Soil Site Reporter

LandIS in use

LandIS - Land Information System

the appliance of technology to the needs of the environment and agriculture
The Bidford upon Avon soil map. Image Copyright Cranfield University.

Increasing importance is placed on the need to match properties of the land with its use and management to ensure economic and environmental sustainability - the future of the world depends on it!

To deal soundly with problems and issues as they arise requires the availability of information, and the ability to integrate and manipulate different sources of data and output which is easily understood. LandIS fulfills these needs.

As global pressures for responsible land use increase, the data contained in LandIS and the skills aquired in its development and management are of paramount importance. Cranfield's Environment Centre (CEC), responsible for LandIS, have considerable expertise in:


What you need to know about LandIS

A wealth of on-line environmental information at your fingertips

Land monitoring and data collection have been pursued worldwide for many decades. Most of this information has tended to be stored away in different reports, in different filing cabinets, in different locations - it is seldom used to anywhere near its full potential. LandIS makes these different sources of information available quickly and efficiently, access being offered either on-line, as data lease packages, or as consultancy services. CEC has a wide range of GIS-based application developments using LandIS data both alone and in combination with client data. Application areas include:

Indeed the “tree” of LandIS-related applications is extremely broad:

The tree of LandIS applications. Image Copyright CSAI, Cranfield University.

LandIS is the core data management system, running on powerful servers in Cranfield University's data centre, operating via relational database management systems (RDBMS) and related geographical information systems (GIS - together comprising a unique national environmental Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) for England and Wales. LandIS incorporates many technological components, including:

These facilities provide LandIS with the flexibility to address an increasingly wide range of issues for a broad user-base nationally and internationally. This is because, although LandIS was established to handle land-related information for England and Wales, the principles of the system are applicable globally. We are engaged in the development of environmental information systems in several parts of the world, tailoring each system to the needs tof the country in question. The principles of LandIS have therefore been exported through a process of consultancy and technology transfer to a number of countries including: Venezuala, Turkey, Jordan, Malta, China and the Republic of Ireland. The LandIS team are also engaged in many European research projects where the principles of LandIS can be applied to many applications concerned with soil threats and ecosystem services and functions.


LandIS Users

A broad user-base
Soil profile pit. Image Copyright Cranfield University.

LandIS data and information, and associated research and consultancy services have led to a broad user-base from many sectors nationally in England and Wales, and internationally. The following presents a selection of the many clients who have used LandIS:

Agrochemical/Chemical sector

AgrEvo UK Ltd
Bayer AG
Ciba Geigy
Corning Hazleton
Dow Agrosciences
Dow Elanco
Huntingdon Life Science
Ricerca Inc


Essex & Suffolk Water
London Electricity
National Grid
Severn Trent Water
Southern Water
Thames Water Utilities
Yorkshire Water
Southern Water
South West Water
United Utilities
Northumbrian Water

Other private sector

JMP Consultants Ltd
Kampsax International
Lloyds Aviation
Equifax plc

Public Sector, Policy

Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions
Department of the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs
Environment Agency
European Commission
European Environment Agency
European Union
Isle of Man Government
Meteorological Office
Teeside Development Corporation

Public Sector, Research

Central Science Laboratory
Economic and Social Research Council
Farming and Rural Conservation Agency (Defra)
Home Grown Cereals Authority
Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research
Department of the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs
Meteorological Research Unit
Natural Environment Research Council – Institute of Terrestrial Ecology
Natural Environment Research Council – Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
EA Technology

Links and Operations in Europe

We have strong links with institutes in most countries of the European Union and has a number of ongoing collaborative research programmes with the European Commission, the European Union and the European Environment Agency. The Institute has worked closely with the soil surveys and soil data centres in the EU for the past 20 years in the development of a harmonised soil database for Europe. This database now contains information on Neighbouring and Accession countries as well as for the Member States. One of our experts was seconded to work in the European Soil Bureau based the EU’s Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy, from 1998 to 2000.

NSRI co-ordinated an EU Framework Research Project (Euro 1.5 million) on nitrate modelling and monitoring. This involved 9 institutes in 5 countries and the results have been published by the European Commission as a Soil and Groundwater Research Report. CSAI is also the UK National Reference Centre for Soil, in the network of environmental centres, EIONET, co-ordinated by the European Environment Agency.

Our work overseas
CSAI staff have exported the LandIS model to many countries overseas. Image Copyright S.Hallett, CSAI, Cranfield University.

In addition to the work described in the International Project references, we have also forged links with other institutes and undertaken collaborative research and consultancy assignments in Eastern Europe, Mediterranean countries, the Middle East, the Levant, Africa, Asia, South and North America.

Related to this is the World Soil Survey Archive and Catalogue (WOSSAC), maintained at Cranfield. The WOSSAC archive contains hundreds of thousands of soil maps, reports and surveys from over 386 territories worldwide, with the materials being made available for soil-related stakeholders around the world. For more information, please visit the WOSSAC website.


About Us

LandIS, or the Land Information System is one of the offerings of the Cranfield Environment Centre (CEC). Incorporating the National Soil Resources Institute, we are the largest UK national and international centre for research and development, consultancy and training in soils and their interaction with the atmosphere, land use, geology and water resources.

Cranfield Environment Centre
Cranfield University
Bullock Building (B53)
Cranfield campus
MK43 0AL
(01234) 752992

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