GloSIS: The Global Soil Information System Web Ontology

Tracking #: 3325-4539

This paper is currently under review
Raúl Palma
Bogusz Janiak
Luís M. de Sousa
Kathi Schleidt
Tomáš Rezník
Fenny van Egmond
Johan Leenaars
Dimitrios Moshou
Peter Wilson
David Medyckyj-Scott
Alistair Ritchie
Yusuf Yigini
Ronald Vargas

Responsible editor: 
Boyan Brodaric

Submission type: 
Full Paper
Established in 2012 by members of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the Global Soil Partnership (GSP) is a global network of stakeholders promoting sound land and soil management practices towards a sustainable world food system. However, soil survey largely remains a local or regional activity, bound to heterogeneous methods and conventions. Recognising the relevance of global and trans-national policies towards sustainable land management practices, the GSP elected data harmonisation and exchange as one of its key lines of action. Building upon international standards and previous work towards a global soil data ontology, an improved domain model was eventually developed within the GSP, the basis for a Global Soil Information System (GloSIS). This work also identified the semantic web as a possible avenue to operationalise the domain model. This article presents the GloSIS web ontology, an implementation of the GloSIS domain model with the Web Ontology Language (OWL). Thoroughly employing a host of semantic web standards (SOSA, SKOS, GeoSPARQL, QUDT), GloSIS lays out not only a soil data semantic ontology but also an extensive set of ready-to-use code-lists for soil description and physio-chemical analysis. Various examples are provided on the provision and use of GloSIS-compliant linked data, showcasing the contribution of this ontology to the discovery, exploration, integration and access of soil data.
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