Trustworthy steward of soil information – Update centralised WoSIS database

09 Mar 2018

We have updated the technical report describing the workflows and procedures for standardising and harmonising soil profile data in WoSIS (World Soil Information Service), our centralised database. We focussed on the standardisation of analytical method descriptions for soil properties listed in the GlobalSoilMap specifications.

The work builds on contributions from numerous data providers and experts, for which we are thankful.

The workflow is as follows: safeguard world soil data 'as is' (especially for soil legacy data) in the ISRIC Data Repository; map the ‘source’ data to the WoSIS data model; subsequently,  apply basic quality control, standardise and harmonise the data.

Upon their standardisation, the quality-controlled data are made freely available through the ISRIC Data Hub in compliance with the conditions specified by the various data providers. The complement of quality-assessed and standardised data served  from WoSIS can be used for digital soil mapping (e.g. SoilGrids) and support a wide range of environmental applications.

Tutorials in the Procedures Manual describe how the standardised data can be accessed using QGIS and R, via WFS.

WoSIS forms an important building block of ISRIC‘s Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI). Further developments will allow for the fulfilment of future demands for global soil information, and enable further incorporation of soil data shared by third parties in an inter-operable way, within a federated system.



Ribeiro E, Batjes NH and Van Oostrum AJM 2018. World Soil Information Service (WoSIS) - Towards the standardization and harmonization of world soil data. Procedures Manual 2018. ISRIC report 2018/01, ISRIC - World Soil Information, Wageningen, 166 p.