Cranfield University has developed its first app, which is distributed freely to Apple mobile devices through the iTunes store.
The Soilscapes app provides mobile access to the national information on soil from the popular Soilscapes service which currently can be accessed on Cranfield’s LandIS (land information system) website – www.landis.org.uk/soilscapes
LandIS, which holds the English and Welsh national soil maps and property data, is managed by Cranfield with Defra (the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs). The new app forms part of a wider University drive to extend mapping to mobile apps as well as making the unique national capabilities held at Cranfield more widely available.
The app allows users to inspect the soil properties in their neighbourhood and to understand the extent and diversity of soils in England and Wales, providing for public education and awareness, something key to current thinking and needs at Defra.
The app is built around many of the technical concepts and frameworks highlighted here on GeoThread, including those covered in our guide to building a mobile mapping application. We hope that now much of the groundwork and testing has been done with this application, it will pave the way for further mobile mapping apps in the future.
Whilst the app is currently only available for Apple iOS devices, an Android version is now ready for launch and we hope to make it available through the Google Play store very soon.