Soil - Soil quality (1:5000)


Soil polygons classified according to soil quality into three classes (1 Very good; 2 Good; 3 Less good). The classification is based on considerations of soil attributes important for the agronomical use and slope. The classification has not considered climate and assume that the soil has been subject to appropriate agronomical practices. The Norwegian Soil survey is a systematic survey of soils on agricultural areas in mainland Norway. Maps are produced at scale 1.5000. Data is collected by fieldwork which includes mapping the distribution of soil types by interpreting aerial photographs and verification and identification of soil types in the field using a soil auger. The boundaries between areas with different soil types are digitized in a GIS on site. Soil types are defined on the basis of major soil properties. The World Reference Base of Soil Resources (WRB) is linked as our national classification system, and is used as basis for our soil mapping units. A soil feature in the soil database is a continuous area with the same attributes assigned according to the classification criteria of soil types with a geometric representation as a polygon. Soil maps describes agricultural areal according to a national standardized classification systems of soil and other local attributes such as slope. Around 55 % of the country’s agricultural land has been mapped so far. As the soil survey will in foreseeable future only have partial national coverage, an area frame survey has been implemented in order to provide national and regional soil statistics. Plots of 0,9 km2 has been established in a 9 x 9 km grid across Norway, and all agricultural areas on these plots are classified and mapped for soil properties using the same approach as in the ordinary soil survey. The result is a representative sample used to provide estimates of soil types and properties at the national and regional level.

Specific usage

The Norwegian Soil Information System is used by national, regional and local authorities, research institutes and private enterprises, such as farmers and advisory services. The main applications are in the field of land use planning and land improvement.


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Contact information

Logo Norsk institutt for bioøkonomi

Contact metadata:
Ingvild Nystuen, – Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research

Contact owner:
Siri Svengaard-Stokke, – Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research

Contact publisher:
Ingvild Nystuen, – Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research


Spatial representation: Vector

  • SOSI 4.5
  • GML 3.0
  • Shape

Distribution type: Geonorge download

Units of distribution: Municipality, County

Reference systems:
  • EUREF89 UTM sone 32, 2d
  • EUREF89 UTM sone 33, 2d
  • EUREF89 UTM sone 35, 2d


Use limitations: Ingen

Access constraints: Open data

Use constraints: License

Other constraints: Ingen restriksjoner

Licence: Norsk lisens for offentlige data (NLOD)

Security constraints: Unclassified


The results from the soil survey are organized in a soil survey database. A number of applied models translate the information in the soil database into thematic maps needed by different users. Some models include meteorological data. As an example, agricultural areas best suited for potato production are available at scale 1:5000.

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