A laboratory procedure for measuring and georeferencing soil colour
- 1Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), Department of Cartographic Engineering, Geodesy, and Photogrammetry, València, Spain
- 2Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), Department of Plant Production, València, Spain
Keywords: Soil, Colorimetry, CIE, GIS, Geomatics
Abstract. Remote sensing and geospatial applications very often require ground truth data to assess outcomes from spatial analyses or environmental models. Those data sets, however, may be difficult to collect in proper format or may even be unavailable. In the particular case of soil colour the collection of reliable ground data can be cumbersome due to measuring methods, colour communication issues, and other practical factors which lead to a lack of standard procedure for soil colour measurement and georeferencing. In this paper we present a laboratory procedure that provides colour coordinates of georeferenced soil samples which become useful in later processing stages of soil mapping and classification from digital images. The procedure requires a laboratory setup consisting of a light booth and a trichromatic colorimeter, together with a computer program that performs colour measurement, storage, and colour space transformation tasks. Measurement tasks are automated by means of specific data logging routines which allow storing recorded colour data in a spatial format. A key feature of the system is the ability of transforming between physically-based colour spaces and the Munsell system which is still the standard in soil science. The working scheme pursues the automation of routine tasks whenever possible and the avoidance of input mistakes by means of a convenient layout of the user interface. The program can readily manage colour and coordinate data sets which eventually allow creating spatial data sets. All the tasks regarding data joining between colorimeter measurements and samples locations are executed by the software in the background, allowing users to concentrate on samples processing. As a result, we obtained a robust and fully functional computer-based procedure which has proven a very useful tool for sample classification or cataloging purposes as well as for integrating soil colour data with other remote sensed and spatial data sets.