New Zealand: Landcare New Zealand, a government-owned corporation overseeing the sustainable development and the management of land-based natural resources, launched a new national soils database, S-map Online. It aims to help decision makers to understand New Zealand’s land use and ecology.
The online map service incorporates high quality base maps including maps based on the Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) topographic data, which allows users to not only locate an area of interest with a high degree of accuracy but also provide a geographic context for the soils data.
S-map Online is based on a digital soil spatial information system that is being populated with data to provide consistent and comprehensive national soil data layers to support applications at local, and regional to national scales.
In addition, the S-map Online also allows users to explore interactive maps of soil properties, learn about soil in their backyard or paddock, view detailed information about soil classes or attributes, and download soil factsheets for more detailed knowledge on soil properties.
According to David Medyckyj-Scott, Landcare Research’s Informatics Team Manager, the launch of S-map Online is a “further step towards meeting the New Zealand Governments Declaration on Open and Transparent Government and the requirement that data and information should be open and readily available”.
Scott added that although S-map coverage is not yet complete, there is sufficient coverage to make the service a useful resource for many people.
“Work continues to extend S-map to the Environment Waikato and Environment Canterbury territorial areas, the soft-rock hill country in the central North Island and parts of Northland, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Manawatu, Wairarapa, Golden Bay and the West Coast,” he said
“We also have plans to further develop S-map Online so users can develop their soil knowledge and ultimately make better informed and more reliable land use decisions and we’ll keep users informed of these developments.”