Award of Best Paper in Pedometrics 2016 (International Union of Soil Sciences, IUSS)

Our paper was awarded the International Best Paper in Pedometrics Award (2016). 

Viscarra Rossel, R.A., T. Behrens, E. Ben-Dor, D.J. Brown, J.A.M. Demattê, K.D. Shepherd, Z. Shi, B. Stenberg, A. Stevens, V. Adamchuk, H. Aïchi, B.G. Barthès, H.M. Bartholomeus, A.D. Bayer, M. Bernoux, K. Böttcher, L. Brodský, C.W. Du, A. Chappell, Y. Fouad, V. Genot, C. Gomez, S. Grunwald, A. Gubler, C. Guerrero, C.B. Hedley, M. Knadel, H.J.M. Morrás, M. Nocita, L. Ramirez-Lopez, P. Roudier, E.M.R. Campos, P. Sanborn, V.M. Sellitto, K.A. Sudduth, B.G. Rawlins, C. Walter, L.A. Winowiecki, S.Y. Hong and W. Ji. 2016. A global spectral library to characterize the world’s soil. Earth-Science Reviews. 155, 198–230. doi:10.1016/j.earscirev.2016.01.012. (pdf)

The journal Earth-Science Reviews has a current IF of 7.82.

Synopsis of the paper: A global team of researchers, including Dr. Grunwald, synthesized a spectral dataset (visible-/near-infrared spectra) and measured soil data to model various critical soil indicators at global scale. Big data analysis was used to develop global soil maps/models for carbon, clay, and other soil properties demonstrating the impact and mitigation potential under various change stressors, including global climate change and land use change, both causing unprecedented soil degradation.

Read also the feature in the Soil and Water Sciences Department, UF Blog:

2017 Pedometrics 25th Anniversary Conference

The Pedometrics Conference in Wageningen, Netherlands was special (June 26 – July 1, 2017) (PM2017 pdf). We celebrated 25 years of pedometrics. Pedometrics became a Commission of the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) in 2004 and has been growing exponentially over the past decades with focal areas in Digital Soil Mapping (DSM), Digital Soil Morphometrics, Modeling of Soil and Landscape Evolution, Proximal Soil Sensing, and Soil Monitoring. Information about the conference, including abstracts and detailed program, are available at:

Dr. Grunwald gave an invited special long talk at the Pedometrics Conference:

“Past, Present and Future of Soil Physical, Chemical and Biological Process Knowledge in Pedometrics”


Pdf: Pedometrics (2017) – slides


Our lab group had several presentations at the Pedometrics Conference:

Christopher M. Clingensmith, Sabine Grunwald and Suhas
Wani. “Using new sparsity genomic methods to improve soil chemometric models”.

Christopher M. Clingensmith, Sabine Grunwald and Suhas
Wani. “Transferring and spiking of soil spectral models between two south Indian villages”.

Katsutoshi Mizuta, Sabine Grunwald, Wendell P. Cropper,
Wonsuk Lee, Gustavo M. Vasques, Michelle A Phillips,
Brenton D. Myers, Xiong Xiong and Willie G. Harris. “A novel pedometrics-econometrics approach to assess soil carbon capability”.

Katsutoshi Mizuta, Sabine Grunwald, Christopher M. Clingensmith, Gustavo M Vasques, Wonsuk Lee, Michelle A. Phillips, Wendell P. Cropper, Xiong Xiong and Brenton D. Myers. “Modelling pedo-econometric carbon scores with VNIR spectroscopy.”

Paper ranked first by Google Scholar

Our paper:

van Griensven A., Meixner, T., Grunwald S.,  Bishop, T., Di Luzio, M. and Srinivasan, R. (2006). A global sensitivity analysis method for the parameters of multi-variable watershed models, J. Hydrol., 324(1-4), 10-23.

was ranked first as classic paper (classic papers are highly-cited papers in their area of research that have stood the test of time) by Google Scholar in the category “Hydrology and Water Resources”.


What is Pedometrics?

Pedometrics = pedos [soil] and metron [measurement]

“Pedometrics” (term coined by A.B. McBratney) is a neologism, which stems from the Greek words pedos [soil] and metron [measurement]. It is formed and used analogously to other applied statistical fields such as biometrics, psychometrics, econometrics etc. (see Preface of Geoderma, 1994: 62). Pedometrics is defined as:

“the application of mathematical and statistical methods for the quantitative modeling of soils, with the purpose of analyzing its distribution, properties and behavior”

Trends in soil science sub-disciplines and subjects between 1967 and 2001. The ordinate is the percentage of papers in Geoderma (source A.. E. Hartemink et al., 2001; Geoderma, 100, pp. 217-268).


Contemporary pedometrics topics:

  • Analysis and modeling of spatial and temporal variation of soil properties
  • Digital soil mapping
  • Error propagation
  • Multiscale data integration
  • Soil-landscape modeling
  • SCORPAN or CLORPT based modeling
  • Soil pattern analysis
  • Quantitative soil classification algorithms
  • Pedogenic simulation modeling
  • Design and evaluation of sampling schemes
  • Soil sensors
  • Diffuse reflectance spectroscopy for soil mapping
  • Remote sensing supported soil mapping
  • and more