Skip Navigation

Web Soil Survey

How to Use Web Soil Survey

  1. Click on the link for web soil survey or go to:
  2. Click on ‘Start WSS’ (green button).  A map of the United States will appear.
  3. Under the ‘Area of Interest’ tab on the left side, click on ‘Address’.
  4. Type in the location you wish to see.  (The town name is sufficient – i.e. Concord, NH)
  5. Then hit enter on your keyboard.  The map will change to the location you request.  (If you wish to zoom in use the + icon on the toolbar on top of the map. Use a – icon to zoom out. Use the hand icon to pan.)
  6. Once you have the area located select the Area of Interest by using one og the AOI icons on the top of the map.  (The rectangle icon will generate a rectangular boundary on the map.  The trapezoid icon will generate a polygon of your choosing for the boundary.)
  7. To use this icon, click where you want to start the boundary, then click at each turn.  Double click when done.  A new map will be drawn with your boundary.  If the boundary is not what you want, click on ‘Clear AOI’ box on the left side.
  8. To generate the soil map, click on the ‘Soil Map’ tab on the top.
  9. Once the soils map has appeared on your screen, click on the ‘Printable Version‘ box on the top right side of the map.
  10. An Options box will appear.  You can change the scale, paper size, or give the map a name.  You can leave your options as is.  Then click on ‘View’.
  11. This will generate a map and a legend.  Save this map to a file you’re your future use.  You may also print this map. 


You will also need reports to go along with the map.  So, click on the ‘Soil Data Explorer’ tab.  There are a number of reports here that may be useful. Suggested reports are:

                        Suitabilities tab

  •             NH Forest Soil Group (under Land Classifications)
  •             Farmland Classification (under Land Classifications)
  •             Hydric Rating (under Land Classifications)
  •             Septic Tank Absorption Fields (under Sanitary Facilities)

                        Soil Properties and Qualities tab

  •             K Factor (under Soil Erosion Factors)
  •             Hydrologic Soil Group (under Soil Qualities and Features)

                        Soil Reports Tab

  •             Physical Soil Properties (under Soil Physical Properties)
  •             Map Unit Description (under AOI Inventory)

Click on the report you want, then click on ‘View Rating’ or ‘View Soil Report’.  The report will appear below the map.  To save or to print, click on the ‘Printable Version‘ box on the top right side of the map.


It is now possible to generate soil reports for individual map units, without generating a map. 


If you have any questions, please contact:

Peter Whitcomb - Assistant State Soil Scientist, Concord, NH
Karen Dudley - Resource Soil Scientist, Concord, NH