This paper describes the development by the General Directorate of Rural Services (GDRS) of a land information system for Turkey, namely the National Soil and Water Information System. It is of great significance for the modern state of Turkey as, prior to its establishment in 1999 under the Turkish Agricultural Research Project, there was no definitive, national technological information resource underpinning land and water resource management. The system will underpin the operational and research responsibilities of the Directorate in combating some of the pressing contemporary environmental concerns in Turkey, including wind and water erosion, waterlogging, sodicity and salination of the soil resource. The complex process of compiling the first national digital soil map will be among the initial tasks, as well as establishing a national infrastructure for distributing the information amongst GDRS managers and scientists. With the proposed accession of the Turkish Republic to the European Union, alignment of the National Soil and Water Information System with European standards and protocols will prove to be an important facet of its ongoing development
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