Help:Editors Instructions

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This page is aimed at those volunteers who are kindly assisting Cranfield University in the process of categorising and organising the SoilPIC materials, and assumes a working knowledge of editing a Wiki site.


The SoilPIC Project

This page lays out instructions to assist in editing the SoilPIC archive. SoilPIC is all about soil profile and landscape photographs which are received from a number of sources – for example perhaps from yourself. This website is restricted in terms of who can upload images so we can manage carefully issues such as Copyright and ownership. Before any images are uploaded to the site, we MUST have on file a completed and signed ‘Donor Agreement’ form which allows originators to state clearly their willingness for images to be used on the site. Once this is in place the instructions below can help in editing the entries.

SoilPIC uses the MediaWiki software, as used in Wikipedia. There are a range of web resources to help edit wiki pages, these include:

Editing pages
More help

User accounts

Becoming a SoilPIC editor requires an account. These are currently only made available on request from the Wossac/SoilPIC team. Please contact us to request an account, including your email and a preferred username. Details of how to log on will then be emailed to you.

Editing SoilPIC

SoilPIC images are loaded into the wiki, either individually by you, or in bulk by the administrators. Each file has a descriptive page, which has added to it metadata descriptions of the image. Furthermore, each image is assigned one or more categories to assist in retrieving images. The editor's role is to add the metadata and category entries.

Further to the many thousands of images, there are also descriptive articles associated with each of the categories available. SoilPIC has settled upon a well-developed set of categories (such as erosion and biodiversity) that can be used to describe and apportion images in the archive. These categories have their own descriptive article pages, allowing for full descriptions of each topical theme. Each of these category pages is also intended to present a 'gallery', or a subset of the best images illustrating that topic. This documentation will develop over time with assistance from all the editors.

Editing Images

Individual iages can be uploaded using the Upload file function. If you have a great many images to load, it may be more efficient to forward them directly to us (e.g. by CD-ROM) so they can be uploaded in bulk ready for descriptive entry editing.

It is best to ensure that Image file names are short and descriptive, preferably without spaces (use underscores). Also, avoid unusual characters in filenames. Image names must be unique and not already in use. You can see the names of the images currently loaded into the system using the Allpages command and selecting namespace 'images'.


All slides need to have the same descriptive metadata elements captured. We have decided to adopt the ‘Dublin Core’ international standard for metadata (, a standard widely used by other archives for bibliographic referencing. Dublin Core was developed and managed by DCMI (an international open forum with participants from Academic institutions, library groups etc.). Its simple form has 15 free text elements with no mandatory fields. It was originally designed for handling bibliographic records. Dublin Core has no specification of ‘mandatory’ fields and all entries are purely optional.

SoilsWorldwide uses a Wiki template to hold and present metadata in the Dublin Core format for each image. Using a Wiki means pre-defined templates can be established and used. Individual image pages can have a blank template attached, which can then be completed. Copy the example below to the text section of newly uploaded image pages, ready for editing:

 == Summary ==
 | Title = 
 | Creator = ~~~~, Cranfield University
 | Subject = 
 | Description = 
 | Publisher = Cranfield University
 | Contributor = 
 | Date = 
 | Type = Still Image
 | Format = JPEG
 | Identifier = filename.jpg
 | Source = SoilPIC Archive
 | Language = N/A
 | Relation = 
 | Coverage =
 | Rights  =

There are 15 fields to enter. If certain of these are left blank, the template will automatically blank them out or, if in some case where appropriate, complete them for you. An example of this is the ‘Rights’ copyright statement. Therefore be sure to complete any entries whose contents deviate from the accepted defaults for SoilPIC. Be sure to retain the ‘|’ symbols as these indicate rows in the final output metadata table.

The fields follow the standard Dublin Core metadata element set, and can be completed as described below.


Enter here the title of the Image. Typically this will be the same as the filename itself (without the extension).


Here, enter your own details in if appropriate. The ‘Horizon 17:29, 19 January 2008 (UTC)’ symbol used includes automatically your user name as the editor for this article.











Relation - Related images

Relation identifies related images in the SoilPIC archive. These can be explicitly referenced as follows (here for two related images):

|       Relation = [[Image:IMG005.jpg|thumb]][[Image:IMG006.jpg|thumb]]


OS Grid Coordinates can be explicitly referenced for UK slides using the following format:

|       Coverage = {{gbmaprim|SU485982|SU 485 982}}



SoilPIC image files can belong to one or more categories. All images automatically belong to the category 'SoilPIC'. When editing images, copy and paste the appropriate category/categories from the list below into the image's page description. Note the categories are arranged hierarchically. It is considered preferable not to combine multiple categories where one is the parent of another (you may like to view the source for this section and copy it ready to paste to edited image pages - omit the '*'s in pasting to pages, these are just to indicate the hierarchy):

*[[Category:World Soils Nature, Uses and Issues]]
**[[Category:Future Soil Protection]]
***[[Category:Biological Diversity]]
***[[Category:Food Safety and Health]]
***[[Category:Population and Food]]
***[[Category:Population and Infrastructure]]
***[[Category:Sustainable Soils]]
***[[Category:Waste Disposal]]
***[[Category:Water Resource Management]]
**[[Category:Global Soil Issues]]
***[[Category:Carbon Cycle]]
***[[Category:Climate Change]]
***[[Category:Feeding the World]]
***[[Category:Hydrological Cycle]]
***[[Category:Nitrogen Cycle]]
***[[Category:Nutrient Cycle]]
***[[Category:Oxygen Cycle]]
**[[Category:Living Soil]]
**[[Category:Soil Composition]]
***[[Category:Soil Air]]
***[[Category:Soil Water]]
**[[Category:Soil Forming Influences]]
***[[Category:Human Influence]]
***[[Category:Landscapes and Relief]]
***[[Category:Parent Material]]
**[[Category:Soil Processes]]
***[[Category:Shrinking and Swelling]]
**[[Category:Soil Threats]]
***[[Category:Acid Rain]]
***[[Category:Building on Soils]]
***[[Category:Loss of Biodiversity]]
***[[Category:Loss of Organic Matter]]
***[[Category:Salt Encroachment]]
***[[Category:Soil Compaction]]
***[[Category:Soil Erosion]]
***[[Category:Soil Pollution]]
**[[Category:Soil Use and Management]]
***[[Category:Buildings and Infrastructure]]
***[[Category:Gardening and Horticulture]]
***[[Category:Soil Quality and Planning]]
***[[Category:Soils and Health]]

For example, to have two categories for a given page, place the category entries one after the other at the end of the page, thus:

[[Category:Agriculture]][[Category:Soil Water]]
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