Mobile phone app for gardeners to access soil survey information

TitleMobile phone app for gardeners to access soil survey information
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsSalley S.W., Herrick J.E., Maynard J.J.
Conference NameSocial Sciences
Date Published06/10/2019
Abstract

Soil resource information can help gardeners better understand what is possible to grow on their land, and how they could improve it. However, the delivery of soil survey interpretations to the end-user is often complicated by soil map unit complexity where multiple classes are contained within a map unit and the subsequent human modification of these soil classes into urban lawns or gardens. Even in areas where human development has expanded into previously mapped areas, soils have been so modified that soil maps no longer provide correct information of soil resources. The Land Potential Knowledge System (LandPKS) is a modular mobile phone app developed to connect farmers, gardeners, and other land managers to US and global soil survey information based on location and user inputs. It is available free on the Google Play and iPhone App stores. LandPKS recently implemented a soil identification (SoilID) algorithm to match smartphone-based user data acquisition (e.g., GPS location, soil texture, and color by depth) through cloud-based computing to return soil component matching for any given point. While this approach has proven to reliably deliver soil class information to the user, it is ultimately limited to available soil concepts for that area’s soil survey. Our presentation will describe recent advances from the LandPKS app related to identifying these modified soil resources. We will also demonstrate other LandPKS modules that allow users to plan and record management inputs and activities, and document changes in soil health.