Digital Geography

18. November 2013

Analog Geography – German soil of the year 2014 is the vineyard soil

Sometimes you need to replace bits and bytes with dirt and soils, and today’s news are really pushing me to leave the desk and to go for a walk. Every year, the Deutsche Bodenkundliche Gesellschaft (German Pedological Society) announces the Soil of the Year. Next year’s soil is the Vineyard Soil! It’s not only one, but a whole group of soils known for their high fertility and their anthropogenic, mineral rich R-horizons. In Germany, those R-horizons formed as early as in Roman times in some regions, since the Romans brought the civilization wine to Germany. Currently, I am feeling a rapid increase in my interest in pedology and I am looking forward to a lot of interesting excursions next year!

But coming back to bits and bytes: A digital map of the soils of Germany can be found at the website of the BGR.

They offer maps in 1:200,000 and 1:1,000,000 scale, plus a few with even smaller scales.

You might also like to check the European Soil Portal for more info on Eurpean Soils and the European Soil Database. Here, you can also find some nice KMZ files for GoogleEarth (might include really large files…).

If you are interested in wine rather than in soil, check this Top Ten List of Vineyard Soils.

A vineyard at the famous Tuniberg in the Upper Rhine Graben.