GSIF (Global Soil Information Facilities) is ISRIC's framework for production of open soil data. It has been inspired by global environmental data sharing initiatives such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facilities, Global Land Cover mapping, WorldClim, OpenStreetMap and similar. GSIF components have been used to improve soil property mapping for Africa i.e. for the purpose of the AfSIS project. Read more about this project in this interview for the ESG Jaarboek. Read more about SoilGrids system in the PLOS One article.

The purpose of this DokuWiki is to demonstrate various data processing steps within the GSIF framework, especially data processing examples in the R programming environment.

GSIF comprises a number of components that are interconnected, but can be considered to be independent projects:

  1. WoSIS data portal for accessing soil profile data;
  2. WorldGrids.org geo-data service, comprising:
    1. WorldGrids at 1 km (global coverage);
    2. Continental scale soil covariate layers for production mapping (250 m and 100 m);
    3. Global soil terrain units (membership maps with unique legend) at 1 km (planned also at 250 m and 100 m);
  3. R-packages: GSIF (automated analysis and mapping functionality) and plotKML (visualization of soil field data and output maps);
  4. SoilGrids - A a collection of updatable soil property and class maps of the world at resolutions of 1 km, 250 m or finer, produced using state-of-the-art statistical and Machine Learning-based modelling.
  5. SoilInfo App - Webservice and smart phone app to access all GSIF produced data.

The design and functionality of the GSIF components is explained in detail in the GSIF manual (under construction). Also refer to the links indicated above for more details.


  • Tom Hengl — development of R packages, WorldGrids, SoilGrids
  • Eloi Ribeiro — GIS layer processing and databases, server installation, web-services, HPC,
  • Maria Ruiperez Gonzales — validation of predictions, SoilGrids
  • Bas Kempen — development of R packages, SoilGrids
  • Gerard Heuvelink — methodology review, development of R packages
  • Niels Batjes — methodology review, WorldSoilProfiles