Soil Landscapes of Canada (SLC)

General Overview

The SLCs are a series of GIS coverages that show the major characteristics of soil and land for the whole country. SLCs were compiled at a scale of 1:1 million, and information is organized according to a uniform national set of soil and landscape criteria based on permanent natural attributes.

 The SLCs are based on existing soil survey maps which have been recompiled at 1:1 million scale. Each area (or polygon) on the map is described by a standard set of attributes. The full array of attributes that describe a distinct type of soil and its associated landscape, such as surface form, slope, water table depth, permafrost and lakes, is called a soil landscape. SLC polygons may contain one or more distinct soil landscape components and may also contain small but highly contrasting inclusion components.

The location of these components within the polygon is not defined.  SLCs were originally conceived as a standardized database consisting of major attributes important to plant growth, land management, and soil degradation. These data have since turned out to be a useful framework to support other databases, including Environment Canada's Ecological Land Classification System.

Soil Landscape versions

The creation of the SLC database has taken a number of years. Updates and corrections to boundaries, attributes and file structures have taken place over the years. The version number reflects these updates. The number before the decimal place identifies the version of the polygon boundaries, while the number after the decimal place refers to the version of the attribute data for those polygons. New versions are released as major structural or attribute changes are implemented. The following versions have been released:

Version Released Date
Version 1.0 starting in 1991
Version 2.0 November 1994
Version 2.1 July 1995
Version 2.2 December 1996
Version 3.0 December 2004
Version 3.1 March 2006
Version 3.1.1 August 2007
Version 3.2 March 2011

Soil Landscapes Illustrations

Soil Landscapes Illustrations

Internet Mapping Application

The SLC web map contains a few simple interpretations based on a combination of versions 2.2 and 3.1.