Use this sequential key to get some orientation in the soil information 'jungle':
Note: if you are interested in soils on Māori land, you may want to start with our Whenua Māori Visualisation Tool.
- My area of interest is in New Zealand → go to 2.
or: my area of interest is in the Pacific islands region → go to 10.
or: my area of interest is in Antarctica → go to 11.
- I want to know what soil I have in my backyard.
No → go to 2
Yes → go to 7, but also check out our page on how you can determine some essential soil characteristics yourself.
- For my particular area of interest I want a soil map and/or associated key soil physical and chemical characteristics.
No → go to 3
Yes → go to 7
- I got my soil sampled and analysed, but now I want to know how healthy it really is.
No → go to 4
Yes → visit our SINDIonline tool to assess and compare the quality of your soil.
- I am really keen and want to see detailed soil descriptions and laboratory analyses available for selected sites in or near my area of interest.
No → go to 5
Yes → use the National Soils Database Viewer to zoom in on a map of New Zealand and check if one of the 1,500 soil reference sites is nearby.
- I am more interested in soil factors related to land management, such as vulnerability to waterlogging, or pugging.
No → go to 6
Yes → go to 7
- I want thematic maps (e.g. soil erosion severity, nitrate leaching estimates, greenhouse gas emissions, or how suitable my land is for a particular use).
No → go to 7
Yes → visit the Our Environment portal and explore over 20 map layers by topic, category or source.
- Visit S-map Online, register for an instant free account, and explore the available maps. Use the ‘Locate me’ option for checking out soils information for your location, and download the soil factsheet (soil summary).
Did S-map provide the information you are after?
No → continue with 8
- If there is no S-map coverage for your area of interest, try these options:
- Fundamental Soil Layers (FSL): Select the characteristics you are interested in and view the associated New Zealand-wide map layer(s). Note: FSL-derived data are approximate only, and care must be taken in their use and interpretation.
- Legacy Map Viewer: A tool to spatially explore the legacy soil maps produced by the NZ Soil Bureau and its predecessor between 1932 and 1989.
- Explore our repository of soil survey-related reports and maps produced by the New Zealand Soil Bureau between 1973 and 1991.
- Visit the Pacific Soils Portal for information and knowledge on Pacific soils, their health and uses.
- Explore our dedicated section on Ross Sea Region soils.
If all else fails and you can’t find what you are after, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.