Soil Geographic Databases

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Providing information on the soils of the world is an enormous task and continuing challenge for  ISRIC — World Soil information. ISRIC collects, harmonizes and publishes global soil geographic information, whereas many national, regional, local and NGO organizations provide soil information specific to their area and according to their procedures and standards. This page is a catalogue of digital soil resources available outside our organisation.

Looking for ISRIC’s data products? Click here. These include the SoilGrids 250m predictive maps of soil properties and classes, and the WoSIS Soil Profile Database.

This page attempts to catalogue all freely-downloadable primary soils information usable in a GIS either as "point" observations, polygon maps, or gridded maps ("rasters"). Many of the linked sites also have interpreted information.

This compilation has been maintained first at University of Twente/ITC (1997-2014), then at Cornell University (2014-2017), and now at ISRIC by guest researcher David G. Rossiter . He has described the status and prospects for on-line soil geographic databases as of November 2014, as described in a preprint and online book chapter. In 2013 the FAO Global Soil Partnership published "State of the Art Report on Global and Regional Soil Information: Where are we? Where to go?".

Information outdated or missing? Please do not hesitate to contact us using the e-mail button at the bottom of this page.


Index: World | Europe | Asia, Eurasia | Australia, Oceania, Antarctica | Africa | North America, Central America and the Caribbean | South America | Antarctica | Dynamic soil status


World

Portals

  • FAO Soils Portal
    Links to global, national and FAO legacy maps (scans), also soil profiles and reports, soil degradation, management, biodiversity.
     
  • European digital archive on soil maps (EuDASM)
    Scans of legacy maps over the whole world, downloadable (and on CD-ROM) and with metadata. To be usable in GIS these must be georeferenced, the linework digitized, and a linked attribute database created. Reference: Panagos, P., Jones, A., Bosco, C., Senthil Kumar P.S. (2011): European digital archive on soil maps (EuDASM): preserving important soil data for public free access. International Journal of Digital Earth 4(5): 434-443. DOI:10.1080/17538947.2011.596580
     
  • International Council for Science (ICSU) World Data System
    Collects datasets from World Data Centres and others. ISRIC is a contributor. Querying for "soil map" returns > 2600 datasets.
     
  • GEOSS (Global Earth Observation System of Systems) portal
    A data broker to find datasets. Search terms include soil properties, soil moisture and temperature, soil chemistry, soil C. Can filter search by country/geography and data access conditions.
     
  • Catalogue of soil parameter data sets from the Global Change Master Directory hosted by Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA). A very large catalogue (over 1000 links) of soil parameters (e.g. C, CEC, heat budget, macrofauna...) with links to the actual data and metadata
     
  • Soil Collections data sets from the Distributed Active Archive Center for Biogeochemical Dynamics of the Oak Ridge National (USA) Laboratory intended for global modelling of biogeochemistry.
     
  • Northern Circumpolar Soil Carbon Database  (NCSCDv2), a spatial dataset created for the purpose of quantifying storage of organic carbon in soils of the northern circumpolar permafrost region, from the Bolin Centre of Stockholm University. Includes downloadable points (to 3 m), grids and polygons of C stocks.

Polygons

Grids

  • Harmonized World Soil Database (HWSD) v1.2 from FAO
    The Harmonized World Soil Database is a 30 arc-second raster database with over 15000 different soil mapping units that combines existing regional and national updates of soil information worldwide (SOTER, ESD, Soil Map of China, WISE) with the information contained within the 1:5 000 000 scale FAO-UNESCO Soil Map of the World (FAO, 1971--1981).
    The resulting raster database consists of 21600 rows and 43200 columns, which are linked to harmonized soil property data. The use of a standardized structure allows for the linkage of the attribute data with the raster map to display or query the composition in terms of soil units and the characterization of selected soil parameters (organic Carbon, pH, water storage capacity, soil depth, cation exchange capacity of the soil and the clay fraction, total exchangeable nutrients, lime and gypsum contents, sodium exchange percentage, salinity, textural class and granulometry).
    On the basis of soil parameters provided by HWSD seven key soil qualities important for crop production have been derived, namely: nutrient availability, nutrient retention capacity, rooting conditions, oxygen availability to roots, excess salts, toxicities, and workability: More information | Data download
     
  • Global Soil Constraints
    An update of the venerable Fertility Capability Classification, now called Soil Functional Capacity Classification System. An interpretation of the HWSD (see above); "analyzes 13 key modifiers from FCC4 that are the most relevant to achieving the Millennium Development Goals".
     
