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A Compendium of On-Line Soil Survey Information

Compiled by D G Rossiter
Department of Earth Systems Analysis
University of Twente, Faculty of Geo-information Science & Earth Observation
Enschede, the Netherlands


Soil is the thin skin of the Earth's surface where the atmosphere meets the lithosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and of course the anthrosphere. Soils vary tremendously in their properties and ecological function. The job of soil survey is to map the distribution of the different soil types, describe these types, and interpret the maps in a form that is useful for land management and ecosystem studies. Systematic soil survey has been carried out for over one hundred years. As in other applied sciences, conceptual and technological advances are making soil survey more reliable, cheaper and useful. The internet revolution has also affected soil survey: information on the institutes that carry out soil surveys, their methods & techniques, soil classification systems, models, and interpretations from all over the World are at your disposal.... if only you know where to look! These pages are dedicated to making this soil survey information accessible, and guiding you towards the most useful sites. Special emphasis has been placed on a comprehensive catalog of soil geographic databases.

PageTop Editor's picks

Here are a few of my favourite soil-survey-related sites, in case you don't want to root through the whole Compendium:

  1. California Soil Resource Lab, especially SoilWeb: An Online Soil Survey Browser, which uses a Google Maps or Google Earth interface.
  2. Digital Archive of African Soil Maps
  3. Sensing Soil Condition
  4. Berlin Digital Environmental Atlas / Digitaler Umweltatlas Berlin
  6. Sols et Paysages du Languedoc Roussillon
  7. Canadian Soil Information System (CanSIS) / Système d'information sur les sols du Canada (SISCan)
  8. NRCS Soils home page (USA)
  9. NRCS technical references (Soil Survey Manual, Field Guide, Lab Methods, Soil Taxonomy)
  10. World Reference Base for Soil Resources (FAO)
  11. International Committee on Anthropogenic Soils (ICOMANTH)
  12. Soils of Wales: an online textbook and field guide

PageTop These pages


I have attempted to bring together all the on-line information on soil survey activities, institutions, datasets, research, and teaching materials world-wide. If you bookmark this page, you should be able to access "all" information that is relevant to soil survey with a few clicks.

Most recent major update: 2010/week 1

If you find a site that should be indexed here, please e-mail me.

If you are bored you can watch visitors come and go ...


The topics are arranged as a hierarchy; just click on a title in a menu to view the topic. Some pages have lower-level menus.

To return to this page, click on the To the Index post-it note at the top left of the page.

To return to the top of a page, click on the PageTop blue-and-green arrow in the right margin.

To return to the top of a long section, click on the SectionTop red-and-yellow arrow in the right margin.

Recommended sites

Good I have marked particularly relevant or informative sites with this symbol.


I use English to describe a site, except if the site is completely in another language, in which case I use the site's language. Sorry, no non-Latin scripts or sites; I don't have the web authoring skills to include them.

Browser Support

I use a non-frames, non-graphic web style, so that these pages can be viewed on slow connections and with text-only browswers such as Lynx. (After all, what do you want, entertainment or information?) I use cascading style sheets (CSS1), which will enhance the design on browsers that support them (unfortunately, Safari 1.0 seems to get confused). The pages conform to the HTML 4.0 specification and have been verified by the W3C consortium

PageTop Site search

Google is a flexible search engine, so why not use it? This is not an endorsement by ITC, just a practical way to add a search capability to the Compendium. We have nothing to do with the advertisements that Google displays with the search results.

You can search all of ITC, the Compendium, all of my pages, or all of the web. The default is to search just the Compendium within ITC; that's why the "ITC" radio button is checked and the "intitle:Compendium" search term is pre-entered for you. To search elsewhere in ITC, erase this term. To search my publications and lecture notes add "inurl:rossiter" to the search terms. (See the Google Cheat Sheet for a complete list of search options.)



Once Google displays the search results, you can locate the information within a page by clicking the "cached" button to get the page with colour highlighting of the search term. You can also search the web page using your browser's "Find" command.

Author: D G Rossiter
E-Mail: Last modified: Mon May 14 19:55:01 CEST 2012
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