World Data Centre for Soils

    Focus areas

    The WDC-Soils at ISRIC provides a focus for soil-related collections and information services as custodian of global soil information.  An important aspect is the WDC data rescue program, safeguarding older (legacy) data which may be at risk of loss or deterioration, and digitizing old data sets/materials. In this capacity, ISRIC repository is welcoming additional soil maps and reports for possible inclusion in the world soil library-and-map collection respectively in the World Soil Information Service

    Both analogue and digital data are collated, maintained and analyzed. Analogue data are held in filling cabinets and the ISRIC - World Soil Library, which focuses on country documentation (grey literature). ISRIC operates a GeoNetwork facility to host and harvest soil-related metadata; ISRIC-derived digital datasets are also characterized in the WDC Portal of the Global Change Master Directory (GCMD).

    ISRIC is in the process of developing and implementing a range of web map and process services. Many of these products are being generated in close collaboration with the Global Soil PatnershipGlobalSoilMapAfrica Soil Information Service and other partners for the broader benefit of the international scientific community and other stakeholders.


    Data holdings  

    ● Collections (on-site)

    ● ​Web-based services (on-line)










    Overview of the ISRIC WDC-Soils holdings



    Since 2011, ISRIC is a regular member - node that deals directly with data curation and data analysis services- of the ICSU World Data System (ICSU WDS): the "WDS will support ICSU’s mission and objectives, ensuring the long-term stewardship and provision of quality-assessed data and data services to the international science community and other stakeholders". As member of ICSU WDS, ISRIC is registered as a Participating Organization of the intergovermental Group on Earth Observations (GEO). 

    ISRIC obtained the status of International Council for Science (ICSU) World Data Centre (WDC) in 1989, in recognition of its "unique collection of soil monoliths, maps and reports on the geography of soils and related natural resources". Initially named WDC for Soil Geography and Classification, it was later renamed to WDC-Soils to reflect the broadened scope of its long-term soil data stewardship.