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Innovation Dishes the Dirt on the Resources Sector

Soil2015 will be the UN International’s Year of Soil, and with it comes the timely release of an online tool that can help miners, farmers and developers identify soil types.

Over the weekend, Science and Innovation Minister Ian Walker launched the user-friendly tool, titled Soils Globe, that allows users to interact with maps and up-to-date satellite imagery of Queensland soils, as well as download reports and data.

Mr Walker said the tool, which is a treasure trove of information, would have huge benefits to the the resources sector as well as the agricultural industry, land developers and community organisations.

“In Queensland, knowing our soils has always been important because agriculture and resource sectors are central to our economy,” he said.

Mr Walker said Soils Globe gave free access to world-class knowledge via the Queensland Globe, an interactive platform that merges open data with digital technology.

The Soils Globe, containing data from 90000 dirt sample sites across the state, was developed by soil scientists at the Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts and the Department of Natural Resources and Mines.

“The demand for soils information has been increasing at a huge pace in recent years and Soils Globe will save business thousands of dollars in time and resources with information now available at their fingertips,” Mr Walker said.

“Previously, to get this information you had to get on to several websites, contact government agencies for reports, or do some of the work yourself, including collecting soil samples, all of which cost money.”

Senior Soil Scientist Dr Katharine Brown with Jacobs, a major engineering and consultancy company which works closely with the resources sector in Queensland, praised the Queensland Government for establishing the Soils Globe.

“This will save us time in research review and soil investigation, which equates to cost-savings, which we will pass on to our clients,” Dr Brown said.

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