Soil Geographic Databases — World

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This page is a catalogue of digital soil resources available outside our organisation, for global (world-wide) products or those that span regions.

For other resources, please return to the Soil Geographic Databases starting page.

Index: Portals | Polygons | Grids | Points



  • FAO Soils Portal
    Links to global, national and FAO legacy maps (scans), also soil profiles and reports, soil degradation, management, biodiversity.
  • GloSIS Global
    From the FAO. Data Hub for Global Soil Information System (GloSIS) country-driven global datasets. Includes Global Soil Organic Carbon (GSOC) map, C sequestration potential, salt-affected soils. Links to (currently 03-Dec-2023 inactive) portals for Soil Information Systems of Cambodia, North Macedonia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. 
  • FAO/UNESCO Soil Map of the World 1:5M State of knowledge of the world's soil resources 1961-1985, only as PDF of the printed maps and reports.  
  • 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. Downloads from here.
    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.
    A more recent paper is Panagos, P., Van Liedekerke, M., Borrelli, P., Köninger, J., Ballabio, C., Orgiazzi, A., Lugato, E., Liakos, L., Hervas, J., Jones, A., & Montanarella, L. (2022). European Soil Data Centre 2.0: Soil data and knowledge in support of the EU policies. European Journal of Soil Science, 73(6), e13315. DOI: 10.1111/ejss.13315.
    An expanded collection of scanned soil maps is available on-line at ISRIC.
  • 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.
  • Data collections from the International Soil Modeling Consortium (ISMC).
    Collections relevant to modelling soil processes: hydrology, soil physics, pedogenesis... at scales from macropore to continental.
  • International Soil Carbon Network data access, from ISCN
    "a science-based network that facilitates data sharing, assembles databases, identifies gaps in data coverage, and enables spatially explicit assessments of soil carbon in context of landscape, climate, land use, and biotic variables".
  • 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.
  • Global mangrove soil carbon: dataset and spatial maps
    Method is explained in this paper.
  • Global "black soils" map from the FAO Global Soil Partnership
  • International Soil Radiocarbon Database (ISRaD) version 1.0
    "[A]n open-source archive of [georeferenced] soil data that include reported measurements from bulk soils, distinct soil carbon pools isolated in the laboratory by a variety of soil fractionation methods, samples of soil gas or water collected interstitially from within an intact soil profile, CO2 gas isolated from laboratory soil incubations, and fluxes collected in situ from a soil profile." The database is explained in this paper.  
  • Global Gridded 1-km Soil and Soil Heterotrophic Respiration Derived from SRDB v5
    "[G]lobal gridded estimates of annual soil respiration (Rs) and soil heterotrophic respiration (Rh) and associated uncertainties at 1 km resolution... Soil respiration (Rs) is the efflux of CO2 from soils to atmosphere as a result of autotrophic and heterotrophic processes belowground, and Rs is a large component of the global carbon cycle. Soil heterotrophic respiration (Rh) describes CO2 efflux by decomposition of soil organic matter by microorganisms but excludes autotrophic respiration by plant roots."  
  • PANGAEA Open Access library of publictions with soil data.
    "an Open Access library aimed at archiving, publishing and distributing georeferenced data from earth system research. PANGAEA guarantees long-term availability (greater than 10 years) of its content. PANGAEA is open to any project, institution, or individual scientist to use or to archive and publish data". Over 7K papers, mostly soil-related experiments.  



  • Google Earth Engine (GEE) soils layers
    Includes properties from Open Land Map, the Soil and Landscape Grid of Australia, the NASA-USDA Enhanced SMAP Global Soil Moisture Data. More datasets are regularly added.
  • Community datasets for Google Earth Engine
    Unofficial GEE datasets, contributed by "the community" of open data. See the "Geophysical" tab. Includes Geomorpho90, Soil Grids 250 v2.0, iSDAsoil Predicted Soil Properties for Africa 30m, Polaris 30m Probabilistic Soil Properties US, HiHydroSoil v2.0, Soil Organic Carbon Stocks & Trends South Africa. More datasets are regularly added.
  • development team: "[A] systematic listings of published data sets (a selection of the cutting-edge datasets we plan to upload to with emphasis on publicly available data sets available under open data license."
  • OpenLandMap from OpenGeoHub
    "Access and interactive visualizations of the Terabytes of high resolution data (1 km, 250 m or better) produced by the OpenGeoHub Foundation and/or contributing organizations."
    Search in the "Themes and Datasets" panel for "Soil Properties and Classes". These are produced by machine-learning methods based on a large number of point observations and covariate layers, as explained here.
  • Soil Type Mapping from OpenGeoHub
    Predictive mapping of soil types (WRB Reference Soil Groups with one qualifier), using legacy soil observations, correlation tables between soil classification systems and machine learning. The probability of each class is separately mapped. All code and data are provided at this Github site.
  • HWSD v2.0
    A substantially improved updated version of the HWSD -- see next entry. Now with more soil parameters, mapping phases, Technosol areas, seven depth layers, error estimates, expanded source profile database.
  • Harmonized World Soil Database (HWSD) v1.2 from FAO, originally developed by IIASA with contributions from many partners, notably ISRIC and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. 

