The National Soil DataBase (NSDB)

The NSDB is the set of computer readable files which contain soil, landscape, and climatic data for all of Canada. It serves as the national archive for land resources information that was collected by federal and provincial field surveys, or created by land data analysis projects.

The NSDB includes GIS coverages at a variety of scales, and the characteristics of each named soil series. The principal types of data holdings (ordered by scale) are as follows.

National Ecological Framework (EcoZones, EcoRegions, and EcoDistricts)

  • intended for use at scales of 1:30 million to 1:1 million
  • coverage includes the entire land mass of Canada
  • polygons are nested groupings of Soil Landscapes of Canada polygons
  • data is available from other federal and provincial agencies

Visit National Ecological Framework.

Soil Map of Canada / Land Potential DataBase (LPDB)

Visit The Land Potential Data Base for Canada.

Agroecological Resource Areas (ARAs)

  • scale of 1:2 million
  • coverage includes the three prairie provinces
  • data includes climatic, economic, crop, soil, and landscape attributes
  • polygons are similar to EcoDistricts (but not identical)
  • better soils and climate data is available (Soil Landscapes of Canada, National Ecological Framework)

Visit Agroecological Resource Area Databases for the Prairies: User's Manual.

Soil Landscapes of Canada (SLC)

  • scale of 1:1 million
  • coverage includes the entire land mass of Canada
  • data includes major soil and landscape attributes

Visit Soil Landscapes of Canada (SLC).

Canada Land Inventory (CLI)

  • scale of 1:250,000
  • coverage includes most agricultural lands in Canada
  • data includes capability for Agriculture, Forestry, Wildlife, Recreation, Ungulates
  • produced in the 1960's, 1970's and early 1980s
  • better soils data and CLI ratings at larger scales are available (Detailed Soil Surveys)

Visit Canada Land Inventory (CLI).

Detailed Soil Surveys

  • scale varies (1:20,000 to 1:250,000)
  • coverage includes much of the significant agricultural areas of Canada
  • data content varies, availability of digital data varies
  • printed provincial indexes are available; query the NSDB data holdings

Visit Detailed Soil Surveys.

Soil Name and Profile Data

  • includes soil characteristics and soil layer information for all of the named soils of Canada

View Soil Name and Profile Data.