  • Global High-Resolution Soil-Water Balance
    Gridded maps at 30 arc-seconds of actual evapo-transpiration and soil water deficit: annual, monthly, Priestly-Taylor alpha; documentation. Primary inputs are WorldClim and Global-PET. Reference: Trabucco, A., and Zomer, R.J. (2010): Global Soil Water Balance Geospatial Database. CGIAR Consortium for Spatial Information.
     
  • Global soil datasets for Earth system modeling
    From the Land-Atmosphere Interaction Research Group of Beijing Normal University. Includes soil property grids and soil hydraulic and thermal parameters (NetCDF format) of the World, horizontal resolution 30 arc-seconds (about 1 km at the equator), over eight layers to 2.3 m depth, for land surface modeling.
     
  • Global High-Resolution Soil Profile Database for Crop Modeling Applications
    From International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI); Michigan State University (MSU); HarvestChoice, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). A reclassification of SoilGrids based on the 27 HarvestChoice generic soil profiles for crop modelling using DSSAT or APSIM, presented on a 5 arc-minute grid.

Points

Scans

  • European digital archive on soil maps (EuDASM)
    Scanned maps, with metadata, from ISRIC's collection, processed by the European Soil Bureau. Uneven quality, uneven coverage, but a gold mine of historical maps. Separate DVD-ROM and online access for Africa, Asia, Canada, Caribbean Islands, Europe, Latin America, the USA. Reference: Panagos, P., Jones, A., Bosco, C., Senthil Kumar P.S. (2011): European digital archive on soil maps (EuDASM): preserving important soil data for public free access. International Journal of Digital Earth 4(5): 434-443. DOI:10.1080/17538947.2011.596580
     
  • World Soil Survey Archive and Catalogue (WOSSAC) from Cranfield University (England)
    "[A]n archive and catalogue of all substantial soil surveys, reports and maps made overseas, with particular reference to those by British companies and personnel, to provide a safe repository for endangered copies, and to make the accrued information widely available for consultation by interested parties.". Materials are scanned as requested, and if scanned free for download. Excellent metadata and search interface; about 23k items catalogued.


Europe

  • INSPIRE geoportal
    This is intended as the entry point for all European data provided by governments, with compliant metadata.
     
  • European Soil Portal - Soil Datasets
    Primary and derived data covering Europe. 
     
  • European Soil Portal - Soil Datasets
    1. ESB links to national datasets
      national datasets including Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Demark, England & Wales (but Scotland is listed under a region of the UK, see below), Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Norway and Slovakia. Format and coverage vary widely. A few are downloadable, usually as generalized maps.
    2. ESB links to regional datasets
      sub-national (for now) regions such as Flanders (B), Wallonia (B), Bavaria, Niedersachsen, NRW, Sachsen-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein (D), Rhône-Alpes (F), Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Emilia-Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giuliam Lombardy, Piemonte, Tuscany, Veneto (I), Galicia (E), and Scotland (UK).
  • The European Soil Database (ESDB)
    1. Soil Geographical Database of Eurasia at scale 1:1,000,000 (SGDBE)
    2. Pedotransfer Rules Database (PTRDB)
    3. Soil Profile Analytical Database of Europe of Measured parameters (SPADE/M)
      Europe-wide soil profile databases, developed for various modelling projects (e.g. pesticide fate) SPADE-1 are direct measurements; SPADE-2 are inferred and harmonized for each Soil Typological Unit (STU) of the legend of the 1:1,000,000 Soil Geographic Database of Europe (SGDBE).
    4. Database of Hydraulic Properties of European Soils (HYPRES)
  • Soil Databases 1:250.000
    "The European Soil Bureau Network recommended and endorsed the preparation of a georeferenced soil database for Europe at scale 1:250,000. The Manual of Procedures Version 1.1 (Georeferenced Soil Database for Europe, EUR 18092) sets out the proposed methodology, the concepts, the structure and the implementation of the new soil database." Currently available for A, CZ, D, I, GB-SCT.
     
