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Where Are The Maps?

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1.—How do I view current, official soil maps?

2.—How do I view archived soil maps?

2.1—What software do I need to view the archived soil survey maps?

2.2—I don’t see any bookmarks. Now what?
 

1.—How do I view current, official soil maps?

Current, official maps are generated by the Web Soil Survey. Detailed directions for using the Web Soil Survey are available at “Getting Started With Web Soil Survey.”

2.—How do I view archived soil maps?

You must have the correct Web browser. Click here for details.

Archived versions of previously published soil surveys are available in portable document format (PDF) at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/soilsurvey/soils/survey/state/. The maps are linked to the soil survey manuscripts. The archived soil maps are generally opened in three steps: (1) open the soil survey manuscript, (2) open the index to map sheets, and (3) click on the index to map sheets. 

You should view the files in your browser. If you download the files, the links break.

  1. Open the soil survey manuscript by selecting an archived survey from the list of published surveys. Click on the name of the soil survey, for example, “Fairfield County.” The row in the list will expand. Click on “Manuscript.”

Screen capture of the archived manuscripts for Connecticut.






























 

  1. Open the index to map sheets by clicking on a bookmark in the PDF file of the manuscript. The bookmark for the index to map sheets will be near the bottom of the list of bookmarks. The bookmark may have various labels, including “Detailed Soil Maps” and ”Index to Map Sheets.” In cases where the survey has a single map, a bookmark will go directly to the map.

    1. If you do not see the bookmarks, you need to use a different browser, a different PDF viewer, or both. The archived soil surveys work reliably with Firefox and Acrobat Reader. For details, see below.

Screen capture of the Fairfield County, Connecticut, manuscript.



























 

  1. Click on the index to map sheets to open a specific map sheet.

Screen capture showing the map sheets for Fairfield County, Connecticut.




























 

2.1—What software do I need to view the archived soil survey maps?

The archived soil survey maps work reliably with Firefox and the Adobe Acrobat reader plugin. Go to https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/view-pdf-files-firefox-without-downloading-them?s=View+PDFs+in+browser&r=2&e=es&as=s#w_using-a-pdf-reader-plugin for directions.

Due to recent changes in technology, many browsers can no longer view archived soil survey maps. Internet Explorer Edge and Chrome are examples of browsers that cannot view the maps. Internet Explorer 11 and Firefox are examples of browsers that can view the maps. For details, go to http://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/using/display-pdf-browser-acrobat-xi.html.

2.2—I don’t see any bookmarks. Now what?

When you open a PDF file for a survey manuscript, you should see a list of bookmarks on the left (Step 2 above). If you don’t—or if the bookmarks don’t work—the solution is to change your browser, PDF viewer, or both. 

The archived soil survey maps work reliably with Firefox and the Adobe Acrobat reader plugin. Go to https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/view-pdf-files-firefox-without-downloading-them?s=View+PDFs+in+browser&r=2&e=es&as=s#w_using-a-pdf-reader-plugin for directions.

Internet Explorer 11, which is delivered with Windows 10 as legacy (nondefault) software can also be used to view soil survey maps.  Go to http://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/using/display-pdf-browser-acrobat-xi.html  for directions.

How do I download an entire archived survey, including all the maps? Click here.

If you still have problems opening the detailed soil maps, please email soilshotline@lin.usda.gov for assistance.

(last updated 3/30/2016)