Home' Position : Position Jun Jul 2016 Contents The Corangamite Soil Health
Knowledge Base was recognised
at the 2016 APSEA awards for
its expertise in solving complex
environment and sustainability
issues. This article highlights how
this winning project is just one of
many impressive initiatives taking
places across rural Victoria.
Developed in cooperation between
Federation University’s Centre for
eResearch and Digital Innovation
(CeRDI), and the Corangamite Catchment
Management Authority, the Corangamite
Soil Health Knowledge Base offers
essential background information and
knowledge required to implement the
South West Agricultural Soils Plan across
fifteen distinct landscape zones.
As a result, the team has established
a comprehensive knowledge base of
soil health information that is assisting
the broader community to implement
local catchment plans across the entire
Through this project, a repository of
soil health knowledge is readily available
to the community in a way that makes
it informative, relevant and useful to
the needs of land managers. It includes
reports, research papers, maps, soil profile
descriptions, soil test data, digital soil
maps, land capability maps, geohazard
maps, hazard susceptibility maps, images
and much more.
In commenting on the project, Mr
Bret Ryan, Land Health Manager for
Corangamite Catchment Management
Authority, said that the Soil Health
Knowledge Base “provides soil health
information to farmers to encourage
management practice change to create an
enhanced sustainable agriculture sector in
The Soil Health Knowledge Base
comprises two main components: an
eLibrary of digital documents, webpages,
images and multimedia that is easily
searchable; and an interactive map portal
to discover spatial soil data. The map portal
is based on spatial data infrastructure (SDI)
that has been developed and deployed to
federate soils data from disparate database
sources into a single web portal thereby
making data more easily discoverable.
Where possible, the portal offers real-time
access to remote authoritative databases by
integrating the interoperable web services
they each provide. In cases where the data
already exists in other web locations, linked
data technologies are used to connect to
that remote resource.
The SDI for the Soil Health Knowledge
Base project builds upon software projects
fostered and supported by the Open
Source Geospatial Foundation (www.
osgeo.org). Delivery is primarily via a
web-browser, the portal interface having
been built to bespoke requirements
upon the foundations of the OpenLayers
and DHTMLX Tree have been leveraged
to provide additional user-interface
components and functionality.
Many of the datasets used have been
sourced from legacy information held
by government agencies, such as the
former Victorian Soil Conservation
Authority and Department of Agriculture.
More modern data is available via web
services, such as landscape-water data
from Geoscience Australia and CSIRO's
Soil and Landscape Grid of Australia.
In addition, community contributed soil
data is included in the form of more than
a hundred farm soil test data locations
which may eventually provide a time-
series of soil health indicators. Academic
research data is also included, including
fine resolution digital soil maps from a
recently completed PhD research project.
While some of this data is consumed
via interoperable services, there are a
number of datasets hosted and delivered
by the Soil Health Knowledge Base. Spatial
data engines Mapserver (www.mapserver.
org) and Geoserver (geoserver.org) are
used for the Geospatial processing and
service delivery using Open Geospatial
standards. Vector data is commonly stored
within a MySQL or PostGIS database and
raster data is dynamically processed from
its native format.
CeRDI’s expertise in spatial mapping
and digital technologies has also led
to project partnerships with local
government. For example CeRDI has
partnered with the Colac Otway Shire
Federating all data,
for all to use Members of Federation University’s Centre
for eResearch and Digital Innovation, and
Corangamite Catchment Management
Authority celebrate their APSEA Award for
Environment and Sustainability at Locate16.
FEDERATION UNIVERSITY’S CENTRE FOR ERESEARCH AND DIGITAL IN
NOVATION FREE UP SPATIAL DATA ACROSS REGIONAL VICTORIA.
34 position June/July 2016
Links Archive Position Apl May 2016 Position 84 Aug-Spt 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page