Operationalising digital soil mapping – Lessons from Australia

Darren Kidd, Ross Searle, Mike Grundy, Alex McBratney, Nathan Robinson, Lauren O'Brien, Peter Zund, Dominique Arrouays, Mark Thomas, José Padarian, Edward Jones, John Mc Lean Bennett, Budiman Minasny, Karen Holmes, Brendan P. Malone, Craig Liddicoat, Elizabeth A. Meier, Uta Stockmann, Peter Wilson, John WilfordJim Payne, Anthony Ringrose-Voase, Brian Slater, Nathan Odgers, Jonathan Gray, Dennis van Gool, Kaitlyn Andrews, Ben Harms, Liz Stower, John Triantafilis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


Australia has advanced the science and application of Digital Soil Mapping (DSM). Over the past decade, DSM in Australia has evolved from being purely research focused to become ‘operational’, where it is embedded into many soil-agency land resource assessment programs around the country. This has resulted from a series of ‘drivers’, such as an increased need for better quality and more complete soil information, and ‘enablers’, such as existing soil information systems, covariate development, serendipitous project funding, collaborations, and Australian DSM ‘champions’. However, these accomplishments were not met without some barriers along the way, such as a need to demonstrate and prove the science to the soil science community, and rapidly enable the various soil agencies' capacity to implement DSM. The long history of soil mapping in Australia has influenced the evolution and culmination of the operational DSM procedures, products and infrastructure in widespread use today, which is highlighted by several recent and significant Australian operational DSM case-studies at various extents. A set of operational DSM ‘workflows’ and ‘lessons learnt’ have also emerged from Australian DSM applications, which may provide some useful information and templates for other countries hoping to fast-track their own operational DSM capacity. However, some persistent themes were identified, such as applicable scale, and communicating uncertainty and map quality to end-users, which will need further development to progress operational DSM.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00335
Number of pages21
JournalGeoderma Regional
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Australia
  • Digital soil assessment
  • Digital soil mapping
  • Land resource assessment
  • Multiple soil classes
  • Operational


Dive into the research topics of 'Operationalising digital soil mapping – Lessons from Australia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this