Welcome to the National Soils Database Data Viewer

Using this website you can view soil observations from the National Soils Database (NSD), a dataset within the National Soils Data Repository.

The NSD is a 'point' database containing descriptions of about 1,500 New Zealand soil profiles, together with their chemical, physical, and mineralogical characteristics. The information is obtained from excavated pits usually up to 1.5 m deep but sometimes deeper, from which the soil scientists collect samples for chemical and physical analyses.


Because of the problems with the data (see data provenance) the filters may exclude data that should be in the result set. This might happen because, for example a site record doesn’t have a valid land use category.

Likewise the location of some sites may not be correct because the method used to spatially locate a site has changed over time. In some cases in older site records the location was specified as a text description. Subsequently someone has tried to infer coordinates for that location from the description but may have been unable to accurately do this.

Site ID Search Filter Search Select Date Range Select Map Layers View Site Record

Site ID Number Search  

If you know the site ID number you can type it into the search box. The format of a Site is SB then 5 or 6 numbers e.g. SB07461, SB010160. If the site is found in the NSD, it will appear in a pop up below the search box. Click on the ID number in the pop up and the site record will be displayed in the table on the page.

Filter Search  

You can constrain your search to sites that meet certain criteria (a filtered search). Currently you can filter using the New Zealand Soil Classification (Order, Group and Sub-Group), Land Use, Date Range and map extent.

For New Zealand Soil Classification and Land Use, click a checkbox to include that item in the filter search.

You can expand and contract the filter category by clicking on the arrow to the left of an item.

Click the ‘Clear Filters’ button to reset the filters to their default settings (All records in the NSD).

Date Filter  

You can constrain the filter search to only include sites observations made between certain dates. If you click in the date field a calendar pop up appears and you can use this to set the date range (start and end date). Click the << and >> to move through the years and < and > to move backwards and forwards through the months.

Site observations cover the period March 1959 to January 1997. Click the ‘Reset Date’ button to reset the date range to the maximum period.

Map Filter  

You can also use the map to filter the results. As you zoom and pan the map the sites in that geographic area are displayed on the map and in the table below the map. (See below for instructions about interacting with the map.)

Viewing the Results of a Search  

The results of a search are displayed in the table and on the map.

If you searched using a Site ID Number, the site is listed in the table and the map zooms to show the location of the site.

If you used filter search, the list of sites displayed in the table dynamically changes as you modify the filters.

The table shows a subset of the results of a filter search. Use the < or > to move between the ‘pages’ of the table.

If you hover you mouse over a row in the table, the corresponding site is highlighted on the map.

Note: Currently it’s not possible to click on a site maker on the map and for the corresponding site to be highlighted in the table. Nor is it possible to click on a site maker on the map and view a site record.

Below the map are listed the number of sites identified as meeting the current filter constraints and the number of those sites in the current map view. If the total number of sites in the map view is 0 but the ‘Total filtered’ is greater than 0, zoom and pan the map to find the sites.

View an Observation Record  

Click on a row in the table to view the corresponding observation record for a site.

A new tab or window opens (depending upon your browser settings) showing the data for that site.

Controlling the Map  

You can zoom the map in (more detail) and out (less detail) using the + and – buttons on the map. Alternatively double-click on the map to zoom in closer.

Click on the map, hold down the mouse button and drag the map to pan to another location.

You can zoom the map into a particular area on the map. Go to the area you want to zoom into. While pressing down the Shift Key, click and hold the mouse button down. Drag out a box covering the area you are interested in. Release the mouse button. After releasing the mouse button, the map will automatically zoom to the area that was selected. If needed, you can repeat the same steps to zoom further into the area.

Click on the ‘Reset Map button’ to reset the map extent back to the whole of New Zealand.

Select Map Layers  

You can change the base map or overlay useful data like Regional Council Boundaries by clicking on the ‘Show layers’ button below the map. Check the base map or overlays you want the map to show. You can hide the map layers panel by clicking on the ‘Hide layers’ button.