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Soil mapping, classification, and modelling have been important drivers in the advancement of our understanding of soil from the earliest days of the scientific study of soils. Soil maps were desirable for purposes of land valuation for taxation, agronomic planning (Brevik and Hartemink, 2010; Miller and Schaetzl, 2014), and in military operations (Lark, 2008; Brevik et al., 2015a). Soil mapping required classification systems that would allow accurate and succinct communication of mapped information (Brevik and Hartemink, 2013), classification systems required understanding of the soil system (Marbut, 1922), and gaining that understanding included the creation of soil models (Wilding, 1994). Therefore, advancement in one of these highly interrelated areas tended to lead to corresponding advances in the others, and these relationships persist into the modern era. Furthermore, studying our field’s history allows us to understand how we arrived at our current theories, including better understanding of both the strengths and weaknesses of those theories. Within this special issue (SI), historical aspects of soil mapping, classification, and/or pedogenic models are emphasized in papers by Brevik et al. (2015b), Calzolari and Filippi (2015), Miller and Schaetzl (2015), and Minasny and McBratney (2015).
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Brevik, Eric C.; Baumgarten, Andreas; Calzolari, Costanza; Jordán, Antonio; Kabala, Cezary; Miller, Bradley A.; and Pereira, Paulo, "Editorial: Historical perspectives and future needs in soil mapping, classification, and pedologic modeling" (2016). Agronomy Publications. 486.