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Soil Ontology and Informatics Cluster



What we do: Harmonize soil data collection and taxonomy by connecting the soils research community.

Why we do it: Soil is complex; data standards and tools provide consistency for important agricultural and ecological science.

Kathe Todd-Brown (University of Florida), Brandon Whitehead (Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research), Dylan Beaudette (NRCS-USDA)

Cluster Co-Chairs

rocks and sticks on a leaf

The Soil Ontology and Informatics Cluster helps connect the soils research community and those whose research incorporates soils data to informatics tools for better research.

The group develops semantics and ontologies resources — notably an ongoing series of presentations every other week — as well as community building efforts to make connections between people who might not otherwise have the chance to meet.

Join the Cluster monthly on the fourth Wednesday at noon EDT.

Upcoming events on the community calendar

Event Series


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Soil ontology resources

Soil Ontology & Informatics Presentations

In their YouTube playlist and Github, the Soil Ontology and Informatics Cluster dive into specific tools, semantics, and ontologies to help soil researchers organize, analyze, and share their data. With more than 20 videos, the playlist and Github provides many tools for soil and data scientists.

The Promise of Big Diverse Soil Data

Published in Biosciences, the article “Reviews and syntheses: The promise of big diverse soil data, moving current practices towards future potential” provides a rich discussion of leading practices to help soil scientists gather and share data. The work was led by cluster co-chair Kathe Todd-Brown.

ESIP Meeting Sessions

In 2021, the Soil Ontology and Informatics Cluster led their first session on Dynamic Soil Information Systems. In 2022, the group pulled together an interactive session exploring data interoperability in soil science. Including soil research is key in climate adaptation strategies.