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WRB soil type classification

Jiri Brazda
By Jiri Brazda Replies (3)

Hello everybody,

We would like to convert our soil type classification into WRB and then use it in INSPIRE.  According to INSPIRE, the object WRB Soil Name Type is defined as "an identification of the soil profile according to  "World Reference Base for Soil Resources 2006, first update 2007", World Soil Resources Reports No. 103. FAO, Rome".

But nowadays, there is available a newer version of WRB from 2014. Is it possible to use this newer version in INSPIRE or we must use the defined version?

Thank you for reply.



    Hi Jiri,

    in the data specs for soil is written:
    Note that the WRBSoilName is of type WRBSoilNameType that allows to give WRBSoilName a value according to the WRB structure defined for the WRB2006 update 2007 or later versions. The reference to the WRB version which is actually used is encoded through the values taken from the WRB related codelists (WRBReferenceSoilGroupValue, WRBQualifierValue, WRBSpecifierValue and
    WRBQualifierPlaceValue). If a SoilProfile is to be characterized by earlier versions of WRB (e.g. 1998), the other SoilName attribute should be used.

    So it is safe to use the newer version of 2014, but is should be documented at least in the metadata. Also the INSPIRE registries should be adapted to include the new version, and maybe even the system how to construct the full name. (I have not gone into such detail yet)

  • Linton Donovan

    By Linton Donovan

    Hi Marc,

    If it is actually possible to use WRB 2014 as you mentioned, than the registry of WRBReferenceSoilGroupValue should change. Which is logical of course.
    However this codelist is not extensible. How can we use the newer WRB version and get the data validated?


  • Katharina SCHLEIDT

    By Katharina SCHLEIDT

    To my view, this is a two-fold issue:

    1. Lack of content in many of the non-extensible codelists provided via the INSPIRE Registry. To my understanding, this is an oversight that must be remedied, the concepts described in the World reference base for soil resources 2006 documentation must be formalized as codelist entries for referencing from the data provided.
    2. No governance process foreseen to encompass changes coming from external sources such as the WRB 2014 update mentioned. This issue is trickier, as the IRs as the underlying legal framework explicitly states WRB2006 update 2007 as the only legal source of values; a legal update will be required in order to legally update the codelists.

    To my understanding, the only way to force action on these points is either via the MS MIG representatives or through concerted action within a thematic community (i.e. NRC Soil)

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