For each GSP Pillar an action plan was drafted that outlines the aims and ambitions of the pillar. These action plans were then translated into implementation plans that specify how these aims and ambitions can be realized. An implementation plan of pillar 4 was finalized in February 2016 and was titled “Towards a Global Soil Information System”. This plan is based on the four recommendations of the plan of action.
GLOSIS: Progress and plans
The Global Soil Information System (GLOSIS):
progress and plans
Rik van den Bosch, Director ISRIC -World Soil Information
GSP Plenary Assembly, 7 June 2019
Establishment of an enduring and authoritative global system to monitor
forecast the condition of the Earth’s soil resources.
• To inform Status of the World Soil Resources Report
• To inform country reporting to UN bodies
• To support development of thematic map products
• To facilitate national decision making
• Capacity building through joint development
The Pillar 4 Implementation Plan
• Soil profile databases (Tier 1,Tier 2)
• Global polygon coverage, as replacement of FAO/UNESCO SMotW, 1:5M
• Global Grids:
• Harmonized World Soil Database, version 2
• Fine-resolution grid of soil properties, version 0 (collation of grids, 1km)
• Fine resolution grid of soil properties, version 1 (harmonized, <1km)
Guidelines and capacity development for implementation.
• Foreseen system for monitoring, forecasting and status reporting of the soil resource.
• Addition to the FAOSTAT family of reporting systems.
• Infrastructure bringing together soil information collected by (national)
institutions in a de-centralized way.
• GLOSIS is to be a federation of soil information systems.
• Source institutions retain their data and control access; data sharing
according to data policy of data providers.
• Implementation that is lightweight, easy to deploy, based on open source
• Should empower data providers to develop and maintain their own soil
• Soil data needs to be easily findable, accessible, and available in formats
that can be readily used for a wide range of purposes.
Standardisation and harmonisation in collection, storage and exchange is needed
Slide courtesy: Peter Wilson (CSIRO)
Implementation period: 2017 – 2020.
Coordinated by GSP Secretariat (FAO) and GSP Soil Data Facility (ISRIC –
World Soil Information), with contributions from Pillar 4Working Group, Pillar
5, soil information experts.
General timeline GloSIS:
• 2017: SDF appointed, general work plan presented during INSII 3 for implementing
• 2018: development technical specifications of GLOSIS and its data products
• 2019: implementation and testing
• 2020: population and capacity building
• Developing technical specification documents (finalizing):
• GLOSIS design (approved by INSII, Nov 2018)
• Tier 1 andTier 2 soil profile databases (approved by INSII, Nov 2018)
• Implementation (ongoing):
• GLOSIS data exchange/interoperability: developing a web service from a
(dummy) soil database based on state-of-the-art standards (WFS 3.0, linked
data) from the Open Geospatial Consortium.
• Developing a GLOSIS reference node prototype
• Establishing a ‘specialist workgroup’:Wageningen Environmental Research,
Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research (NZ), CSIRO (AU), BGR (DE), ISRIC, FAO
(Technical development workshop 17-18 June).
• Pilot implementation: test phase
Building the GLOSIS community
• Technical developers:
• Possibility to influence development
• Forefront of technology
• Pilot with software – parallel development
• Early adopters / interested parties:
• Development costs own SIS greatly reduced
• Interoperable system with other countries and institutes
• Facilitates harmonisation within country
• Complements current initiatives
Why participate in GloSIS?
• Soil information system components are developed that are ready for use,
open source, easy to implement -> this is a big efficiency gain
• Flexible system for all development levels
• Comes with capacity building
• Basis for national derived products (SOC, erosion, etc..)
• Useful for informing policy and decisions within country and between
countries (borders and international studies)
• Standardisation of data is a one time investment with big efficiency returns
in future analyses/reporting
• Supports global efforts
• Continuity /sustainability
• ISRIC/Soil Data Facility
• Adopters (countries) have limited capacity for all GSP activities
• Link developments in countries to GLOSIS (technical) development
Thank you for listening
Bas Kempen, Luis de Sousa,YusufYigini,
Konstantin Viatkin, Jorge Mendes de Jesus,
David Medyckyj-Scott, Alistair Ritchie, Peter
Wilson, Fenny van Egmond, Jandirk Bulens,
Eline van Elburg
Nov. 27, 2021
Jun. 1, 2021
Rik van den Bosch
Seventh session of the GSP Plenary Assembly | 5 - 7 June 2019 | FAO HQ, Rome, Italy