Land Resource Inventory and Mapping: Tools and Techniques

  • S. K. Gangopadhyay
  • G. P. Obi Reddy
  • D. C. Nayak
  • S. K. Singh
Part of the Geotechnologies and the Environment book series (GEOTECH, volume 21)


Nature, extent, and reliability of spatial data on land resources become the imperative need of the present day for scientific utilization of land resources and sustainable management. In land resource inventory and mapping, the applications of remotely sensed data and geographic information system (GIS) are found to be not only timesaving but also economic in generation of base maps and conducting of soil survey. Further, high-resolution remote sensing and applications of GIS have made the task of land resource inventory and mapping cost effective and time efficient. Depending upon the objective, method and intensity of land resource surveys and scale, the type of satellite data to be selected to generate the base maps in order to show the details of survey information. A detailed soil survey provides sufficient information about various kinds of soils, including problematic or degraded soils, and is immensely useful for resource appraisal and development of alternative strategies for land use and site-specific agricultural development. As a case study, a detailed land resource survey was conducted in Piprakothi Block under Purba Champaran district of Bihar, and it shows that soils are very deep, well to somewhat poorly drained, and highly calcareous. Soils suffer from waterlogging, frequent flooding, drainage congestion, calcareousness, salinity, and multi-nutrient deficiency, affecting the crop yield. Soil-site suitability evaluation of sugarcane in the soils of the block indicates that 31.7% of the area is moderately suitable for the cultivation of sugarcane due to moderate limitation of soil fertility and 53.0% of the area is marginally suitable due to relatively low water availability and severe soil fertility limitations.


Detailed soil survey Exploratory soil survey Geographic information system Land resource inventory Reconnaissance survey Remote sensing 


