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Web mapping service improved in latest update to Scottish Soils app

Web mapping service improved in latest update to Scottish Soils app
The current version includes our published soils mapping, so for the first time, the Institute’s published soils maps are fully available on a mobile device. You can get information on the soils by simply panning around or tapping on the screen

The SIFSS (Soil Indicators for Scottish Soils) app has recently been updated to improve usability. Aimed at growers, farmers and land managers in Scotland, the app allows them to quickly identify soil type in their area.

The apps creator David Donnelly (GIS Consultant, James Hutton Institute) explained “The changes made are actually to improve the users’ experience by increasing the use of web mapping services. The current version includes our published soils mapping, so for the first time, the Institute’s published soils maps are fully available on a mobile device. You can get information on the soils by simply panning around or tapping on the screen.”

The app enables users to explore the characteristics of around 600 different rural Scottish soils; helping them discover the differences in soil characteristics between cultivated and uncultivated soils, and also to examine a range of key indicators of soil quality.

The James Hutton Institute and its predecessor organisations have been collecting data on Scotland’s soils since the 1940s, resulting in a library of information on over 13,000 locations and over 40,000 individual samples. This information has been summarised into the Scottish Soils Knowledge and Information Base (SSKIB) which can be accessed through SIFSS.

Chief Executive Professor Colin Campbell said: “Our app makes it easy for farmers and other land managers to find out what soil types they actually have on their land and how their soil compares with the national averages for a wide range of key soil properties.”

The update aims to improve the user's experience should web mapping services be unavailable. In its most recent form, the Opacity slider can be set to the minimum, this ensures the app does not attempt to display information as it is panned and zoomed around a map. To restore this functionality the slider simply needs to be set higher than zero. The app allows a device to utilise GPS or a postcode can be entered to select a location in Scotland. It is then connected to SIFSS servers to retrieve the relevant information from the soils database, results are displayed in graphs.

SIFSS can be downloaded from the App Store. For other non-Apple devices, there is a web-based interface of SIFSS available which is also free to use.

Notes for editors

SIFSS stands for Soil Indicators for Scottish Soils. The app is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. It requires iOS 5.1 or later, and it is optimised for iPhone 5. The app was produced with support from the eSMART (Environmental Sensing for Monitoring and Advising in real-time) project. The app uses spatial data and databases developed at the James Hutton Institute and its predecessor institutes. The attribute data in these tables come from SSKIB (Scottish Soils Knowledge Information Base) developed by Dr Allan Lilly and the app was developed by David Donnelly.

More information from: 

Adam Walker, Communications Officer, Tel:01224 395095 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard).


Printed from /news/web-mapping-service-improved-latest-update-scottish-soils-app on 20/10/19 09:13:09 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.