Digital Soil Morphometrics

Part of the series Progress in Soil Science pp 133-144


Computer Graphics Procedural Modeling of Soil Structure

  • Hansoo KimAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Graphics Technology, Purdue University
  • , Minerva J. DorantesAffiliated withAgronomy Department, Purdue University
  • , Darrell G. SchulzeAffiliated withAgronomy Department, Purdue University Email author 
  • , Bedrich BenesAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Graphics Technology, Purdue University

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Soil scientists in the USA have created a large national database of written soil profile descriptions that follow a well-defined set of rules for describing soil morphological properties. Interpreting these soil descriptions is a skill that requires considerable practice and experience. While writing a soil description is straightforward, recreating a visual representation of a soil profile from a written description is very difficult. So far, there is no generalized approach for translating written or tabular soil descriptions into visual representations. We propose a novel procedural modeling approach inspired by procedural models commonly used in the field of computer graphics. Our framework takes tabular soil morphological data (i.e., soil profile descriptions) as textual input and translates it into visual features based on parametric models. These models can be used to generate two-dimensional soil profiles or to generate three-dimensional interactive models that allow rotation, scaling, and other forms of visual explorations. The procedural modeling technique enables the user to generate the soil profile visual representation with only a small amount of data. The images do not need to be stored because they are generated as needed.


Tabular soil morphological data Procedural modeling Computer graphics