technology linked with an agro-ecological model, is shown for characterizing and delineating the rice growth capability within the area in the context of land-use planning and management of rural land.