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Gridded National Soil Survey Geographic Database (gNATSGO)

The gridded National Soil Survey Geographic Database (gNATSGO) is a USDA-NRCS Soil & Plant Science Division (SPSD) composite database that provides complete coverage of the best available soils information for all areas of the United States and Island Territories. 

gNATSGO database icon with map showing available water storage in soils.

Download gNATSGO Databases

Click on this soil databases link to find the downloads for gridded National Soil Survey Geographic databases (gNATSGO) and other zipped soil databases from the USDA-NRCS Geospatial Gateway direct download site. The gNATSGO databases are available for some individual states and island territories and for the conterminous United States. For the individual states and island territories, gNATSGO was created only for those that have incomplete data in the Soil Survey Geographic Database (SSURGO) or have a raster soil survey (RSS). Download gSSURGO to obtain gridded soils data for the states that have complete SSURGO coverage and do not have an RSS.

Description

The gridded National Soil Survey Geographic Database (gNATSGO) is a USDA-NRCS Soil & Plant Science Division (SPSD) composite database that provides complete coverage of the best available soils information for all areas of the United States and Island Territories. It was created by combining data from the Soil Survey Geographic Database (SSURGO)State Soil Geographic Database (STATSGO2), and Raster Soil Survey Databases (RSS) into a single seamless ESRI file geodatabase.

The gNATSGO databases contain a raster of the soil map units and 70 related tables of soil properties and interpretations. They are designed to work with the SPSD gSSURGO ArcTools. Users can create full coverage thematic maps and grids of soil properties and interpretations for large geographic areas, such as the extent of a State or the conterminous United States. Please note that the State-wide geodatabases contain a 10 meter raster and the CONUS database contains a 30 meter raster.

SSURGO is the SPSD flagship soils database that has over 100 years of field-validated detailed soil mapping data. SSURGO contains soils information for more than 90 percent of the United States and island territories, but unmapped land remains. Click here (updated map coming soon) for the current completion status of SSURGO mapping. STATSGO2 is a general soil map that has soils data for all of the United States and island territories, but the data is not as detailed as the SSURGO data. The Raster Soil Surveys (RSSs) are the next generation soil survey databases developed using advanced digital soil mapping methods.

The gNATSGO database is composed primarily of SSURGO data, but STATSGO2 data was used to fill in the gaps. The RSSs are newer product with relatively limited spatial extent.  These RSSs were merged into the gNATSGO after combining the SSURGO and STATSGO2 data. The extent of RSS is expected to increase in the coming years.

Figure 1 shows the distribution of SSURGO, STATSGO2, and RSSs in gNATSGO for the conterminous United States.

Map showing the sources of data for gNATSGO.
Figure 1.  Source of soils information in the 2021 gNATSGO database.

Limited SSURGO data is available for Alaska because of the size and difficulty in accessing many areas of the State. Figure 2 shows the distribution for Alaska.

Source of data for gNATSGO for Alaska in 2021.
Figure 2. Source of soils information in the 2021 gNATSGO database in Alaska.

The State of Hawaii and all island territories, except Puerto Rico, have complete coverage in SSURGO.

Notes

  • The SPSD refreshes all published soil databases annually. gNATSGO will be included in the refresh cycle, which will provide a new up-to-date version of the database each year.
  • gNATSGO is an ESRI file geodatabase.
  • In the State Databases, the soil map units are delivered only as a 10-meter raster version.  The raster is a 30-meter in the CONUS database.  The soil map units are uniquely identified by the mukey, which is included in the attribute table.  No vectorized version of the soil map units is included in gNATSGO.
  • The database has 70 tables that contain soil attributes, and relationship classes are built into the database to define relationships among tables.
  • The raster can be joined to the Mapunit and Muaggatt tables in the MUKEY field.
  • The database contains a feature class called SAPOLYGON. The “source” field in this feature class indicates whether the data was derived from SSURGO, STATSGO2, or an RSS.
  • A gNATSGO database was created for the conterminous United States and for each state or island territory that does not have complete coverage in SSURGO or has a published RSS.
  • If you encounter an ArcMap error when working with a gNATSGO dataset that reads “The number of unique values exceeds the limit” try increasing the maximum number of unique values to render in your Raster ArcMap Options.  Specific instructions can be obtained here: https://support.esri.com/en/technical-article/000010117     

Download the Soil Data Development Toolkit (ZIP file).

Most customers will only need to use the Create Soil Map tool, which is in the gSSURGO Mapping Toolset.

Create soil map tool is part of the gSSURGO Mapping Toolset.

 

 

 

 

 

The Create Soil Map tool replicates the functionality of Web Soil Survey and Soil Data Viewer. It allows users to create on-demand thematic maps of soil properties or interpretations with controls for aggregation method and depth.

 

How to Create Soil Property or Interpretation Grid

These instructions explain how to convert the output of the Create Soil Map tool to a standalone grid that can be used in spatial analyses.

The create soil map tool is part of the Soil Data Development Toolbox (See section titled ArcTools For Working with gNATSGO for more information). This tool replicates the functionality of Web Soil Survey and Soil Data Viewer. It allows users to create on-demand thematic maps of soil properties or interpretations with controls for aggregation method and depth. It analyzes the tables of soils information in the gNATSGO database and joins the results to the raster layer, outputting a temporary layer file. The following instructions show how to convert temporary custom thematic map layers to stand alone grids that can be used in spatial analyses.

Metadata

ArcGIS metadata is available for each table, grid, and feature class in the file geodatabase. Users can view metadata by navigating to and highlighting the database or table in the Contents of ArcCatalog and then clicking on the Description tab. 

gNATSGO has a schema that is very similar to that of SSURGO and STATSGO2. Click on the following link for information about the gNATSGO database tables and columns.


Technical Information

To obtain technical information about the use of soils data, please contact the NRCS State Soil Scientist [ADD SOILS CONTACTS PAGE] in your state or the Soils Hotline Staff at (402) 437-5378 (Steve Speidel) or (402) 437-5379 (Tammy Cheever).


Recommended Data Citations

The Citation for gNATSGO

State Tile

Soil Survey Staff. Gridded National Soil Survey Geographic (gNATSGO) Database for State name. United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. Available online at https://nrcs.app.box.com/v/soilsMonth, day, year (FYyear official release).

Conterminous U.S. Tile

Soil Survey Staff. Gridded National Soil Survey Geographic (gNATSGO) Database for the Conterminous United States. United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. Available online at https://nrcs.app.box.com/v/soilsMonth, day, year (FYyear official release).
 

Citation Examples

The following examples are for the FY2019 gNATSGO dataset for the State of Texas. Such citations should appear in the reference section of your document.

State Tile

Soil Survey Staff. The Gridded National Soil Survey Geographic (gNATSGO) Database for Texas. United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. Available online at https://nrcs.app.box.com/v/soils. December 1, 2020 (FY2020 official release).

Conterminous U.S. Tile

Soil Survey Staff. Gridded National Soil Survey Geographic (gNATSGO) Database for the Conterminous United States. United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. Available online at https://nrcs.app.box.com/v/soils. December 1, 2020 (FY2020 official release).

Contact Us

If you see something that needs to be updated or if you have any questions, please contact us. For accessibility assistance, email nrcs-spsd-508@usda.gov.

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