The Soilscapes app is currently available for iPhone and iPad
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.
Cranfield is pleased to announce that the UK Soil Observatory (UKSO) has been shortlisted by the Association for Geographic Information (AGI) in their upcoming 2014 Awards for Geospatial Excellence. The UKSO was nominated for the AGI Award for Excellence with Impact. AGI describe this award as recognising projects which have achieved outstanding success or impact, measured against societal, humanitarian, environmental or financial benchmarks.
Cranfield University’s National Soil Resources Institute (NSRI) was pleased to play a part in the development of the UKSO, contributing several of its soil related datasets to the project. The UKSO draws together soils data from institutions such as the British Geological Survey (BGS), the James Hutton Institute (JHI) and the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) and provides a unified starting point for accessing consolidated soil datasets via a series of interactive web maps and other web based resources. Further information on the UKSO is available on the project website.
Much of our work here at Cranfield University involves the combination of various geospatial datasets.
In this project, we were aiming to more effectively understand the landscape and geomorphology of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Milton Keynes. We produced a hillshaded digital terrain model from Ordnance Survey Panorama data, and draped this with BGS’s geology maps and our own soils data. The results have just been published in Geoscientist, the popular monthly colour magazine for Fellows of the Geological Society of London.
Timothy Farewell, Peter Friend & Martin Whiteley (2013). Lie of the Land. Geoscientist, 23(2), 14-19.