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News Release

Soil Data at Your Fingertips

October 15, 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 https://ncsslabdatamart.sc.egov.usda.gov/.

The map can assist scientists in developing conservation models for validating outcomes of conservation practices.

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,” explained 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 over 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.

The map offers two ways to search for lab pedons: Filters and search bar. 
The soil map is streamed from Soil Data Access web services, and the popups for each pedon include several lab reports.