June 10, 2024

We have released new features to make it easier for project managers to view and download stratification outputs and metadata from SoilStack without using the SoilStack API.

When we first built SoilStack, with support from ESMC, we focused on ensuring that it was interoperable with MRV platforms. For this reason, the API was the main pathway to push area boundaries to, and pull stratification and sampling metadata from the SoilStack web app. However, engagement with diverse communities has highlighted that most carbon and soil health projects that could benefit from SoilStack’s site-selection and sampling support tools don’t have MRV platforms from which to build automated data pipelines. These communities continue to manually move data around as files. The features added allow users to manually view and download key stratification data directly from SoilStack and we plan to release a new “file upload” feature soon (see more details below) to make it easier to add area boundaries.

What stratification data is available?

To view or download stratification data, navigate to the Field Show page and scroll down to stratifications and select View Details.

  1. 1. Summary of stratification outputs: Number of strata and sampling locations, buffered field area, and the size of each stratum. This quick summary helps project managers and soil samplers to plan sampling events.
  2. 2. Raster files:
    • Input data layers: Project staff can download raster files for each data layer used in the stratification process (ex: NDVI, clay content, slope, soil organic matter).
    • Strata map: This data, along with the area of each stratum, is important for modeling and/or calculating carbon stock outcomes from soil sampling events.
  3. 3. Stratification metadata: Metadata provides details about how the stratification was done, allowing users to replicate the exact same stratification and increasing trust in the results. Example metadata include all the input data layers used, the precise date ranges for the Sentinel 2 data used to calculate NDVI, the sample density settings, and the specific version of the stratification algorithm.  
  4. 4. Table of sampling locations: Easy access to the GPS coordinates of each sampling location generated by the stratification algorithm is often important to cross-check sampling locations against potential issues (ex: buried gas or cable lines). Downloading a csv of all sampling points makes it easier for users to check against potential issues or to upload those points to a different app for collecting samples.

Next Steps

Import field boundaries from geojson and kml files

Coming soon, project managers will be able to upload field boundaries using common file types (ex: geojson or kml) in the “Draw Field” tab in SoilStack.

Currently, areas can be added to SoilStack using the API or by drawing the fields directly in SoilStack. However, many project managers have area boundaries available from other management platforms or tools, which they will be able to upload to SoilStack.

How can I get involved?

We want to hear from you! What roadblocks do you face when creating sampling designs for soil carbon or soil health projects? Please contact Dan at dan@our-sci.net to share your experiences so we can continue to improve the open-source SoilStack platform.