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NASIS Frequently Asked Questions

NASIS Frequently Asked Questions

NASIS accounts

The following instructions explain who may have a NASIS account and the process for establishing a NASIS account.

Who may have a NASIS account?

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is the lead agency for the National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS) (7 CFR 2.61). In its leadership role, NRCS maintains National Soil Information System (NASIS) for the collection, management, and distribution of NCSS information. Access to NASIS is granted to NCSS partners and authorized agents for the purpose of creating, maintaining, or interpreting NCSS information. NASIS is a United States Government computing system. Only official NCSS activities are authorized and permitted on this system.

Access to official NCSS data is available on the Web Soil Survey ( and does not require a NASIS account.

How do you request a NASIS account?

Requests to become a NASIS user should be submitted to a “sponsor” who then submits the request to the Soils Hotline. The “sponsor” at the state level or below is the State Soil Scientist. The Soils Hotline will sponsor employees at the national headquarters and centers. Cooperators that need access to NASIS are to be sponsored by their local state soil scientist.

What does a user need to do to become a NASIS user?

  1. Obtain a Level 2 eAuthentication account via the eAuthentication web site at

     If you  have a level 2 eAuthentication account, then you need to e-mail your eAuthentication login (no passwords, please) to If you don’t have an eAuthentication account, follow the instructions to create Level 2 Access at: You may contact the Soils Hotline staff for assistance.
  2. Submit your request for a NASIS account to the appropriate sponsor. Refer to the section above “How do you request a NASIS account?” Include in your request, your full name, phone number, and eAuthentication login.

How do I get help with my eAuthentication account?

For USDA eAuthentication information visit:

For help visit:

What does the sponsor do to request a NASIS account for a user?

E-mail requests for new NASIS user accounts to the Include the user’s full name, phone number and eAuthentication login. Please specify in the e-mail if the user is an existing NASIS user but needs to be granted eAuthentication access.

What does the Soils Hotline do when a NASIS account is requested?

  1. Check NASIS to see if a NASIS user account already exists for the user.
  2. Create a NASIS user record in NASIS.
  3. Grant eAuthentication access to NASIS.
  4. Notify the user and/or the sponsor that the account has been created.
  5. Users can have read-only access to NASIS which allows the user to run existing reports and queries and view data, or the user can be granted permission to edit data. If the user needs to enter or edit data in NASIS, the user will need to contact the appropriate NRCS State Soil Scientist to request permission.

Roles and Responsibilities


  • ensure security of NASIS data by not sharing NASIS logins
  • notify NASIS Site Dataset Manager when membership in a NASIS group is no longer needed
  • notify NASIS Site Dataset Manager when a NASIS account is no longer needed or when a NASIS account needs modification (i.e., name change)
  • NASIS contains information that may be protected under various laws, regulations, treaties, and agreements (25 USC 450 related to the Indian Self Determination and Education Assistance Act, 42 USC 1996 related to the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, DR 1340-6 related to Policies on American Indians and Alaskan Natives, 5 USC 552 related to the Freedom of Information Act, and others). NASIS users must not release protected information to individuals or the general public without specific authority to do so.

Soils Application “Sponsor”:

  • verify users requesting NASIS accounts are NCSS members or person working on behalf of NCSS
  • submit e-mail to the Soils Hotline requesting a new NASIS user account, or requesting eAuthentication access for an existing NASIS user account
  • notify Soils Hotline when a user no longer needs a NASIS account or when a NASIS account needs modification (i.e., name change)

NASIS Site Dataset Manager:

  • maintain members of the NASIS groups within NASIS. Remove users from NASIS groups when the user no longer needs edit privileges on data owned by that group
  • notify Soils Hotline when a user no longer needs a NASIS account or when a NASIS account needs modification i.e., name change.

Soils Hotline:

  • create NASIS accounts in a timely manner
  • edit NASIS user table; set e-mail to null and phone number to “OBSOLETE” when NASIS user account is no longer needed
  • remove user from role in eAuthentication system

Checking out data

I created a record yesterday and chose to “Upload all changes to National Database”. Do I have to check out the data?

Answer: No, a record you created will remain checked out to you until you check it in. Upload does not check data in.

