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Soil Technical Note-7

Central Great Plains MLRA Region 5
MO5 Soil Technical Note-7

October 28, 2008

Subject: SOI – Using Microsoft Access to Review Interpretations

Purpose. To increase awareness of methods to review consistency of interpretations for mapunits and components in the National Soil Information System (NASIS) using the Microsoft (MS) Access Soil Survey Geographic (SSURGO) template database

The goal of any editing of data in NASIS is to improve the product that we provide to the customer. However, with a database that has over 1,800 data elements and more than 80 interpretations, it is difficult to assess the impact that changes made have on the interpretations, and even more difficult to determine which of the changes made had the greatest impact. For this reason, the Central Great Plains Major Land Resource Area (MLRA) Office Region 5 (MO5) encourages that all edits be made on a copy of the datamapunit (DMU) and the impacts on interpretations be documented and fully researched prior to refreshing data to the Soil Data Warehouse (SDW) and the Soil Data Mart (SDM).

There are several ways to approach this documentation. The NASIS has many reports available to view the changes. Most of these reports are static and in a format that can be difficult to compare one DMU to another. The attached guidance will show two methods that are more flexible and dynamic than NASIS, using MS Access and the SSURGO template database to compare two DMUs or to compare multiple DMUs.

The MO5 views this process as a valuable quality control check for the edits being performed in update projects. What effect did the edits that were made have, and are the results what was expected?

The guidance assumes that the user can: 1) build a selected set in NASIS, 2) create a SSURGO export, and 3) retrieve the export and upload it into the SSURGO template database. It also assumes a working familiarity with the SSURGO database structure and MS Access query building.


State Soil Scientist/MO Leader

DIST: SS (MO5), MO Leaders – TX – CO – ND – MN – AR

The following document requires Acrobat Reader.

Attachment (PDF; 3 MB)