ISRIC Report 2019/01: Tier 1 and Tier 2 data in the context of the federated Global Soil Information System (GLOSIS)

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Batjes, Niels H.
Kempen, Bas
van Egmond, Fenny
'GSP Pillar 4 identified the need to develop/support national level databases, based on common de facto standards, that contain a list of predefined, commonly required, soil properties for geo-referenced soil profiles (site and layers), and this within a federated structure. Originally, two types of soil profile databases (called Tier 1 and Tier 2) were envisaged for this in the implementation plan (GSP and FAO 2016). However, this would imply creation of a central GLOSIS database in contradiction to the federated, bottom-up structure envisaged by the GSP. Consequently, the foreseen GLOSIS spatial data infrastructure does not accommodate centralized data bases (de Sousa et al. 2019). Soil data providers will share (parts of) their data via web services that are registered by the discovery hub. Consequently, we propose to speak of Tier 1 and Tier 2 type data (hereafter referred to as T1 and T2) in the context of GLOSIS and not T1 and T2 databases. A T1 can accommodate all soil profile data that have been collated in a given country and standardised in accord with (emerging) GLOSIS protocols. Alternatively, T2 are subsets of the national T1’s that can be used to address specific issues (i.e. soil functions and threats as required for SoilSTAT). '

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