GIS and remote sensing as a potential tool to support digital soil mapping in the Eastern Cape Province in South Africa

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University of Fort Hare


This study is based on assessing the potential use of GIS and Remote Sensing in trying to fill the various soil maps of selected regions at different scales with spatial soil data. A variety of processes are available for use. These include band ratios, principal component analysis as well as use of a digital elevation model (DEM). With the advent of GIS and Remote Sensing, these principles in the new niche of study are investigated to check if they can be used to augment the current processes available in soil mapping techniques. Such processes as band ratioing, principal component analysis and use of Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) are investigated to check if they can be used in soil mapping techniques. From the results produced it is evident that these processes have the potential to be used in the Digital Soil Mapping process. Despite the limitation of remote sensing to a few centimetres of the topsoil these processes can be used together with the soil mapping techniques currently being used to come up with soil maps.



digital soil mapping, band ratio, principal component analysis, digital elevation model.