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LandPKS (Land Potential Knowledge System): Mobile App for Extension, Land-Use and Project Planning, M&E and On-Farm Research

LandPKS logo

Through an understanding of climate, soils, and topography, land potential can be seen as the potential of the land to be degradation resistant (the ability of the land to resist disturbances) and resilient (the ability of the land to rebound after disturbances). Application of the land potential concept can support sustainable agricultural production, biodiversity conservation, and other ecosystem services.

To help address such land potential issues, LandPKS comprises a free modular mobile phone app connected to cloud-based storage, global databases, and models, downloadable from Google Play or the iTunes App Store; a system for storing and accessing user data; and a system for sharing data, information and knowledge.

LandPKS is being developed to help users determine the sustainable potential of their land, including its restoration potential, based on its unique soil, topography and climate. The land potential assessments will be updated based on new evidence regarding the success or failure of new management and restoration systems on different soils. The knowledge engine, together with mobile phone applications and cloud computing technologies, will facilitate more rapid and complete integration of local and scientific knowledge into land management. The current version (3.0, 2018) supports the collection and automated storage and sharing of the basic information needed to determine land potential (LandInfo module). It also includes a LandCover module for vegetation inventory and monitoring.

Modules available as of June 2019 are :

LandInfo – for rapid soil (texture, color) characterization, soil identification, and accessing soil and ecological site information.

  • Predicts soil infiltration & plant available water-holding capacity (AWC) at variable soil organic matter (SOM)
  • Determines Land Capability Class (LCC) for sustainable land use planning and management
  • Determines Soil Color using the phone's camera and a standardized reference card
  • SoilID (early 2019) – matches user inputs to global soil databases to identify the soil

LandCover – for rapid vegetation monitoring (vegetation composition, plant height, and canopy/basal gaps).

  • NRCS/BLM-compatible methods
  • Used for rangeland monitoring, natural resource conservation, and crop residue monitoring
  • Determines vegetation composition, plant height, and canopy/basal gaps

LandManagement (early 2019) – on-farm record-keeping (inputs, management, yields)

  • Provides data summaries
  • Allows for record keeping about crops, fertilizer, lime, irrigation, rainfall, erosion control, tillage, etc.

    Other Modules coming soon: SoilHealth and Biomass/Utilization.

Release Date
LandPotential Project
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Location
Contact Name
Herrick, Jeffrey E.
Contact Email
Public Access Level