GlobalSoilMap is an initiative of the Digital Soil Mapping Working
Groups of the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS, digitalsoilmapping.org.
Available at http://digitalsoilmapping.org/ . Accessed 22 Oct 2015). It aims to meet
the needs of the modelling community, farmers, land managers, policy developers
and decision-makers, by creating a fi ne resolution (100 × 100 m grid) quantitative
digital soil map of the world, using state-of-the-art and emerging technologies such
as remote sensing, data mining and spatial databases. The data will be stored in a
freely available distributed system with a set of standards for Web services. The
approach has three components: digital soil mapping, recommendations for soil
management and providing service to end users (Sanchez et al. Science 325, 2009).
The project originated in 2006 as an effort to address the unmet need for quantitative
answers to questions about soil-related issues such as soil carbon sequestration,
the impact of soil carbon on biomass production and the change in soil status over
time. To address such questions requires information about stores and fl uxes of
water, carbon, nutrients and solutes, in other words, functional properties of soils.
The most signifi cant stocks and fl ows are water including run-off, leaching, waterlogging
and water available to plants, nutrients, carbon, solutes and acidifi cation.
Access to information about soil properties reduces risks in decision-making, but in
order to understand and manage these risks, estimates of uncertainties in soil properties
are required. Therefore, all quantitative data in the GlobalSoilMap will have
an associated uncertainty. The project is facilitated by the synthesis of pedology,
which focuses on soil processes, and pedometrics, which focuses on quantitative