  • e-SOTER databases for W and E Europe
    e-SOTER is a methodology for producing SOil and TERrain bases according to a procedures manual. The databases are ESRI shapefiles at a nominal 1:1M scale.
     
  • LUCAS: Land Use/Cover Area frame Statistical Survey
    19,967 geo-referenced samples distributed in 25 countries; topsoils; analysed for the percentage of coarse fragments, particle size distribution (% clay,silt and sand content), pH (in CaCl2 and H2O), organic carbon (g/kg), carbonate content (g/kg), phosphorous content (mg/kg), total nitrogen content (g/kg), extractable potassium content (mg/kg) , cation exchange capacity (cmol(+)/kg) and multispectral properties.
     
  • SOVEUR
    SOTER for thirteen countries of Central & Eastern Europe, at a scale of 1:2.5M.
     
  • Digital Soil Map of the Netherlands / BIS Nederland (1:50k)
    Bodemgegevens staan in de top vijf van gegevens, die het meest gebruikt worden door de overheid. Bodemkundig Informatie System (BIS) Nederland biedt overheden en bedrijven toegang tot bodemgegevens en scenario’s voor duurzaam bodem- en grondwatergebruik. Hiermee kunnen de effecten van maatregelen op de bodem en het grondwater worden doorgerekend. Het systeem bevat up-to-date informatie over de Nederlandse bodem, die op systematische wijze is verzameld en bewerkt.

    Now also available as WMS and WFS, "soon" as downloadable GIS files, and "soon" thereafter the field data points, from Publiek Dienstverlening op de Kaart (PDOK). Search for "Bodem". As of 06-July-2017, only WMS and WFS with map unit names and (for WFS) up to three soil types per map unit; no linked attribute tables.
     
  • Digital Soil Map of Germany / BGR Geoviewer
    Mit dem Geoviewer können die von der BGR angebotenen Geodatendienste verschiedener Kartengrundlagen aus mehreren Fachgebieten betrachtet und untereinander kombiniert werden. Bei Interesse können Sie die Geodaten zu den Karten auch herunterladen, indem Sie den Links zum Produktcenter folgen. Die deutschlandweiten, europaweiten und globalen Übersichtskarten sind in unterschiedlichen Maßstäben ab 1:200.000 vorhanden.
     
  • Environmental Atlas of Berlin -- Topic: Soil / Umweltatlas Berlin -- Themenbereich: Boden
    Bodenkundliche Kennwerte, Bodenfunktionen, Radioaktivität im Boden, Schwermetalle im Boden. Texte, Abbildungen, Daten und Karten werden zum Download in verschiedenen Formaten angeboten.
     
  • Digital Soil Map of Austria / Digitale Bodenkarte von Österreich (eBOD)
    Die Daten werden in 1 x 1km Rasterauflösung mit allen parametrisierten Auswertungen angeboten. Für jede Rasterzelle werden zusätzlich der Prozentanteil der Summe aller Bodenformen, sowie der Prozentanteil der Hauptbodenform mit dem größten Anteil angegeben.
     
  • Digital Soil Map of Italy / Centro Nazionale Cartografia Pedologica
    WebGIS service. Besides it is possible to download the Map Soils of Italy 1:1M in various formats.
     
  • LandIS -- Land Information System for England and Wales
    All digital soil data for these countries, subject to signing a licensing agreement and (often) payment. Always licensed, never freely-usable.
     
  • Soilscapes of England and Wales (Cranfield University)
    Soilscapes is a 1:250,000 scale, simplified soils dataset covering England and Wales. It was created from the more detailed National Soil Map (NATMAPvector) with the purpose of effectively communicating a general understanding of the variations which occur between soil types, and how soils affect the environment.
     
  • Scotland's soils
    Unlike the country to the south, freely-downloadable and useable 1:250k, 1:25k, and points from the national soils inventory on a 10 km grid, also topsoil Pb and Zn.
     
  • Irish Soil Information System from Teagasc, the agriculture and food development authority in Ireland. The project has gathered together existing information and data from previous soil survey work in Ireland and augmented it with a new field campaign, leading to the production of a new national soil map at a scale of 1:250,000... An extensive range of soil types (or 'series') have been identified ... each of them different in properties, with different environmental and agronomic responses. For each, the properties have been recorded in a database that can now be used to satisfy the information required both for soils management and effective policy implementation.
     
