Thematic synthesis TS4: Soil Information Platform Switzerland SIP-CH

The thematic synthesis outlines an information and service platform for soil information. Which soil information and tools are needed and for what purpose, and how will the gaps in soil data be filled? In addition, it shows how soil information benefits society.

  • Background (completed research project)

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    Greater consideration of soil qualities and ecosystem services for sustainable soil use can only be achievable if quality-related data are available, along with the criteria and key figures needed to assess them. There are large gaps in the data describing the quality of soil in Switzerland today. Only a few cantons collect soil data across the entire canton. In addition, the cantons use different data collection methods and record different parameters. Several projects of NRP 68 have studied soil data collection and harmonisation along with the development of new mapping and assessment methods.

  • Aim

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    The thematic synthesis is pursuing the establishment of a comprehensive soil information system in Switzerland. Such a system would pool data in view of practical benefits and highlight new mapping methods for filling data gaps. The soil information system would consider existing information and link soil data with models for assessing soil functions and threats to the soil. The synthesis explains the value that such a system would add.

  • Relevance

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    The thematic synthesis analyses the results of the relevant projects while also considering other activities relating to soil data, methods and tools at national and international level. Taking into account both classic and digital soil mapping methods as well as remote sensing, the synthesis presents scenarios for the development of a comprehensive soil information system.

  • Results

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    The thematic synthesis shows which contents the platform should be equipped with and which conditions must be fulfilled for its structure. Technical developments in soil mapping are examined and a path for the next steps towards the Swiss Soil Information Platform (SIP-CH) is shown. SIP-CH is a work of generations. The investment expenditure is compared with the added value for society.