The entire country is now represented as a digital grid with two billion ‘pixels’ that are about 90 by 90 metres, down to a depth of two metres below the surface. The Soil and Landscape Grid of Australia, launched at the National Soil Science Conference in Melbourne, is the result of a partnership between CSIRO, the University of Sydney, several federal, state and territory government agencies and the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN).
The Grid draws information from the partner agency databases weaving together both historical and current data generated from sampling, laboratory sensing, modelling and remote sensing. The Grid also includes estimates of reliability and is designed to integrate new data in the future – even data generated by technology that has not yet been invented. Soil and landscape attributes such as soil water, nutrients and clay, affect the sustainability of Australia’s natural resources and the profitability of sectors such as agriculture, mining and infrastructure.
From exploring new land use options, to making the most of water, to finding habitats for endangered native species, this technology has applications we are only just beginning to imagine." CSIRO Research Director Mike Grundy said the Grid had already woven together hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of past soil and landscape science into a new ‘digital tapestry’. "The research community has known we need better ways to make this diverse information available; new science and technology has let us make the most of the rich data we have," Mr Grundy said.
For more information visit the Soil and Landscape Grid of Australia website.
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