How do I “check-out” data?

  1. Load data into the selected set, highlight a record(s) then from the Editor menu, choose “Check Out Selected Trees” . A “Tree” is the parent record and its child records.
  2. Run a query against the Local Database and check the “Check Out” box next to the parameters. This checks out everything selected by the query, provided you have permission to edit it.

Re-initializing NASIS local database

You should only do this when you have been instructed to do so by a NASIS team member. Please contact the Soils Hotline if you have questions.

Save and check-in all edits prior to initializing!

On Windows 10 system,

1.    Click the Start button in the lower-left corner of the screen

2.    In the search box, type cmd and press enter key to open command prompt window.

3.    In command prompt window, type c: and press enter key to change to C: drive

4.   Change directories by typing: cd C:\Program Files (x86)\USDA\NASIS 7.1 Client

(Note: pay attention to the blank spaces in the path)

5.    Press enter key

6.    Type: nasiseditor.exe /rebuild (Note: There is a blank space after .exe and before /rebuild)

7.    Press enter key

8.    As soon as NASIS initialization is complete and NASIS starts up, click NASIS | Refresh local database

On Windows XP system,

1.    Close all NASIS sessions.

2.    Click on Start | Run.  Type in cmd, click OK button to open command prompt window.

3.    In command prompt window, type cd c:\ and press enter key to change to C: drive

4.    Change directories by typing: cd c:\program files\USDA\NASIS 7.1 Client

 (Note: pay attention to the blank spaces in the path)

5.    Press enter key

6.    Type: nasiseditor.exe /rebuild (Note: There is a blank space after .exe and before /rebuild)

7.    Press enter key

8.    As soon as NASIS initialization is complete and NASIS starts up, click NASIS | Refresh local database

The initialization process usually takes about one half hour but can take up to four hours if the network connection is slow.


  1. How do import data from Pedon PC or windows pedon?
    1. Choose the NASIS menu, then “Import Pedons”, or select the icon on the NASIS toolbar.
    2. Review and/or edit pedons
    3. Choose the NASIS menu and “Upload All Changes to National Database”
  2. Can I make edits to pedons in Pedon PC then upload the changes into NASIS
    1. Yes, however it may be easier to make edits in NASIS


  1. Is there a “forum” for NASIS questions?
    1. From the Help menu, users now have the ability to send an e-mail to the Soils Hotline to obtain an answer to a question they may have.
    2. See tools page for more NASIS documentation.
  2. My office has one computer that is shared by all staff. Can we run NASIS?

    Yes, however as a shared computer the Local Database must contain all data used by the individual users – all users will be using the same Local Database. Users must “check in” all data before logging off since the possibility of locking others is greater.

    If a user logs into NASIS and finds that data is locked by a previous user on the same computer, they need to log out of NASIS and the computer and ask the first user to login to the computer and NASIS and “check in” the data. If the first user is no longer available, then you may contact the Soils Hotline and ask to have the data unlocked. Unlocking data only removes the locks put on the data and does not delete any data.
  3. My system seems to be running slow. What can I do to fix this?

    SQL Express is a memory hog. When the system runs slow it is a build up of RAM that SQL Express is using but not releasing. The best “fix” is to get in the habit of restarting your computer each night. Doing so releases the RAM and improves the performance of the computer. A minimum of 2 GB of RAM is necessary to run NASIS  efficiently.
  4. What does “Keep Detailed Error Information” (on the Help menu) do?

    Detailed error information helps the NASIS development team diagnose problems with NASIS. If you have a problem and contact the Soils Hotline about it, you may be asked to turn on detailed error information and try to reproduce the problem. After that you can send in the detailed information using the “Send Error Log to Hotline” option on the Help menu. Normally you should leave “Keep Detailed Error Information” switched off because it will slow down the performance of NASIS a little.
  5. Where can I find “Quick Tips” on using NASIS?

    In NASIS, run NSSC Pangaea report titled “!! NASIS QUICK TIPS 02/09/2016”                                                                                                                       
  6. Are there short-cut keys to use in NASIS? 

          Yes, a PDF of short-cut keys is available to download at: