Digital soil resource inventories: status and prospects

D.G. Rossiter
Soil Use and Management 20(3): 296-301.
Copyright British Society of Soil Science (BSSS)


This paper presents an inventory of digital soils data and supporting information available or publicized on the World Wide Web. The amount and quality of digital soil survey information at global, national, regional, and local scales is increasing dramatically. Some is freely available on-line, some is available on CD-ROM and only publicized, not distributed, on the web. The World is completely mapped at small scale. Many regions are covered by medium-scale inventories, especially using the SOTER methodology. Large-scale digital data are limited to the USA, Canada, Australia, and Europe, but there is discrepancy with respect to their philosophies of public access to foundation data such as soil maps. Remaining problems include the lack of metadata, limited interpetations for professionals who are not soils specialists, and geodesic incompatibility with other digital data. The frequent reorganisation of web sites leads, at best, to user frustration and, at worst, to the disappearance of information.

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Author: David G. Rossiter, E-mail dgr2 (at)


Last modified: Mon Aug 11 11:53:33 EDT 2014