  1. Black CA (1965) Methods of soil analysis, part-2. American Society of Agronomy, Inc, Madison, pp 849–1378Google Scholar
  2. Boonyanuphap J, Wattanachaiyingcharoen D, Sakurai K (2004) GIS-based land suitability assessment for Musa (ABB group) plantation. J Appl Hortic 6(1):3–10Google Scholar
  3. Dent D, Young A (1981) Soil survey and land evaluation. George Allen & Unwin, LondonGoogle Scholar
  4. Deshpande SB, Sarkar D (2009). Review of soil survey in India. In: Bhattacharyya T, Sarkar D, Pal DK (eds) Soil survey manual. National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning. India NBSS & LUP Publication no. 146, 400 ppGoogle Scholar
  5. Dobos E, Micheli E, Baumgardner MF, Biehl L, Helt T (2000) Use of combined digital elevation model and satellite radiometric data for regional soil mapping. Geoderma 97:367–391CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dwivedi RS (2001) Soil resource mapping: a remote sensing perspective. Remote Sens Rev 20:89–122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. FAO (1976) A framework for land evaluation, FAO soils bulletin 32. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  8. FAO, ITPS (2015) Status of the World’s Soil Resources (SWSR) – main report. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils, RomeGoogle Scholar
  9. Gangopadhyay SK, Reddy GPO, Sarkar D, Srinivas CV, Khan QI (2010) Soil suitability evaluation using remotely sensed data and GIS- a case study from semi-arid tropics of India. Int J Geoinform 6(3):35–47Google Scholar
  10. Gangopadhyay SK, Mukhopadhyay S, Singh SK, Sarkar D (2013) Soil resource inventory and land evaluation of Aurangabad district, Bihar (1: 50,000 Scale) for land use planning. ICAR- NBSS Publ. No. 1058, National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning, Nagpur, India, 179pGoogle Scholar
  11. Gangopadhyay SK, Reddy GPO, Sarkar D (2014) Erosion risk mapping in parts of semi-arid tropics of India using remote sensing and GIS. Indian J Soil Conserv 42(1):29–38Google Scholar
  12. Gangopadhyay SK, Reddy GPO, Mukhopadhyay S, Singh SK (2015) Characterization of landforms and soils in complex toposequence of Subarnarekha catchment, Chhotanagpur plateau using remote sensing and GIS. Agropedology 25(1):95–109Google Scholar
  13. GOI (1984) Report of the task force on land and soil resources. Planning Commission, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  14. IARI (1971) Soil survey manual. All India Soil and Land Use Survey Organization, IARI, New Delhi 121ppGoogle Scholar
  15. Karale RL, Saini KM, Narula KK (1988) Mapping and monitoring ravines using remotely sensed data. J Soil Water Conserv 32(1):75Google Scholar
  16. Lal R, Mokma D, Lowery B (1998) Relation between soil quality and erosion. In: Lal R (ed) Soil quality and soil erosion. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 237–257Google Scholar
  17. Nayak DC, Chattopadhyay T, Mukhopadhyay S, Singh SK, Sarkar D (2014) Soil resource inventory and land evaluation of Rhotas district, Bihar (1: 50, 000 scale) for land use planning. ICAR- NBSS Publication No. 1078, National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning, Nagpur, India, 130pGoogle Scholar
  18. Olson KR, Mokma DL, Lal R, Schumacher TE, Lindstrom MJ (1998) Erosion impacts on crop yield for selected soils of the North Central United States. In: Lal R (ed) Soil quality and soil erosion. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 259–283Google Scholar
  19. Panhalkar S (2011) Land capability classification for integrated watershed development by applying RS and GIS techniques. J Agric Biol Sci 6(4):46–55Google Scholar
  20. Patil SS, Patil VC, Khalid AA (2010) Wheat acreage, productivity and production estimation through remote sensing and GIS techniques. Aust J Basic Appl Sci 4(8):3132–3138Google Scholar
  21. Ray Choudhury SP (1964) Land resources of India, Vol 1. In: Indian soils-their classification, occurrence and properties, committee on natural resources, Planning Commission, Govt of India, New Delhi, pp 1–89Google Scholar
  22. Raychoudhury SP, Govindarajan SV (1971) Soils of India. Indian Council of Agricultural Research Tech Bull (Agric) No 25, pp 1–45Google Scholar
  23. Raychoudhury SP, Mathur LM (1954) A basic land resource map of India. Bulletin of National Institute of Sciences of India No 3Google Scholar
  24. Reddy GPO, Maji AK, Chary GR, Srinivas CV, Tiwary P, Gajbhiye KS (2004) GIS and remote sensing applications in prioritization of river sub basins using morphometric and USLE parameters – a case study. Asian J Geoinfor 4(4):35–49Google Scholar
  25. Reddy GPO, Nagaraju MSS, Ramteke IK, Sarkar D (2013a) Terrain characterization for soil resource mapping in part of semi-tract of Central India using high resolution satellite data and GIS. J Indian Soc Remote Sens 41(2):331–343CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Reddy GPO, Sarkar D, Prasad J, Ramamurthy V (2013b) Geospatial modeling in assessment of biophysical resources for sustainable land resource management. Trop Ecol 54(2):227–238Google Scholar
  27. Reddy GPO, Kurothe RS, Sena DR, Harindranath CS, Niranjana KV, Naidu LGK, Singh SK, Sarkar D, Mishra PK, Sharda VN (2016) Assessment of soil erosion in tropical ecosystem of Goa, India using universal soil loss equation, geostatistics and GIS. Indian J Soil Conserv 44(1):1–7Google Scholar
  28. Reddy GPO, Patil NG, Chaturvedi A (eds) (2017) Sustainable management of land resources-an Indian perspective. Apple Academic Press, New York, p 769Google Scholar
  29. Rosser J, Swartz GL, Dawson NM, Briggs HS (1974) A land capability classification for agricultural purposes. Division of Land Utilization. Techcnical Report, p 14Google Scholar
  30. Royal Commission on Agriculture in India (1928) Royal Commission on agriculture in India report. Government Central Press, Bombay, p 755Google Scholar
  31. Sarkar D (2003) Soil survey and mapping. In: Fundamentals and applications of pedology, 1st edn. Kalyani Publishers, New Delhi, 276ppGoogle Scholar
  32. Sehgal JL (1992) Soil series criteria and norms. Technical bulletin, NBSS & LUP Publication No. 36, NBSS & LUP (ICAR), NagpurGoogle Scholar
  33. Sehgal J (1996) Pedology: concepts and applications, 1st edn. Kalyani Publishers, New Delhi, 485 ppGoogle Scholar
  34. Singh AN, Dwivedi RS (1989) Delineation of salt affected soils through digital analysis of Landsat-MSS data. Int J Remote Sens 10:83–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Soil Survey Staff (1951) Soil survey manual, agriculture handbook no. 18. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 503 ppGoogle Scholar
  36. Soil Survey Staff (1993) Soil survey manual, agriculture handbook no. 18. US Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 437 pp. 503 ppGoogle Scholar
  37. Soil Survey Staff (1995) Soil survey manual, agriculture handbook no. 18. USDA, JodhpurGoogle Scholar
  38. Soil Survey Staff (1999) Soil survey staff, soil taxonomy – a basic system of soil classification for making and interpreting soil surveys, agricultural handbook, 2nd edn. USDA, Washington, DC, p 436Google Scholar
  39. Srivastava R, Saxena RK (2004) Techniques of large scale soil mapping in basaltic terrain using satellite remote sensing data. Int J Remote Sens 25(4):679–688CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sys C, Van Ranst E, Debaveye J (1993) Land evaluation. Part III: crop requirements. International Training Center for Post Graduate Soil Scientists, Ghent University, Ghent 199 ppGoogle Scholar
  41. Velmurugan A, Carlos GG (2009) Soil resource assessment and mapping using remote sensing and GIS. J Indian Soc Remote Sens 37(3):511–525CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Verma TP, Singh RS, Giri JD, Naitam RK, Tailor BL, Singh R, Shyampura RL, Sarkar D, Singh SK (2015) Soil resource inventory and land evaluation of Chittaurgarh district, Bihar (1: 50,000 scale) for Land Use Planning. ICAR- NBSS Publ. No. 1091, National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning, Nagpur, 223pGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. K. Gangopadhyay
    • 1
  • G. P. Obi Reddy
    • 2
  • D. C. Nayak
    • 1
  • S. K. Singh
    • 2
  1. 1.ICAR-National Bureau of Soil Survey & Land Use Planning, Regional CentreKolkataIndia
  2. 2.ICAR-National Bureau of Soil Survey & Land Use PlanningNagpurIndia

Personalised recommendations