The thesis was the first of a series concerned chiefly with soils of the Netherlands and was a totally new approach to the problems of survey, genesis and classification, ensuing from the publications by Staring (1856, 1860) and van Baren (1908, 1927).
Oosting's concept of soil science was a wide one. His thesis deals with the basic principles of modern soil science. It was only in and after the Second World War that soil survey developed along these lines. Oosting also indicated the importance of such auxiliary sciences as agricultural history, archaeology, quaternary geology, agrohydrology and geomorphology.
Methods were described and information was given on soil genesis, emphasizing the function of vegetation and human influence.
New ideas were developed on quaternary geology, different from those embodied in the Geological Map. Some chapters were devoted to hydrology, enclosure (related to human occupation), archaeology and history of some settlements on the southern Veluwe. The importance was stressed of studies of the relation of the plant to the soil profile and of mapping of Dutch soils, which had not yet started. It was pointed out that this was a task for people trained in agricultural sciences. Soil maps should be based only on soil properties and should be useful to as many people as possible.