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The study of sensing defining soil application models for (geophysical) sensor technologies is also called pedometrics.

Direct measurements

The gamma spectrometer gives a direct measurement of concentrations of radionuclides. Most common are the the concentrations of natural radionuclides (40K, 238U and 232Th) or other man-made radionuclides (or fission products) as 137Cs.

Indirect measurements

Many applications use the concentration of natural radionuclides as a proxy for the parameter is interest. These indirect measurements are based on validated statistical models or pure statistical models.

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Pure statistical models try to correlate the concentrations of the radionuclides to the parameter of interest. These models are not based on a real understanding of the principle why the radionuclides are correlated to the parameter of interest, but just use a statistical correlation. This might work well for a specific site, but there is no guarantee that this approach works for all situations. These statistical models have to be proven each site that was not part of the dataset used for the statistical analysis. Examples are nutrients of soils and pollution of soil.

Application models

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