How can awareness of the relevance and existence of soil data be increased? That was the subject of debate during a recently held symposium on the Soil Information System BIS Nederland. The symposium was hosted by Wageningen UR research institute Alterra.
During the Alterra symposium participants discussed the relevance of soil data for different stakeholders. The Soil Information System BIS Nederland contains maps with soil and groundwater information. The participants agreed that without these data, it is not possible to make adequate policy. Soil data are quite often used as basic data for model calculations to determine whether an area is suitable for a particular function.
Symposium participants pinpointed two categories of soil data: basic information which is freely available to everyone and information that is tailored to the user. For this type of information, users would have to pay. The participants suggested to develop commercial applications that allow users to easily access relevant data. Publicity in communicating such developments was considered desirable because "many parties have no knowledge of the existence of soil data".
The Soil Information System Symposium was held on the 5th of March. All results of the overall BIS Netherlands Research Programme (2008-2014) will be presented at a final symposium late 2014 or early 2015.
See BIS Nederland (Dutch) for more information.