Securing land tenure is often a necessary but rarely sufficient requirement for long-term sustainability of agricultural production and rural communities. To maintain and increase its value, land must be managed within its sustainable potential. This paper reviews the challenges of determining the agricultural potential of specific land types (soil+topography+climate), and accessing relevant information and knowledge necessary for management. It describes the global Land-Potential Knowledge System (LandPKS), which is addressing these challenges described by using information on soil, topography, and climate to provide site-specific knowledge and information through mobile apps and cloud-computing. This system can also be used to more equitably allocate land based on its sustainable production potential. The free apps are currently being used to inventory and monitor the impacts of several rangeland restoration and management projects. By the end of 2017 they will provide users with relative potential production and soil erosion risk under several management scenarios, including annual cropping. The system is completely open, and all data are available on a data portal and through Application Programming Interfaces (API) thus allowing links to other mobile and web-based services. User inputs are used to increase the precision of soil identification and subsequent management relevant information using a simple icon-based interface supported by short embedded video clips. Future versions will provide soil-specific management information from new (including user-generated) and existing knowledge bases.
Key Words: cloud computing, mobile apps, open data, sustainable intensification, sustainable land management,