Where to find soils information
The multitude of existing information sources can be quite overwhelming and may make it difficult for you to find the particular piece of soil information for your area of interest, such as your backyard. Here is a key you can use to get some orientation in the soil information 'jungle'.
- 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.
- Explore our repository of soil survey-related reports and maps produced by the New Zealand Soil Bureau between 1973 and 1991. You can also search all soil records by keyword.
If all else fails and you can’t find what you are after, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.