Soil data

Access facts and figures about soil and land across NSW.

Introducing eSPADE

Making soil information across NSW available online

eSPADE is a Google Maps-based information system that allows easy, no-cost, map-based access to a wealth of soil and land information from across NSW, including:

  • soil profiles: many thousands of individual site-based observations of landscape and soil features available as downloadable reports individually or in bulk, and as maps of profile points classified using a number of different soil attributes
  • soil and land resources mapping: seamless maps of soil and landscape characteristics, qualities, limitations and hazards covering several key NSW catchments
  • soil landscape mapping: maps of soil and landscape characteristics, qualities, limitations and hazards from individual 1:100,000 or 1:250,000 topographic mapsheets areas in Central and Eastern NSW
  • land systems mapping: broadscale mapping of landscapes and soils in the Western Division of NSW
  • statewide mapping of Land and Soil Capability (base layer for mapping of Biophysical Strategic Agricultural Land, BSAL)
  • statewide mapping of soil fertility (base layer for mapping of Biophysical Strategic Agricultural Land, BSAL)

The data accessible through eSPADE is sourced mainly from the NSW Soil and Land Information System (SALIS).

Introducing eDIRT

A web system for recording soil information in the field

eDIRT is an Internet application for the in-field digital recording of soil information. Its primary role is to replace the previous generation of scannable Soil Data Cards used to enter soil information into the NSW Soil and Land Information System (SALIS). The Soil Data Cards are still available, but eDIRT provides a quicker, more efficient and more accurate way of recording soil information and getting it into SALIS.

eDIRT is suitable for use on both desktop and mobile platforms (laptops, tablets and smartphones) using all major operating systems available at the time of its development. eDIRT has been optimised for use on a tablet or large smartphone with a touch screen, Internet browser, mobile network connectivity and a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver.

eDIRT can be used both online (connected to the Internet via a fixed or mobile network) and offline (in remote areas without mobile network connectivity). The eDIRT application is supported by an Internet server that supplies eDIRT with data and program updates. The eDIRT server also synchronises (‘syncs’) the soil profile data you collect when you’re online, so that if your device stops working or your data is deleted you can easily retrieve it.

For best use of eDIRT we recommend the use of a touch-enabled mobile device (tablet or large smartphone), although eDIRT will also operate on laptop and desktop computers. Preferred operating systems and Web browsers are:

  • Google® Android™ using Google® Chrome™ for Android™, version 39 and above
  • Microsoft® Windows®, version 7 and above, using Google® Chrome™, version 39 and above
  • Apple® iOS, version 7 and above, using Google® Chrome™, version 39 and above


SALIS provides a substantial database of information collected by earth scientists and other technical experts. SALIS contains descriptions of soils, landscapes and other geographic features, and is used by the NSW Government, other organisations and individuals to improve planning and decision-making for natural resource management. The database is constantly updated as new information on the State's soil resources becomes available.

What information does SALIS contain?

Soil profiles

SALIS contains physical and chemical data from more than 70,000 points across NSW, of which about two thirds are publicly available. The information is collected by field staff of OEH and many other contributors, who add thousands of extra collection points each year.

Soil maps

SALIS contains several soil map datasets, including the NSW Soil Landscapes (based on 1:100,000 or 1:250,000 map tiles), NSW Soil and Land Resources (seamless coverages based on major catchment areas) and Land Systems of Western NSW.

Whilst the underlying data for the older Soil Landscapes and Land Systems datasets is available via PDFs of the original published reports, the underlying data for the Soil and Land Resources dataset is sourced from the SALIS database itself.

For more information about these datasets see the Soil maps of NSW page. Further soil map datasets are added to the SALIS database as they become available.

How can I access SALIS public data?

You can access soil and land information from SALIS free-of-charge using the eSPADE spatial viewer system, which provides access to both soil profile and soil map information from SALIS and other sources. If you have access to a Geographic Information System (GIS) you can also use digital soil map data that is accessible from the OEH data download site.

SALIS documentation

For further information

If you have any comments or inquiries about any aspect of SALIS, please email us at

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Page last updated: 04 December 2015