Monday, September 17, 2012

Crowd Sourcing Soil Data and DIY Specs

I am pretty excited about the possibilities of Open Access in soil science, and this is a great example of why!

The DIY Lab Spec

The idea of using cameras and camera phones in spectral work has been around for awhile. The problem has been in the coarse-ness of the measurement; the cameras and calibration are too wide for any really accurate or precise measurements. But this has the potential to break that barrier! With the crowd-sourcing of data, calibration can become more and more refined. And camera lenses are getting more and more amazing, only helping to improve the precision and accuracy of the technique.

 Technology + crowd sourcing + open access = amazing possibilities!

The possibilities:
* Use from unis to developing countries to backyards!
* Farmers can test thier own soil
* Great educational tool!
* Massive data bank of open access soil data *
 An affordable tool that can then be used to collect data for other projects as well, reducing costs of on field experiments and data analysis. Yep! Crowd source soil data!

Wow! I can't wait for mine to arrive so I can start playing with it and adding to the data bank.


  1. love this idea!!
    I wonder how it would work with soil if it relies on light transmission?

  2. Me too! It is awesome.
    If you do extractions and use reagents, it could work quite well. The problem is still related to the need for chemicals. There is some other technology being looked at for taking direct photos of soil and using them to analyse components, such as carbon. I believe CSIRO is doing that work :)

  3. Cool! I have developed an interest in various DIY toxic waste remediation strategies and this seems like an awesome tool to keep in the toolbox!