    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).

  • HWSD-derived soil quality parameters
    On the basis of soil parameters provided by HWSD v1.2 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.
  • Re-gridded Harmonized World Soil Database v1.2
    This data set describes select global soil parameters from the Harmonized World Soil Database (HWSD) v1.2, including additional calculated parameters such as area weighted soil organic carbon (kg C per m2), as high resolution NetCDF files. These data were re-gridded and upscaled to 0.05-degree spatial resolution from the Harmonized World Soil Database v1.2, and provided as a set of 27 NetCDF files.
  • The FAO Global Soil Organic Carbon Map (GSOCmap). A GeoTIFF can be downloaded here.
    A mosaic of national SOC maps, developed as 1 km soil grids, covering a depth of 0-30 cm, following standard digital soil mapping procedures. Available for download or as an interactive map viewer.
  • 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 Hydrologic Soil Groups (HYSOGs250m) for Curve Number-Based Runoff Modeling
    This grid supports USDA-based curve-number runoff modeling at regional and continental scales. Classification of HSGs was derived from soil texture classes and depth to bedrock provided by ... soilGrids250m
  • Global soil, landuse, evapotranspiration, historical and future weather databases for SWAT Applications, DOI:10.1038/s41597-019-0282-4
  • 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.
    Described in Shangguan, W., et al. (2014). A global soil data set for earth system modeling. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 6(1), 249–263  
  • 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 (see below) generic soil profiles for crop modelling using DSSAT or APSIM, presented on a 5 arc-minute grid.
  • Global high-resolution dataset of soil hydraulic and thermal parameters for land surface modeling
    From Land-Atmosphere Interaction Research Group at Sun Yat-sen University. 30" grid of the World matching four popular world grids, with their standard depths, developed by ensemble pedotransfer functions, for land-surface modelling.
    Described in Dai, Y., et al. (2019). A global high-resolution data set of soil hydraulic and thermal properties for land surface modeling. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 11(9), 2996–3023


  • SoilHive
    From Varda AG: "a collaborative platform where you can find relevant soil data for your projects, create your own queries, generate tables and maps, and easily save and share them." An attractive interface to many sources of open soil point data, with a multi-scale hexagonal tiling of the world. Requires signup to Varda and then login.
  • Kellogg Soil Survey Laboratory (KSSL), National Soil Survey Center Soil Characterization Data
    Mostly USA, but includes analytical data for about 1,100 pedons from other countries. The above link describes the dataset; it can be downloaded from the NCSS Soil Characterization Database page.
  • Compiled Earth System Science point data sets: soil chemical and physical properties
    From the OpenLandMap project. Points collected from various sources, provided under open data license, with detailed instructions on how to use the data. Data sources and formats explained here. Two sets: chemical and physical properties.
  • An Open Compendium of Soil Datasets
    From Tom Hengl at OpenGeoHub. "A public compendium of global, regional, national and sub-national soil samples and/or soil profile datasets (points with Observations and Measurements of soil properties and characteristics).
  • HC27: Generic/Prototypical Soil Profiles
    27 soil profiles generated in formats compatible with the DSSAT and APSIM crop simulation models. Not a georeferenced set, modellers have to decide which of the generic profiles to use, based on soil maps or field survey. Developed by IFPRI
  • European digital archive on soil maps 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.  
  • GSHP: Global database of soil hydraulic properties
    "A total of 15,259 SWCCs from 2,702 sites were assembled from published literature and other sources, standardized, and quality-checked to obtain global database of soil hydraulic properties (GSHP)."
    Also contains several other soil variables such as soil texture (12,233 measurements), bulk density (15,125 measurements), and soil organic carbon (2,255 measurements). R code for database creation and example use are also provided.