An investigation was conducted into the necessary components, structure and feasibility of a comprehensive, user-oriented, Soils Resource information System (SRIS). The approach to development involves four stages: (1) analysis, ( 2) pilot development, ( 3) prototype development, and (4) implementation. In the analysis phase, soil information users were interviewed to determine their information needs. A pilot SRIS has been developed utilizing five components: a soil map unit database, soil interpretation database, Pedon Characterization database, climatology database, and a range database. The pilot is controlled by SYSTEM 2000, a database management system. This system features interactive query and response, and a structured English query language. The ability to answer ad hoc questions posed by a user audience has stimulated interest and provided an awareness of the potential of SRIS.

Results of interviews as they were used in the development and testing of a pilot system and an evaluation of the opportunities/limitations for developing a comprehensive SRIS are presented in the paper.

Date of this Version