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The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources began developing a statewide natural resources database in 1989. Originally, this database was begun to serve a specific project, the Edisto River Basin Project, but has grown to encompass most of the state. This data is being made available free of charge to the public in an effort to facilitate natural resource decision-making, analyses and education in South Carolina. The data layers being developed as part of this effort are: soils, wetlands/landuse, digital line graphs, digital elevation models and digital raster graphics(scanned topographic quadrangle maps). The digital raster graphics files are provided by the S.C. Department of Commerce.

We established Joint Funding Agreements(JFAs) with existing national mapping programs including the USGS(DLGs), US Fish and Wildlife Service(Wetlands/Land Use), and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service(soils). Significant funding was secured from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration with additional funds from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Charleston Office) and the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC). The S.C. Department of Commerce funded a project to scan all the USGS topographic quadrangle maps for the state and have made them available to this database. This unprecedented government agency cooperation serves as a model for further database development.