About and FAQ

The online soil maps were created by me, Simon Knutson. I created the maps on this area of the site to hopefully provide a valuable service to anyone looking for information about the agricultural soils of western Canada. I initially created maps for Manitoba as a replacement for the Agri Maps service, and that proved popular enough that I needed to move to a (not cheap) paid hosting solution for the maps and databases. 

I also wanted to make sure that these western Canada soil maps are accessible on mobile devices, as it seems that any government-provided offerings don’t run on iPads, iPhone, and Android devices. The maps I’ve created work on every operating system I’ve tested, including iPad, iPhone, and Android. All maps also feature the ability to use your device’s built in GPS to show your location in real time, allowing you to view the soil information for the location you are standing on!

Data used are sourced from publicly available data sets, mainly from Canada Land Initiative and the National Soil Database. Data have been extensively modified and transformed from the original formats to make them useful to the 99.9% of the population that don’t have the ability to use them in their original form. I have a Master’s degree in GIS and I found that compiling these data (that are supposed to be available to the general public) into something that the general public can use was quite a challenging process!


Q. Why are there adverts on the pages?
A. I don’t work for the government. If I received a significant portion of your annual income in the form of taxes then I’d happily make this freely available to you with no ads. Unfortunately for me, I don’t, so the ads (hopefully) should help cover the costs of keeping this online. If an ad is relevant to you and you’d like to know more about that product or service, clicking it will help me keep the site online!

Q. Can I run these maps on an iPad, iPhone, or Android device?
A. Yes, they should work on all devices

Q. Can I use the built-in GPS in my iPad/iPhone/Android to see my location on the maps?
A. Yes. Provided your device supports location services (remember iPads that are Wi-Fi only don’t have a GPS so probably won’t work well). One thing I’ve found with my Android phone (a Samsung S5) is that the location service doesn’t always use GPS when using the stock internet browser, so I tend to use the Firefox browser to access the maps, which works well.

Q. Will you be adding to/updating the maps in the future?
A. I will try to update as and when any new data becomes available. If there are particular functions/features you’d like to see please let me know (send an email from the Contact page) and I’ll look into it.