Global Soil Partnership


Spectroscopy is the study of the interaction between matter and electromagnetic radiation. It is based on the principle that molecular vibrations and electronic transitions associated with soil constituents absorb light while interacting with radiation. For the first time since the discovery of this technology, institutions and experts from around the world are now joining efforts to use this technology to support decision making on soil protection globally.

With the support of its partners, GLOSOLAN is aiming to:

  1. Build a globally representative calibrated soil spectral library (database) based on MIR spectra with accompanying soil property reference data recorded in one gold-standard reference laboratory;
  2. Provide a freely available and easy-to-use soil property estimation service based on the evolving GLOSOLAN global MIR spectral library;
  3. Support countries to contribute to the GLOSOLAN global spectral calibration library and use the soil property estimation service;
  4. Harmonize soil spectroscopy methods (including soil sample preparation, spectral measurement and quality assurance of data analysis) by developing standard and protocols;
  5. Develop the capacity of countries and labs in the performance of lab-based soil spectroscopy measurements. soil spectroscopy measurements.

Why to invest in spectroscopy?

Why to invest in spectroscopy?

Soil spectroscopy is a method that has the potential of more rapidly and cost-effectively measuring soil properties in the lab and in the field. Soil spectral analysis estimates soil properties by calibrating conventional reference measurements, like wet chemistry soil tests, to the spectral signatures. The potential of spectral technology in soil mapping and monitoring is tremendous as it is fast, cost-effective, environmentally friendly, nondestructive, reproducible and repeatable. Numerous soil properties can be directly calibrated to near- and mid-infrared spectra (MIR) due to the fact that spectral signatures respond to soil mineral and organic composition. 

Why is GLOSOLAN investing in spectroscopy?

Why is GLOSOLAN investing in spectroscopy?

By recognizing the potential of spectral technology in soil analysis and soil mapping and monitoring, GLOSOLAN aims to address the constraints that still hamper the wider uptake of this technology. Major constraints include (1) the lack of standards and protocols to ensure compatible spectral measurements across laboratories, (2) the lack of calibrated spectral libraries for different soil types and geographies, and (3) the lack of capacity of conventional soil laboratories in spectral methods.

Who are GLOSOLAN partners in spectroscopy?

Who are GLOSOLAN partners in spectroscopy?

The initiative is being supported by the following founding members, with hopes for even more partners in the future.

To become a partner please send an email to [email protected] and [email protected].




2019, Lincoln, USA

First meeting of the Steering Committee on Spectroscopy

Working group leaders

-          Keith Shepherd, ICRAF, Kenya

-          Richard Ferguson, USDA, United States

-          Fenny van Egmond, ISRIC, Netherlands


We are a network of experts and institutions working on a common objective. Join our team, become a partner or a member of our working group by sending an email to [email protected] and [email protected].