SOIL-DE is a project financed by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture to assess soil used for agricultural purposes in Germany. Multispectral and hyperspectral data are employed to analyse soil functionality, intensity of use and vulnerability, both at present and retrospectively. The requisite data include available baseline data like soil maps, soil analyses made by regional authorities, the European LUCAS database (spectroscopic measurements of soils), terrain information, historical satellite data from the Landsat archive, and current satellite data from Europe's Copernicus Programme. The project goal is to develop a methodology for evaluating the quality and value of soils used in the past as well as currently. In addition, the spatial, temporal and qualitative loss of agricultural land is to be assessed.
DFD is making a significant contribution to SOIL-DE by providing soil data. This primarily involves deriving soil information from earth observation data collected since 1984 as well as analysing the historic development. In the project methods are being designed to derive soil parameters like humus content. The information being provided for the project's soil analyses is based on output from the fully automatic Soil Composite Mapping Processor (SCMaP) developed at DFD.