Which soils are suitable for rice production? Where do degraded soils occur and why did they degrade? What is the water holding capacity of these soils? When studying global issues such as food security or climate change mitigation, researchers and other interested parties often need detailed soil information. ISRIC – World Soil Information, in collaboration with its partners, has developed a wide range of soil-related datasets and webservices that scholars and other stakeholders may use to study such issues.
Data download facility
ISRIC has been working for more than 40 years on datasets and maps at local, national and global scale and at various resolutions. Our site provides access to a data download facility, through which ISRICproject-related data sets can be downloaded. A wider range of information (datasets, reports, scanned maps) can be queried and accessed using ISRIC's metadata service.
World Soil Database
ISRIC is developing a centralized and user-focused database (‘World Soil Database’ or WOSIS). Here users can easily extract all validated and authorized data from the ISRIC data repository (see Data Policy) - soil profile data as well as area-class soil maps. Using a single set of tools - called Global Soil Information Facilities (GSIF) - the World Soil Database will allow visitors to access, process and visualize various types of soil-related data. GSIF has been inspired by global environmental data initiatives such as Global Biodiversity Information Facilities, Global Land Cover mapping and OneGeology.
SoilGrids1km, a collection of updatable soil property and class maps of the world at a resolution of 1 km produced using state-of-the-art model-based statistical methods, has been generated with the framework of GSIF; the SoilGrids system is intended to facilitate global soil data initiatives and to serve as a bridge between global and local soil mapping.
One of GSIF’s facilities is designed to address a pressing problem in soil science today: the loss of legacy (i.e. historic) soil data. To save and help collate legacy soil data and maps, ISRIC is constructing a framework for soil data storage called World Soil Profiles, that is linked to WOSIS. The Global Soil Profiles concept is based on crowd sourcing and resembles the Wikipedia approach. Individuals and organizations collecting soil data or working with existing soil information are invited to contribute their data to the global soil database that is managed by ISRIC. Intellectual property and other rights remain with the data provider(s), and ‘access rights’ are fully documented in the metadata and data access register (see Data Policy).