Gerhard Bechtold

  Consultant for National (Geo-)Information Systems and Database Setup, for Natural Resources Assessments   

GILES: Geographical Information and Land Evaluation System, Ethiopia

FAO. Manual for Spatial Computerized Land Evaluation System with Special Reference to the Highlands of Ethiopia, vol.3: GILES, Geographical Information and Land Evaluation System: User's Manual, by G.Bechtold. Addis Ababa, 1989, 296 pp. AG:DP/ETH/82/010, Field Document 25

Survey areas in Ethiopia
Sample Maps:
Precipitation of Ethiopia (incl Eritrea) - Temperature of Ethiopia (incl Eritrea)
Land use of Borkena project area - Soil pedons of Borkena project area - Soil pedons of Bichena project area


This Field Document forms a component part of a three-volume manual on a computerized land evaluation system for Ethiopia based on the principles of the FAO Guidelines on Land Evaluation for Rainfed Agriculture (1983). It constitutes volume III of the Manual and describes the computer aspects of the land evaluation, the software package GILES. Volume I explains the land evaluation methodology (FAO 1987 b), while volume II (FAO 1987 c) deals with the influence of environmental conditions on crop growth and crop development.

The software package GILES: Geographical Information and Land Evaluation System was especially developed to fulfill the required tasks of project ETH/82/010 and ETH/87/006: 'Assistance to Land Use Planning', to execute agricultural suitability assessments, to define soil conservation measures, to estimate carrying capacities on a spatial basis (1:50,000 and 1:250,000 scale) and to deliver cartographic information in an integrated, multidisciplinary approach.

After finalizing, GILES functions now in a wider context as a database carrier on national, regional and subregional level to perform above mentioned duties and additional features of computerized mapping and information retrieval on spatial basis.

GILES is transferable to any area, but main fields of applications will remain the assessment and interpretation of natural resources in developing countries at low-cost level. It runs on IBM-compatible microcomputer with DOS operating system.

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For further contacts, please get in touch with FAO-AGLS or project manager Sultan Tilimo or author G.Bechtold

Table of Contents:
1 Aspects of Computerized Information and Evaluation System of Natural Resources
  1.1 Need of establishment of natural resource data base
  1.2 Introduction of computerized data base
  1.3 Spatial information: GIS
  1.4 GIS for land evaluation: GILES
  1.5 Advantages and limitations of a computerized information and land evaluation sytem
  1.6 Support of planning activities
  2.1 Components of GILES
  2.2 GIS aspect of GILES
  2.3 Land evaluation aspects of GILES
  2.4 Data structure requirements
  2.5 Data input and output
  2.6 Requirements
3 User's Manual
  3.1 Introduction
  3.2 Facilities
  3.3 How to ... (References)
4 Data Structure
  4.1 Introduction
  4.2 Data files (References)
Annex App.1 Setup and installation
  App.2 Tutorial
  App.3 Error messages / trouble shooting
  App.4 System requirements
  App.5 Computerized processing
  App.6 GILES files
  App.7 Land evaluation models
  App.8 Structure of programs
  App.9 Recommended ASCII codes
  App.10 Entered maps

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