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While roadside surveys, such as erosion protection field surveys, allow actual soil surface condition to be observed, they are costly and have limited temporal and spatial representation. Alternatively, remote sensing approaches offer considerable potential advantages, including improved data accessibility, flexibility and statistical validity, in addition to reducing costs.

The department is also collaborating with a national groundcover project funded by the federal Department of Agriculture. This project is refining a MODIS fractional cover remote sensing product to monitor groundcover primarily in the rangelands across Australia but also in agricultural lands.

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