Share on:
LFA map with 90-m resolution (left) as derived from the SRTM DEM and with 990-m resolution (right) after the generalization steps in the e-SOTER procedure
Start year
End year


eSOTER_logo_color_RGB_0.jpgThe e-SOTER project, September 2008 until February 2012, is a European contribution for a global soil observing system as part of the Global Earth Observing System of System (GEOSS). The kick-off meeting has been held at ISRIC, Wageningen, from  11 to 12 September, 2008.

The EU Framework Programme 7 (FP7) is funding the research through a grant of €2.6 million. Coordinated by ISRIC –World Soil Information, it brings together 12 research organizations from Europe as well as 2 from non-European countries.

The Challenge

Soil and land information is needed for policy-making, management of land resources, and monitoring of the environmental impact of development. Soils are under threat from various human activities and, for sustainable use and management, comprehensive information on their attributes and response to management is essential. This information is lacking, European-wide and globally. The traditional data collection process is slow and expensive; a Global Earth Observation System can plug the gaps in our knowledge faster and at lower costs and deliver the information effectively to a wide range of users.

Project Objectives

Technical barriers that must be overcome include: quantitative mapping of landforms, soil parent material and soil attribute characterization, and pattern recognition using satellite images and sensors; standardization of measures of soil attributes collected by earlier surveys.
e-SOTER will create a web service to deliver soil information that can be used directly by policy makers and managers; it will also make available the methods and techniques that have been used to create the information.

The Methodology

ESoterTimeFrame.jpge-SOTER has two major research thrusts: (1) improvement of the information system at a continental scale (four windows at scale 1:1 Million in Western Europe, Central Europe, Morocco and South China) using moderate-resolution optical remote sensing systems to delineate geo-botanical units and to associate them statistically with existing soil parent material and soil information, and (2) development of advanced methodologies at a regional scale (three pilot areas at scale 1:250 000 in the UK, Germany/Czech Republic, and Morocco) using geomorphic landscape analysis, geological re-classified remote sensing, and remote sensing of soil attributes. End products will be a layer of soil information with standardized soil attributes for the 1:1 Million and the 1:250 000 scale.
The project will quantitatively investigate the quality of the product.
The project will compare the evaluation of soil threats using both the e-SOTER database and existing soil data.


Expected Results

The end product will be a regional pilot platform with methodologies, concepts and applications that, together, will facilitate: (1) an enhanced database methodology at scale 1:1 million for Europe and the world; (2) ways of generating finer-scale maps of specific soil and terrain attributes, and digital data based on existing soil survey data and remote sensing; (3) a framework for new, cost-effective programs of field survey and monitoring. Natural resources organizations will benefit from the new methodology and will be able to use the framework for data collection and monitoring. This will enable enhancement of standard soil information at a European and national level and decisions on land use and management will be based on better information.
The results will also contribute to the development of a Global Soil Observing System.

Projects Partners

Organization Country
ISRIC - World Soil Information (coordinator) NL
Dept of Physical Geography and Environmental Sciences, University of Miskolc HU
Spatial Information in Soil and Environmental Protection, Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources GE
European Commission, DG JRC, IES, Land Management & Natural Hazards Unit IT
National Soil Resources Institute, Cranfield University UK
Alterra – Green World Research NL
Dept of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry, Szent Istvan University HU
Scientific Landscapes GmbH GE
Science du Sol, Institut National de Recherche Agronomique FR
Centre for Geospatial Science, University of Nottingham UK
Czech University of Life Sciences CZ
Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences China
Ecole Nationale d’Agriculture de Meknès Morocco
Laboratory for Geo-information Science and Remote Sensing, Wageningen University NL