  • European digital archive on soil maps (EuDASM)
    Scanned soil maps available for countries in Europe.


Asia, Eurasia

  • Gridded databases of China
    From the Land-Atmosphere Interaction Research Group of Beijing Normal University. Includes soil property grids (NetCDF format) of China, horizontal resolution 30 arc-seconds (about 1 km at the equator), over eight layers to 2.3 m depth, for land surface modeling, grids of soil hydraulic properties, soil particle-size distribution.
     
  • ???????
    China Soil Scientific Database
     
  • SOTER for Nepal
    SOil and TERrain Database for Nepal, at a scale of 1:1M
     
  • European digital archive on soil maps (EuDASM)
    Scanned soil maps available for countries in Asia. 
     
  • Land Resources of Russia
    At a scale of 1:2.5M. Hosted at IIASA. GIS coverages with linked database of soil types and properties. Many other coverages on the same CD-ROM.


Australia, Oceania, Antarctica

  • Australian Soil Resources Information System (ASRIS)
    1. National Soil Grids
      250 m horizontal resolution; themes: Australian Soil Classification; clay percentage; bulk density, pH, plant available water
    2. Atlas of Australian soils
      Digitized from 1:2'000,000 scale paper maps; includes a reliability map and legend
    3. Soil and Landscape Grid of Australia
      This is the Australian implementation of the GlobalSoilMap.net specification, i.e., at 3 arc-second (approx. 100 m) resolution. It is available for viewing on-line, via Google Earth, or for download. In addition to the soil properties it also provides many landscape attributes, e.g., the Prescott Index measure of water balance and solar radiation.
  • Victorian Soil pH mapping (VicDSMv1)
    "This dataset comprises soil property mapping across the whole State of Victoria at 6 prescribed depths. The set depths are 0 to 5 cm, 5 to 15 cm, 15 to 30 cm, 30 to 60 cm, 60 to 100 cm and 100 to 200 cm. The mapped soil properties are pH (1:5 water), EC (dS/m), percent clay and soil organic carbon (SOC percent) ... The data is available in polygonal format (i.e., the land units) with soil property median value, standard deviation and assignment qualifier attributes."
     
  • S-Map, the digital soil map for New Zealand
    S-map is the new national soils database. When completed, it will provide a seamless digital soil map coverage for New Zealand. S-map is designed to be applied at any scale from farm to region to nation.


Africa

  • Africa Soil Information Service Soil Databases
    The Africa Soil Information Service (AfSIS) is developing continent-wide digital soil maps for sub-Saharan Africa using new types of soil analysis and statistical methods, and conducting agronomic field trials in selected sentinel sites. These efforts include the compilation and rescue of legacy soil profile data, new data collection and analysis, and system development for large-scale soil mapping using remote sensing imagery and crowdsourced ground observations.
     
  • SubSaharan Africa nutrient maps at 250 m resolution
    Spatial predictions of content of soil macro and micro-nutrients across Sub-Saharan Africa at 250 m spatial resolution for the 0-30 cm depth interval Model training based on soil samples from 59,000 locations from the AfSIS, EthioSIS, One Acre Fund, VitalSigns and other legacy soil databases and an extensive stack of remote sensing covariates, as well as landform, lithologic and land cover maps.
     
  • European digital archive on soil maps (EuDASM)
    Scanned soil maps available for countries in Africa.
     
  • e-SOTER database for Morocco
    e-SOTER is a methodology for producing SOil and TERrain bases according to a procedures manual. The database is an ESRI shapefiles at a nominal 1:1M scale.
     
  • SOTERSAF
    SOil and TERrain Database for eight southern African countries, at a scale of 1:2M.
     
  • SOTERCAF
    SOil and TERrain Database for the DRC, Rwanda and Burundi, at scales of 1:2M (DRC), and 1:1M (Rwanda and Burundi).
     
  • SOTER for Senegal and the Gambia
    SOil and TERrain Database for the Gambia, at a scale of 1:1M
     
  • SOTER for Kenya
    SOil and TERrain Database for Kenya, at a scale of 1:1M
  • SOTER for Republic of South Africa
    SOil and TERrain Database for Republic of South Africa, at a scale of 1:1M
     
  • SOTER for Tunisia
    SOil and TERrain Database for Tunisia, at a scale of 1:1M


North America, Central America, Caribbean

  • Canadian Soil Information Service
    Includes Soil Landscapes of Canada (SLC) for the entire territory at 1:1'000 000 and detailed soil surveys (1:20 000 to 1:250 000) for most of the agricultural area.
     
