Soils are created through the interaction of climate, vegetation, organisms, topography, and time on the organic and mineral material found on Earth's surface. Because different locations around the world have different climates and topographies and support different kinds of organisms, soil types vary from place to place. Each type possesses certain defining characteristics, including color, texture, and mineral composition. This interactive activity produced for Teachers' Domain features soil types found around the world. Maps highlight how narrowly or widely each type is distributed over the planet.