Topsoil Mapper


In modern agriculture, precision farming is considered one of the most important factors for productivity during plant cultivation. In precision farming differences in soil as well as varying yield capacities within a field are taken into account during the cultivation process in order to use operating materials efficiently, conserve resources, and increase agricultural yields.

The use of geophysical measuring systems is one of the key factors in agriculture for understanding soil mechanics.

By using the Topsoil Mapper, the farmer himself can now, for the first time, record inhomogeneity in the soil for a large area and comprehensively map soil parameters, such as soil type, water saturation, and compaction using electromagnetic induction. These soil parameters can then be used in real time for variable machine control.

Topsoil Mapper

TSM (Nahansicht)

The Topsoil Mapper product set consists of three components:

1. Topsoil Mapper (TSM)

The sensor itself is made of robust, entirely non-conductive material, can be used during each pass and is capable of recording soil data autonomously.

The sensor system is available in two versions:

  • The BASIC version permits offline mapping of a field based on the parameters of soil type, water saturation, and compaction.
  • The PRO version performs data processing in real time, visualises the calculated working depths on the terminal, and transfers a rule-based control set to the agricultural machine, which can subsequently be controlled to an accuracy of one centimetre in real time.

NEWS: Recently we have begun to offer the option of integrating the TSM directly into the front weight. The advantages?

  • The installation of front weight and TSM can be achieved in a single step.
  • The sensor is also protected against environmental conditions.

2. Topsoil Visualizer (TSV)

The role of the Topsoil Visualizer is to process automatically the recorded soil information up to the machine control. Soil parameters, such as variable working depth, are calculated from the measurement data collected.

3. Topsoil Data Box (TSDB)

Our web portal allows field-related visualisation of the soil parameters recorded, with the user being able to select different map displays. Output is also available as a geo-referenced data set for further processing in the company’s internal geo-information system.


Functions: WHAT does the Topsoil Mapper (TSM) do?

BASIC: The Topsoil Mapper is capable of recording the depth of compaction, relative water content, and soil type automatically by using a motor during agricultural operations. In the Basic version, the user uploads the collected data via storage medium to the Data Box (cloud solution). Three maps are then produced using the parameters listed above. The data is managed centrally on the server and is available to the user at any time.

PRO: With the Pro version, the measured data is sent in real time to the terminal in the driver’s cabin. In this way, the driver can immediately see, for example, the depth of compaction zones. The information is provided directly to the soil tilling machine in the form of a rule-based control. Working depth is set automatically, such that interaction with the machine’s operator is not required. The advantages of this mode of operation are: an average saving of 6-7l/ha in fuel; a saving of working time of about 20%/ha; and a reduction in wear and tear due to optimised working depth.

Possible applications: Where/For what purposes can I use the sensor?


Topsoil Mapper can in principle be used independent of the weather in all agricultural soils.
Use is possible for each pass and with any implement.

For what purposes?

  1. Local differences in soil can be targeted for treatment with the control for varying sub-plots.
  2. The mapping of soil-specific water supplies allows targeted control of irrigation measures and optimisation of sprinkler system use.
  3. The thickness of the humid soil layer that is permeable by roots is determined in order to control soil improvement measures and fertiliser use in a targeted manner.
  4. Compatibility with agricultural information systems permits integrated planning of agricultural operations while taking into account all available operating data (e.g. soil data, yield key indicators, vegetation measurement data, etc.)

User: WHO can use the TSM?

Our main goal during development of the Topsoil Mapper (TSM) was to develop a user-friendly measurement system. By using the Topsoil Mapper, the user can reduce cost when managing agricultural areas, increase yields, and optimally supply the resource soil for tilling, fertilisation, and irrigation.

The measuring system’s features allow the user to carry out core activities without needing to negotiate a complicated measuring system with complex functionality. It is simple to install and can be used during operations mostly autonomously (i.e., it doesn’t require expert knowledge).

Data recording and analysis are autonomous, without the need of complicated and time-consuming settings by the user.

WHY the TSM rather than another product?

  • Increase in average work speed during cultivation
  • Savings in diesel and machine wear
  • Continuous improvement of soil quality
  • Autonomous recording and mapping of soil parameters: depth of compaction, relative water content, zoning by soil texture
  • Performing processes (sowing, fertilising) specific to a partial area
  • Fast and flexible installation on the front weight/front hydraulics
  • Can be used for each pass and in any weather
  • No contact with soil necessary
  • Can be used with any hydraulic grubber (retrofitting kit)
  • Results can be tracked, are transparent, and can be  checked via soil samples
  • Complex data evaluations and analyses are run in the background and do not cost extra time or money
  • Exterior stability: The system is especially robust and stable, as well as impervious to environmental influences. Daily use is not a problem, nor are long idle times, for example.

Areas of application: HOW does the operating mode of the TSM contribute to optimum cultivation and economical use of the soil? 

How well the available soil can fulfil its functions and which measures can be taken to increase functionality is of great importance to any farmer. For this purpose, measured data and soil parameters in a suitable spatial resolution and distribution are necessary as the basis for decisions about cultivation.



Watch the use of the Topsoil Mapper in day-to-day agriculture ...

User Stories

Read what our customers say about the Topsoil Manager ...

TSM Pro - Graham Potter agriculturalist - Yorkshire (Great Britain)
TSM Pro - Graham Potter agriculturalist - Yorkshire (Great Britain)

White papers

Learn more about the technical background of the Topsoil Mapper ...

