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Open AccessArticle

Automated Soil Physical Parameter Assessment Using Smartphone and Digital Camera Imagery

The James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen AB15 8QH, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Gonzalo Pajares Martinsanz and Francisco Rovira-Más
J. Imaging 2016, 2(4), 35;
Received: 29 September 2016 / Revised: 26 November 2016 / Accepted: 7 December 2016 / Published: 13 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Image Processing in Agriculture and Forestry)
Here we present work on using different types of soil profile imagery (topsoil profiles captured with a smartphone camera and full-profile images captured with a conventional digital camera) to estimate the structure, texture and drainage of the soil. The method is adapted from earlier work on developing smartphone apps for estimating topsoil organic matter content in Scotland and uses an existing visual soil structure assessment approach. Colour and image texture information was extracted from the imagery. This information was linked, using geolocation information derived from the smartphone GPS system or from field notes, with existing collections of topography, land cover, soil and climate data for Scotland. A neural network model was developed that was capable of estimating soil structure (on a five-point scale), soil texture (sand, silt, clay), bulk density, pH and drainage category using this information. The model is sufficiently accurate to provide estimates of these parameters from soils in the field. We discuss potential improvements to the approach and plans to integrate the model into a set of smartphone apps for estimating health and fertility indicators for Scottish soils. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil; structure; mobile phone; visual soil assessment soil; structure; mobile phone; visual soil assessment
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Aitkenhead, M.; Coull, M.; Gwatkin, R.; Donnelly, D. Automated Soil Physical Parameter Assessment Using Smartphone and Digital Camera Imagery. J. Imaging 2016, 2, 35.

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