Soil maps are an integral part of rural land management planning. Unfortunately, they are a complex form of coded information which can challenge the map user. They are often accused of not portraying information that the users require for land management and land use planning.
Outlined here are some of the reasons why soil maps are not the simple information tools that they first seem. Some mapping and soil survey concepts that are relevant to soil maps and which may detract from their apparent usefulness are discussed.
More recent developments for soil mapping have focused on mapping of soil attributesexpressed through digital modelling and remote sensing as well as field surveyrather than soil types or associations. This approach relies on data storage and analysis through the use of geographic information systems.