The IIASA-LUC Project Georeferenced Database of the Former USSR. Volume 5: Land Categories.
The IIASA/LUC georeferenced database for the former U.S.S.R. was created within the framework of the project ``Modeling Land-Use and Land Cover Changes in Europe and Northern Asia" (LUC). For Russia, essential information on relief, soil, vegetation, land cover and use, etc. for routine environmental analysis was lacking when the LUC project started developing the database. In addition, the environmental data on the former U.S.S.R. which was available occurred in formats (papers, tables, etc.) that in general could not be used with modern information technology, and in particular in model building. In creating the LUC project database, we have achieved three objectives: 1) to obtain relevant information for the LUC project modeling exercises; 2) to develop data which are usable with modern information technology; 3) to contribute a series of digital databases which could be applied for various other analyses by the national and international scientific community. In defining the tasks it was agreed to create a set of digital databases which could be handled by geographic information systems (GIS). The full set of georeferenced digital databases was combined into the LUC project's GIS, using ARC/INFO. However, each individual item (physiography, soil, vegetation, etc.) was created as a unique specific digital database, allowing each item to be used separately, depending on users' needs. The complete series of these unique georeferenced digital databases for the territory of the former U.S.S.R. is described in the IIASA/LUC volumes: Volume 1: Physiography (landforms, slope conditions, elevations). Volume 2: Soil. Volume 3: Soil degradation status (Russia). Volume 4: Vegetation. Volume 5: Land categories. Volume 6: Agricultural regionalization.
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