Functional layout
Functional layout
Soil information
Soil information
System components
System components
General Remarks
General Remarks
Operation of Topsoil Mapper System
Operation of Topsoil Mapper System
Profitability arguments for Variable Depth Tillage (VDT)
Profitability arguments for Variable Depth Tillage (VDT)
Implement control
Implement control

Data examples Topsoil Mapper

soil zones
soil zones
relative water content
relative water content
depth to interface
depth to interface

Demonstrations & Expositions

Upcoming Demonstations & Expositions

Type of event: Event location: Event date:
CENTRAL AGRICULTURAL FAIR 2017 (TSM at the booth of AGROCOM Polska) PTAK WARSAW EXPO, Poland 30.11. - 02.12.2017

Past Demonstrations & Expositions

Type of event:
Event location: Event date:
Agritechnica 2017 (Exposition) Hannover, Germany 12. - 18. 11. 2017
Fielddemo Wilfersdorf Wilfersdorf, Austria 24. 10. 2017
TILLAGE-LIVE (TSM presented by SOYL our reseller in the UK) Wickenby Aerodrome, Langworth, Lincoln, UK              14. 09. 2017
International Field Days Ukraine 2017LAMMA (Exposition) Doslidnytske, Ukraine 21. - 23. 6. 2017
Fieldday of the Agricultural Chamber Nordrhein-Westfalen - AGENDA
Bad Sassendorf, Germany
13. + 14. 6. 2017
Fendt Variotronic Convention (AGCO) - AGENDA
Grasdorf, Germany
13. 6. 2017
Opolagra (Exposition)
Kamien Slaski, Poland
9. - 11. 6. 2017
Public Fieldday - AGENDA
Nitzing bei Tulln, Austria
9. 6. 2017
Fieldday - AGENDA
Gut Helmstorf, Germany
7. 6. 2017
Pflanzenproduktion 4.0 - Precision Farming - AGENDA
Gießhübl bei Amstetten, Austria
2. 6. 2017
Innovative tools in current agricultural practice (fieldday)
Zakrzow, Poland
22. + 23. 5. 2017
Agricultural engineering workshop - AGENDA Drösing, Austria 10. 5. 2017
Public Fieldday 
Kraichtal-Oberacker, Germany
12. 4. 2017
Public Fieldday 
Issendorf, Germany
9. 4. 2017
PREGA Conference
Budapest, Hungary
22. 2. 2017
AGROCOM Polska ConferenceŻędowice, Poland
14. + 15. 2. 2017
Conference of Bulgarian Ag.
Varna, Bulgaria
8. + 9. 2. 2017
Fiera San Biagio (Exposition)
Bovolone Verona, Italy
28. - 31. 1. 2017
LAMMA (Exposition)
Great Britain
18. + 19. 1. 2017

Here you can find press releases as well as pictures of the events.


What exactly can be recorded with the Topsoil Mapper?

The TSM records mainly the depth (cm) of soil compaction and/or the depth of soil horizons, relative water content (%), as well as the texture (in soil classes). In addition, classic conductivity mapping (ECa or ECt, apparent or true conductivity) can be output at 4 cumulative depths.

What is the maximum depth at which the Topsoil Mapper (TSM) captures data?

The maximum recording depth while taking into account the device height of about 35 cm above ground is 1.1 m.

Are there limits to the speed?

Ex works we configure the systems for a recording speed of around 15 km/h – max. 30 km/h. However, higher speeds are possible.

Is there a recommended track spacing? 

We recommend maximum track spacing of 18 m. It is, of course, possible to increase the track spacing, but this causes the resolution to worsen.

Is there an optimum distance to the soil?

We recommend a distance to the soil of up to 30 cm. If circumstances require a higher installation, a distance to the soil of up to 45 cm is possible.

How often is calibration necessary? 

Calibration occurs during initial installation and is not necessary for each use. In order to ensure accuracy, however, we recommend annual calibration at the start of the season or after longer idle times.

How is the data presented/forwarded?

The data recorded is transmitted in various OGC (open GIS consortium)-compliant formats, such as *.shp, *.gtiff or ISOXML. Online data transfer from TSM to the implement is currently carried out as RS232 or CAN output. So far we have also supported the LH5000 and Bogballe protocols, based on customer requirements. 

How has TSM been used so far? Automation?

We support two options for cultivation:

  1. Offline (Basic version): in one operation a soil tilling map is created, which is processed in a later operation (cultivation) via a terminal;
  2. Online (Pro version): soil data is recorded and analysed (latency time approximately 8 ms) ‘on the fly’ and is then delivered to the implement for control.

Both versions run automatically - in version 1 calculation is performed via a cloud solution, in version 2 via our job calculator, which is installed in the tractor.

How is it different from other conductivity measurement devices common on the market?

The physical measuring principle of the Topsoil Mapper is electric conductivity. The following differences exist compared to common systems:

  • TSM is a multi-coil system: 1 transmitting coil Tx with 4 receiving coils Rx
  • TSM records soil parameters without contact during any process (for example, installed in the front hydraulics)
  • TSM is suitable for online operation - i.e., soil parameters are output immediately and can be used for machine control

Customer use in practical application?

The main benefit is that operating costs (fuel, wear) are saved because of the variable depth guidance. The analysed soil maps can be used as the basis for other application maps, such as sowing, fertilising, plant protection, etc.

What does the TSM cost?

We will provide you with the list price upon request. However, we attempt to provide our customers with a tailored offer and are therefore looking forward to hearing from you at


Our goal is to support you personally if you have questions about our products. 
We are looking forward to receiving your message or your call under 0043 22525081650!