Many moons ago they sent soil scientists all over the country mapping soil types. These soils have many physical and chemical characteristics that were described by soil scientists. They are all also unique in the ability to produce food and fiber. Many locations have books with soil maps and descriptions of each soil.
If you can’t get to an actual book you can go to the NRCS Web Soil Survey. On this site you can look at any piece of property and determine the soil types. You can also look at productivity for the soil types on your piece of dirt. You can even see if it is a site suitable for hiking trails, septic systems, waste management or even mining construction materials.