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News Release

Enhancement to Web Soil Survey Help Landowners Make Decisions

(Indianapolis, IN) July 24, 2013 - The latest version of the Web Soil Survey 3.0 (WSS), was recently launched by the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and can be accessed at http://websoilsurvey.nrcs.usda.gov.  The web based application provides anyone with computer access a wealth of free soils information along with soil maps, properties and interpretations aimed at helping with land use decisions. Originally launched in August 2005, the web site continues to be improved and enhanced to meet the demands of its growing customer base of several million hits a year.

Notable changes to the Web Soil Survey include improved map appearance, increased Area of Interest acreage and upgraded options for changing map properties to include: soil boundary color; soil boundary thickness; soil label size and background image shading. To make things even better for the viewer, Web Soil Survey is now online 24 hours a day with no downtime.

“This is a valuable tool for everyone making decisions about projects on the land, including homeowners, developers and farmers. There have been many enhancements made in the latest version of the Web Soil Survey, and more enhancements are planned for future releases” says Gary Struben, Indiana NRCS State Soil Scientist.

Since its beginning the Web Soil Survey has attracted a wide array of online visitors from all over the world. During the first few months of its existence, the site averaged about 1,000 users per day, but now the site has seen that number increase dramatically to about 6,500 per day.

Soil surveys provide critical information in land use decisions, both on the farm and in the city. Whether a land developer is looking to build or purchase, or a farmer is considering alternative crops, soil survey data is a critical element in the decision making process that produces a successful outcome while protecting natural resources. Making soils information available on the web has been a major achievement for NRCS, who is committed to making the process better and easier for the customer.

NRCS is a science based USDA federal agency committed to the preservation of the nation’s natural resources through the use of conservation. For more information about NRCS visit http://www.in.nrcs.usda.gov/.

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Contact Information:
Gary Struben, State Soil Scientist, 317.295.5885 (gary.struben@in.usda.gov)  
Kris Vance, Public Affairs Specialist, 317.295.5822 (kris.vance@in.usda.gov)