  • Geospatial Data Gateway (GDG) of the (USA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). To download digital SGDB for a user-defined area, click on the link "Order by...", and once the area is selected, specify SSURGO 2.2 (semi-detailed, source scale 1:12 000 to 1:25 000) and/or STATSGO2 (1:250 000, generalized from SSURGO).
    To download digital SGDB for a State, click on the link "Order by...", and then "by State". Once the State is selected, scroll down and "Gridded Soil Survey Geographic (gSSURGO) by State". This includes the gSSURGO rasters (see below) but also a seamless polygon map of all the SSURGO 2.2 polygons, with attribute tables, in ESRI geodatabases format.
     
  • USA48 SoilGrids100m+ Predictive maps of soil properties and Soil Taxonomy Great Groups, based on three national U.S. soil point datasets:NCSS Characterization Database, the National Soil Information System (NASIS), and the Rapid Carbon Assessment (RaCA) datasets, and using the SoilGrids+ predictive mapping framework.
     
  • Web Soil Survey
    The same data for download as from the Geospatial Data Gateway; use the "Download Soils Data" tab. An advantage is the possibility to select an area of interest, which may cover several soil survey areas.
     
  • SoilWeb
    Another interface to SSURGO and STATSGO maps, from the California Soil Resource Lab. Uses either Google Maps or Google Earth. The latter is an incredible interface, showing polygons at appropriate display scale, click-through for map unit description with profile diagrams, block diagrams of typical landscape positions; also shows locations of typifying pedons. Also available as iPhone or Android apps.
     
  • POLARIS
    A 30-meter probabilistic soil series map of the contiguous United States. Described in Geoderma 274:54, Chaney et al. "constructed using available high-resolution geospatial environmental data and a state-of-the-art machine learning algorithm (DSMART-HPC) to remap the Soil Survey Geographic (SSURGO) database." Fills gaps, removes discontinuities at survey area edges, gives probabilities of each class.
     
  • Gridded Soil Survey Geographic (gSSURGO) Database
    A gridded version of SSURGO, which can be reclassified with properties or interpretations. No map unit disaggregation, but properties are estimated from map unit composition. However, the entire continental USA has been disaggregated at 10 m horizontal resolution by Nathaniel Chaney at Princeton, in cooperation with the NRCS, using the DSMART approach developed by Odgers and colleagues in Sydney (Australia) -- see the paper. When this is made available on-line I will link to it.
     
  • Kellogg Soil Survey Laboratory (KSSL), National Soil Survey Center Soil Characterization Data "Analytical data for more than 20,000 pedons of U. S. soils and about 1,100 pedons from other countries. Standard morphological pedon descriptions are available for about 15,000 of these pedons". The above link describes the dataset; it can be downloaded from the NCSS Soil Characterization Database page.
     
  • SOTERLAC
    SOTER for Latin America & Caribbean, 1:5M.
  • European digital archive on soil maps (EuDASM)
    Scanned soil maps available for Canada & the USA.
     
  • European digital archive on soil maps (EuDASM)
    Scanned soil maps available for "South America", including Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean islands.


South America


Antarctica

  • University of Wisconsin Antarctic Soils Database
    Data collected by Dr. James G. Bockheim and his colleagues from 1975 through 1987. Data include site information, air and soil temperature measurements, soil profile features, and surface boulder weathering features for 482 sites in the McMurdo Sound area of Antarctica.


Dynamic soil status

  • International Soil Moisture Network
    "Soil moisture, which is the water stored in the upper soil layer, is a crucial parameter for a large number of applications, including numerical weather prediction, flood forecasting, agricultural drought assessment, water resources management, greenhouse gas accounting, civil protection, and epidemiological modeling of water borne diseases." 
  • Soil Climate Analysis Network (SCAN)
    From the (USA) National Water & Climate Center. Time-series of soil moisture, temperature, snowpack for scattered stations. Also has some records for Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands
     
  • Texas A & M University North American Soil Moisture Database
    Harmonized and quality-controlled. Mostly USA, a few in Alberta, Québec, Ontario and Sasketchewan
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