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ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8(3), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi8030127

Dynamic Recommendation of Substitute Locations for Inaccessible Soil Samples during Field Sampling Campaign

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1,2,3,*
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1,2,3,4,5,7
1
State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information System, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
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College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
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Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource Development and Application, Nanjing 210097, China
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Key Laboratory of Virtual Geographic Environment (Nanjing Normal University), Ministry of Education, Nanjing 210023, China
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State Key Laboratory Cultivation Base of Geographical Environment Evolution (Jiangsu Province), Nanjing 210023, China
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School of Environmental and Sustainability Sciences, Kean University, 1000 Morris Ave, Union, NJ 07083, USA
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Department of Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 January 2019 / Revised: 26 February 2019 / Accepted: 27 February 2019 / Published: 4 March 2019
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Abstract

Field sampling is an important way of collecting soil information for the modeling and evaluation steps during digital soil mapping (DSM). However, some predesigned samples may not be accessible in the field due to natural or anthropogenic reasons. Simply abandoning the inaccessible samples or casually selecting substitutes from other locations may affect the quality of the corresponding DSM. To address this issue, we propose a new method of dynamically recommending substitute locations for inaccessible samples, which was implemented in a prototype system on a smart phone platform. The proposed method takes into concern the original sampling strategy and recommends substitute sample locations based on a measure of suitability index. The suitability index is calculated to incorporate a substitutive degree as well as the sampling cost involved. The substitutive degree depicts to what extent a substitute location may replace the original sample in the context of soil mapping, while the sampling cost characterizes the travel expense to the substitute location following the overall fieldwork route arrangements. The proposed method currently supports four commonly used sampling strategies, i.e., simple random sampling, stratified random sampling, grid sampling, and purposive sampling based on environmental similarity. Two substitute sampling scenarios, instant sampling and subsequent sampling, are considered by the proposed method, to adapt to surveyors’ actual field sampling route arrangements when estimating the accessibility and sampling cost of potential substitute locations. Monte Carlo simulation experiments in a study area (about 5800 km2) located in Anhui province of China were conducted to use the proposed method to recommend substitute locations for two modeling sample sets designed based on purposive sampling strategy and stratified random sampling strategy respectively (59 points for each set) from other 224 previously obtained samples. Experimental results evaluated based on 57 independent evaluation samples showed that the proposed method was able to recommend substitute locations without affecting the performance of DSM, when less than 10% samples were replaced by substitute samples. A subsequent sampling scenario was revealed to incur lower sampling cost than an instant sampling scenario. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil sampling; substitute locations; sampling cost; environmental similarity; digital soil mapping soil sampling; substitute locations; sampling cost; environmental similarity; digital soil mapping
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Zhao, F.-H.; Qin, C.-Z.; Wei, T.-F.; Ma, T.-W.; Qi, F.; Liu, J.-Z.; Zhu, A.-X. Dynamic Recommendation of Substitute Locations for Inaccessible Soil Samples during Field Sampling Campaign. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8, 127.

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