Quick Start Guides (Download link included in guides)
Detailed Installation Guides
SSURGO Bulk Downloaders (Beta)
SSURGO On Demand (Beta)
Download GeoPackage with All SSURGO
Reference the Quick Start guides for a download link, download instructions, and guidance for getting started with SSURGO Portal. Refer to the detailed installation guides and user guide for additional information.
USDA employees are required to install software through the CEC. If you’re not a USDA employee, follow the non-USDA quick start guide.
Non-USDA Quick Start Guide
USDA Employee Quick Start Guide
SSURGO Portal also has integrated help pages that provide an overview of each function.
SSURGO Portal (Beta) is a new license free and open-source USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) application. It creates empty geospatial SQLite SSURGO Template databases that you can import spatial and tabular SSURGO data into. SSURGO Portal contains both GeoPackage and SpatiaLite versions of the template.
Once you’ve created a template database, you can access it with any software that reads SQLite files, including ArcGIS Pro, QGIS, DB Browser, and R. You can query the database, view maps of soil polygons, and create maps of soil properties and interpretations.
DB Browser is a recommended application. Refer to Resources below for more information.
SSURGO Portal was modeled after the Microsoft Access SSURGO Template database, with the following key differences:
- No license needed
SSURGO Portal doesn’t require a license or account to use.
- Import tabular and spatial data
You can import both types of soil survey data into the same database.
- Batch import and delete
You can batch import and delete multiple SSURGO packages at once.
- No size limitation to the SQLite SSURGO Template
You can use SSURGO Portal to create a template database of any size. For example, you can create a populated SQLite SSURGO Template database for a single small county, or one that contains all SSURGO data in the United States and Island Territories.
What is an SQLite SSURGO Template Database?
An SQLite SSURGO Template database is an SQLite database file that contains empty tables formatted to accept official SSURGO data.
The tables in the template:
- Contain all required SSURGO columns
- Have defined column data types
- Have established relationships between tables
The template is empty until you import SSURGO data.
Both GeoPackage and SpatiaLite versions of the template will work in any application that reads SQLite files. These two database types are similar; however, they have different methods of storing spatial data. If you don’t have a preference, we recommend using the default GeoPackage version.
How to Access SSURGO Data
You can access official SSURGO data at Web Soil Survey.
There are two types of SSURGO data:
- Standard SSURGO data packages for entire counties or similarly sized political boundaries.
- A user-defined area of interest (AOI) of a soil survey.
SSURGO Portal works with both types of data.
Note 1: Each year, all SSURGO data is refreshed on October 1.
Note 2: While SSURGO data packages are available for all areas of the United States and Island territories, the soil survey has not been completed for some remote areas of the Western United States, much of Alaska, and a few other isolated areas. When you download SSURGO data for these areas, you will see a single map unit with the map unit symbol of NOTCOM and the map unit name of Not Completed Areas. Additionally, some SSURGO data packages contain a mixture of soil survey data and NOTCOM. Refer to the Soil Survey Status Map for more information about mapping completion status.
This document contains instructions for downloading SSURGO data, using the SSURGO Portal application to create and populate SQLite SSURGO databases, and working with SQLite SSURGO databases in DB Browser, GIS software, and SSURGO on Demand.
These documents contain detailed information for installing SSURGO Portal.
USDA employees are required to install software through the CEC. If you’re not a USDA employee, follow the non-USDA installation guide.
Non-USDA Installation Guide
USDA Employee Installation Guide
- SSURGO Portal is a Python zip file (.pyz). You access it in the web browser.
- SSURGO Portal requires Python 3.9 up to 3.11. All official testing of the Beta version was completed on Python 3.10.2.
- As noted in the installation guides, we recommend using Python 3.10.2. We plan to support new versions of Python in future SSURGO Portal releases.
- If you installed Python as part of ESRI products (ArcGIS Pro and ArcGIS Desktop) or QGIS, that should not impact SSURGO Portal functionality.
- SSURGO Portal creates geospatial databases, meaning the database contains at least some geometry data that GIS software can read and display as points, lines, or polygons. To create geospatial versions of SQLite databases, SSURGO Portal will install GDAL upon first use.
SSURGO Portal is currently in Beta, though we’ve spent a significant amount of time developing and testing this version. We’re working on releasing major enhancements, including several new key features.
- SSURGO Bulk Downloader
- Soil Data Viewer (aggregates SSURGO data and facilitates thematic map creation of soil properties and interpretations)
- Rasterized version of soil polygons
Supplemental tools are available while the upcoming features are being developed.
While SSURGO Portal is in Beta, you can download two temporary external tools that supplement the forthcoming Bulk Downloader and Soil Data Viewer features.
- SSURGO Bulk Downloader GIS tools will allow batch downloading of SSURGO.
- SSURGO On Demand provides similar features as Soil Data Viewer.
- You will need to download and install these separate from SSURGO Portal.
- We will no longer offer support for these tools once SSURGO Portal has similar functionality.
- There is no supplemental tool for the rasterized version of soil polygons.
With SSURGO Bulk Downloader, you can download many SSURGO data packages from Web Soil Survey at once. Without this tool, Web Soil Survey only allows you to download zip files one at a time, which is limiting when you need to create large databases.
There are two tools: one for QGIS and one for ArcGIS Pro. Both tools have the same functionality.
- Extract the file and add the tool to ArcGIS Pro.
- Contains detailed instructions for installing and using the ArcGIS Pro SSURGO Bulk Downloader tool.
- You don’t need to extract this tool because QGIS will use the zip file when you install the tool.
- Contains detailed instructions for installing and using the QGIS SSURGO Bulk Downloader tool.
SSURGO On Demand (SOD) is an open-source Python based tool modeled after Soil Data Viewer. It allows you to use the SQLite SSURGO Template database as an input, then generate tables of soil properties and interpretations, which can be joined to the soil polygons in GIS. It uses SQL statements to aggregate data from the SSURGO child tables up to the map unit. For example, you could determine the average clay content in all soil polygons over a depth of 0 to 100 cm.
While similar to Soil Data Viewer, SOD works outside of GIS and does not create maps. It also doesn’t have the same rating options as Soil Data Viewer.
- Extract to location of your choice.
- Contains detailed instructions for installing and using SSURGO On Demand.
A prepopulated GeoPackage SQLite SSURGO database containing all current SSURGO is publicly available. The file is 28 GB and it will take a while to download.
DB Browser is a recommended license free application designed to work with SQLite databases. It allows you to view and query the contents of the databases.
You can use DB Browser to view all tables in populated SQLite SSURGO Template databases. It allows you to submit custom SQL queries against the database, similar to Microsoft Access. DB Browser installation and basic user instructions can be found in the SSURGO Portal Detailed Installation Guides and User Guide. The installation guides also contain instructions for configuring SQLite SSURGO databases to open in DB Browser by default.
See the SSURGO/STATSGO2 Metadata page to view diagrams and information about SSURGO tables, columns, relationships, constraints, and domains.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for technical support or to provide any user feedback. Feedback will be used to improve SSURGO Portal.
Please contact us if you see something that needs to be updated, if you have any questions, or if you need accessibility assistance.