Privacy statement | Legal notice | Contact | Search

Soil Projects > eSOTER

eSOTER: Regional pilot platform as EU contribution to a Global Soil Observing System

Call: FP7-ENV-2007-1; Start: 01/09/2008 ; End: 31/1/2012
Duration: 42m; Call- ENV.2007.
Development of a Global Soil Observing System;
Consortium: 14 partners from Europe and the world (China + Marocco).

As the European contribution to a Global Soil Observing System (part of GEO), it will deliver a web-based regional pilot platform with data, methodology, and applications, using remote sensing to validate, augment and extend existing data for a global soil and terrain database.

GEOSS plans a global Earth Observation System to meet the need for land resources information, and a global soil and terrain database is identified as a component of an agricultural monitoring system (AG-07-03 in the GEO work plan for 2007-9). e-SOTER is proposed as the European contribution to a Global Soil Observing System, overcoming the present shortcomings of SOTER and providing a Regional Pilot Platform that can be extended worldwide, for example under the proposed Gates Foundation initiative e-SOTER adds value by: 1) using remotely-sensed data both to validate and correct existing survey data; 2) to generate new data surfaces; 3) improving the quality of results of applications previously based on legacy data alone; and 4) providing a web service that delivers both selected data in an easy-to-use format and procedures to compile e-SOTER databases locally and upload these data to the European database if they meet prescribed quality standards. e-SOTER makes use of detailed digital elevation models (DEMs), recent advances in remote sensing, and new analytical tools for landform analysis, parent material detection and soil pattern recognition - both to extend the legacy soil data and to build a framework for new data acquisition. Remote sensing cannot generate, in itself, the same kind of soil pattern as mapped in SOTER – for instance remote sensing is limited in the number of classes it can identify (of the order of 20 compared with the several hundred of soil associations occurring in global maps) (Clevers et al. 2007; Harsanyi and Chang 1994) and only a few remote-sensing techniques can penetrate deep below the ground surface - but the patterns detected by remote sensing are real and meaningful and lend invaluable support to soil survey.


Joint Global Soil Partnership/e-SOTER workshop

Strengthening of Soil Data and Information is one of the main pillars of action of the FAO Global Soil Partnership. Knowing the state of the art of Global soil data and information for serving different users demands is a crucial activity. This will then allow the global community to develop a coordinated joint plan of action for generating the required data and information in the coming future.

Is in this regard that the Global Soil Partnership together with the EU-funded e-SOTER Project (coordinated by ISRIC) are organizing a one week workshop “Towards Global Soil Information: activities within the GEO Task Global Soil Data” at FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy from 20-23rd March 2012.

Find the link to the keynote presentations addressing the state of soil information globally and the needs for soil data and information by users will be followed by a number of presentations by most of the different ongoing soil mapping initiatives. Then a hands-work session for developing a plan of action of the GSP pillar will be devoted.

First Announcement: Towards Global Soil Information: activities within the GEO Task Global Soil Data


JRC Contribution

JRC is the leader of WP6. JRC is also involved in the creation of an artefact-free DEM for Europe in WP1 in close cooperation with Scilands and application of the landform algorithm to the DEM in WP 1 and WP3; use of RS for determination of soil parent material in WP1 in close collaboration with BGR; running applications in WP5; the development of web services in WP6. Regarding the WP5, JRC managed the expert elicitation procedure on Soil Compaction topic and cooperated with 9 experts. And in the frame of WP5, subsoil compaction susceptibility model was applied on e-SOTER database and on other existing databases (ESDB V2.0 , HWSD v1.1). For the purpose, Jones Soil Compaction Susceptibility Method (Jones, 2003) was carried out on European Soil Database (ESDB V2.0 -WEur, CEur), E-Soter Database (WEur, CEur and Ma - delivered by WP2) and World Harmonized Soil Database (HWSD - for only MA window) to produce inherent susceptibility of subsoil to compaction map/data in windows. Regarding WP6, the objective is development of an e-SOTER dissemination platform. It develops a data dissemination portal for e-SOTER based on INSPIRE principles. Links with existing or emerging international soil platforms will be explored.

Important legal notice
© European Communities, 1995-
Last updated:

European Commission - Joint Research Centre
Institute for Environment and Sustainability
Marc Van Liedekerke(tel. +39-0332-785179)
Panos Panagos (tel. +39-0332-785574)