Main authors: Giulia Bongiorno, Luuk Fleskens, Zhanguo Bai
iSQAPERiS editor: Jane Brandt
Source document: Summary results of SQAPP review session by project partners at the 5th iSQAPER Plenary Meeting, Ljubljana, 11 June 2019

A review session was organized at the 5th iSQAPER Plenary Meeting, Ljubljana, 11 June 2019 with the purpose of reviewing SQAPP and suggesting any final adjustments to be made. The session was born out of a need to conduct a peer-review of SQAPP that included experience partners had obtained using SQAPP themselves and discussing and demonstrating it with others. The review included: discussion of issues concerning the validation of SQAPP against field measurements; data origin, coverage, reliability and accuracy; potential use of pedo-transfer functions; and the possibility for user-input data and feedback to be included in the databases (so that users will not just discard the app, but will make it better and interactive). The feedback was evaluated and taken into account in further development of SQAPP (»Developing SQAPP).

Four parallel sessions were organized, and each participant could rotate to provide input on these themes:

  1. Soil quality
  2. Soil threats
  3. AMP recommendations
  4. User experience.

The following questions and comments were made on the themes.

1. Soil quality/soil properties

  • Where do the data come from? Information about database, number of samples used for make the scoring curve, resolution (area used for the scoring curve) should be added in an info button.
  • Some of the results that we get from the app are completely wrong (e.g.nutrients and OM). If we need to provide more detail about this, how do we do it? It is difficult because of temporal and spatial differences, especially for biological properties.
  • Maybe use pedotransfer functions or feedback from the users, we need more details. Maybe gather more data from other European project?
  • Important to include a message which says that the results are only an approximation.
  • The feedback (user-input data) should be added in some way although there maybe privacy and quality control problems. However this is also the point of the interactive part of the app
  • How can new indicators be included? For example active lime content would be useful in Spain (a very calcareous area), or drainage class.

2. Soil threats

  • Reliability of the data needs to be clearly stated.
  • Conversion factors for different measurement units should be supplied.
  • Easiness and effectiveness of the indicators?
  • SQAPP is probably of more use for extension specialists rather than farmers, because additional training would be necessary.
  • Farmers are not sure how to assess the information given on severity of threats.
  • Sometimes the results were very inaccurate (for example in peatlands).
  • Add nuances and not total values.
  • User-input feedback should be used.

3. AMP recommendations

  • Provide more details in the AMP descriptions or give a link (e.g. to the WOCAT database).
  • Consider optimal effects of AMP combinations on soil properties (referring to the cluster analysis presented in D6.1).
  • Provide as much as tangible advice on an AMP (e.g., how many tones/ha/year of organic matter/manure/compost are needed to improve approximately how many percentage of soil organic matter content).

4. User experience

  • Consistency in capitalization of letters in SQAPP.
  • When changing data, the app froze.
  • What is the relation between 18 WOCAT AMPs that were evaluated in the iSQAPER field experiments and the list of 72 AMPs from which SQAPP makes its recommendations?
  • Should AMP examples be geographically confined or is the purpose to inspire users with global examples?
  • Threat-level is not country-specific.
  • Problems downloading SQAPP for Chinese users.
  • Missing data and need to code something.
  • Provide a user guide/Youtube video
  • The message "Are you curious about your soil?" that appears on the introduction screen should be repeated at every start-up.
  • Explain why SQAPP is different from other soil apps.
  • Make a flyer to attract people to download the app
  • Add info button in the Characteristics Screen 2 to explain land cover.
  • Add conversion factors for units in info buttons on the Soil Properties and Soil Threats screens.
  • Add technical details about soil parameters such as bulk density and coarse fragments in the info button
  • Add axis titles and an explanation for cumulative density functions. Perhaps add a screen between values and cumulative density functions to explain the curve.
  • Change “Provide feedback” to “Improve your data”.
  • At the end of the SQAPP screens, include questions on barriers to implementation.


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