Web-based digital soil maps help European policymakers and scientists to find the soil data they need for their models or decisions in fields such as land management and biodiversity conservation. The EU's Institute for Environment and Sustainability in Ispra, Italy, is the focal point for soil information at the European level. To familiarize its junior soil scientists various methods needed to bring soil data into digital soil maps ISRIC provided an on-site training course in Digital Soil Mapping (DSM) between 23 - 27 January 2012.
The goal of the training was that participants would able to reproduce different methods and approaches in proprietary and open-source software environments. The focus was on the different steps in DSM workflows, addressing data input quality and prediction uncertainty. Course participants worked on examples in the programming languages Python and ArcGIS, as well as the Open Source R-project with its many libraries
The course was enthusiastically received, and ISRIC and the IES are planning further cooperation on European wide digital soil mapping under the agreement between ISRIC and the European Commission Joint Research Centre, of which IES is an institute.