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Digital Soil Mapping in Australia (OzDSM)

OzDSM is a collaborative workspace for researchers working on digital soil mapping (DSM) in Australia. This workspace has been developed in collaboration with the Australian Advisory Group on Digital Soil Assessment, a working group of the National Committee on Soil and Terrain. CeRDI is collaborating with OzDSM to develop and test digital soil mapping products and functions.

Digital Soil Mapping in Australia (OzDSM) website

Digital Soil Mapping in Australia (OzDSM) map demonstrator


The National Committee on Soil and Terrain (NCST) is the Australian national body that oversees land and soil issues, especially those relating to site and spatial data and information. It has Commonwealth, CSIRO, State and Territory membership. Its primary roles are:

  • To oversee the Australian Collaborative Land Evaluation Program (ACLEP), which operates the Australia Soil Resource Information System (ASRIS);
  • Manage the Australia Land & Soil Survey Handbook Series;
  • Inform policy; and
  • Coordinate national, state and regional activities.

The Advisory Group on Digital Soil Assessment is a skills-based group that provides information, advice and recommendations to the NCST, as well as leadership and support with respect to the development and use of digital technologies and methodologies designed to produce high-quality land and soil spatial information for improved management and use of Australia’s soil and land resources.


The OZDSM website and mapping portal provides an effective means for collaboration and testing of Digital Soil Mapping (DSM) products. Methods and products are constantly being refined and improved and the OZDSM platform allows the domain experts to more easily share and seek feedback on their work. Tools for interrogating the data are also developed and tested on the OZDSM platform before being rolled out to production environments. The site also provides a Wiki platform for geographically remote collaborators to work on shared initiatives.

OZDSM has also provides a home for other related project outputs to be provided in an alternative format to the normal static download approach. An example was nutrient budget information developed by the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI).


  Digital Soil Mapping in Australia innovation

Web-based visualisation tools for viewing DSM soil properties (including error margins) at depth. While the charting technology used was not new, several methods were tested with the soil domain experts resulting in the output show in the chart below.

Technical Features

  • Web based mapping platform
  • Raster analysis functions to generate drill-down reports on numerous DSM surfaces.
  • Visualisation tools
  • Wiki platform


OzDSM is an example of where CeRDI has been willing to commit significant resources without external funding assistance because of strong linkages with other initiatives and the commitment of key stakeholders to a shared long term vision and research potential.

Future Directions

CeRDI will continue to improve the features and functions of the OzDSM website. New ways to access and interact with the DSM datasets will be provided including via a new CeRDI CKAN  data portal and registration of research datasets with the Australian National Data Service (ANDS)

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