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News Release

Soil Lab Data Mart Updated: Soil Data at Your Fingertips

Shawn Nield, State Soil Scientist, 208.378.5728

BOISE, Idaho, October 27, 2020 – The NRCS National Soil Survey Center recently released geochemical data to the interactive map “National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS) Soil Characterization.”  The map links to a national database of soil characterization data and allows you to locate pedons that have been analyzed.  A pedon is the smallest unit of soil containing all the soil horizons of a particular soil type. Clicking on a pedon location in the map enables you to access lab data about that pedon. The map is also available from the NCSS Soil Characterization Basic Query website at .

“The valuable soil data map gives users nationwide a means to view data that can be used by educators, scientists, farmers, landowners, schools, soil judging teams, the general public and more,” said Curtis Elke, NRCS State Conservationist for Idaho.

“The map lets you search for lab data by using filters or by exploring places you care about across the globe,” said Shawn Nield, NRCS Idaho State Soil Scientist. Interested users can query by location of interest and have soil data available at their fingertips.

National Soil Survey Center Map



The map can assist scientists in developing conservation models for validating outcomes of conservation practices. Users can pinpoint spots using location panels, full-screen maps and latitude and longitude. “Our new interactive map provides online access to our rapidly growing collection of lab data,” said Skye Wills, National Leader for Soil Science Research.

Soil scientists, hydrogeologists, municipal water-utility operators and water-quality regulators use soils lab data to understand the subsurface.  The data viewer includes more than 50,000 individual soil samples from across the world.  Soil sample data can also be viewed in reports.

  • The map offers options for selecting different base maps and options for adding soil-color maps by depth-slice.
  • The map offers you to search by location or to go-to your current location.
  • The map allows you to search by soil series or geographic location.

The map allows you to download characterization data for a selection of points. The data can then be used in other applications.

Following are specific map features.

National Soil Survey Center search bar

You can use the search bar to search by location or soil series.  You can also use the filter icon, which is at the bottom of the map.

You can use the filter to search by soil series or soil classification. You can also create your own queries by clicking the icon in the lower right corner of the filter menu.

To learn more about soils or to get assistance, click here to contact your State Soil Scientist.


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