A global consortium has been formed that aims to make a new digital soil map of the world using state-of-the-art and emerging technologies for soil mapping and predicting soil properties at fine resolution. This new global soil map will be supplemented by interpretation and functionality options that aim to assist better decisions in a range of global issues like food production and hunger eradication, climate change, and environmental degradation. This is an initiative of the Digital Soil Mapping Working Group of the International Union of Soil Sciences IUSS
In November 2008, an $18 million grant has been obtained from the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to map most parts in Sub-Sahara Africa, and make all Sub-Saharan Africa data available. From this grant there are also funds for coordinating global efforts and for the establishment of a global consortium. Several institutions have assumed a leading role in this effort and have made substantial financial and in-kind contributions.