What’s New with Soil Data in the Living Atlas?

The Soil Survey Geographic Database (SSURGO) produced by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides a valuable resource with 36 million mapped soil units, dozens of attribute tables, and an extent that includes the 48 contiguous United States, Hawaii, portions of Alaska, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and 6 US territories and associated states.

Maps and reports derived from SSURGO are available through NRCS’s Web Soil Survey application and state level bundles of SSURGO data are available through the NRCS’s Geospatial Data Gateway.

To complement these resources and help bring this powerful dataset to the ArcGIS platform, Esri has created several information products that are available through the Living Atlas. For a quick review of available soil mapping resources see the Living Atlas for Soils story map.

Living Atlas for Soils Story Map

Map image layer – USA Soils Map Units – What’s new?

  • Improved performance
  • Updated to 2017 data
  • Increased Scale Range
  • New Tile Layer

The USA Soils Map Units layer provides a map of approximately 36 million detailed polygons and over 150 useful attributes. It is preconfigured with a custom pop-up. The map service is combined with a tile layer in the USA Soils Map Unit web map resulting in a map that draws quickly across the full range of scales. A previous version of the USA Soil Survey is now in Mature Support, so please point all of your resources to the updated layers.

USA Soils Map Units

Imagery layers – What’s new?

We have updated all 21 of our SSURGO-based imagery layers with 2017 data. These layers are ready to use in your analyses and can be used as inputs to geoprocessing tools, model builder and Python scripts. The Living Atlas for Soils story map provides an overview of the collection or you can navigate directly to the layers in the Living Atlas.

The imagery layers include Soil Hydrologic Group:

USA Soils Hydrologic Group

Farmland Class:

USA Soils Farmland Class

Hydric Soils:

USA Soils Hydric Class

Crop Production:

USA Soils Crop Production


We recently updated the SSURGO downloader. For more information, read What’s new with the SSURGO Downloader.

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One Comment

  1. fquinon1968 says:

    Dear Caitlin, excellent post on the soils maps in the Living Atlas. I am a semi-retired hydrologist from Puerto Rico, looking into the erosion effects of hurricane María and its impact on the reservoirs in the island, and this will be great help. On a different note, I have spent hours trying to solve the puzzle of how to add a required tag to a map of the streamflow stations and zip codes in Puerto Rico, but cannot find the list of the required tags. My map has now a score of 89, but it keeps saying that I need a required tag for final nomination to publish. I am lost on this, and the on-line instructions for non-experts are out of date and convoluted. Anyway you or somebody else can pinpoint me as to how to solve this? The map name is “Zip Codes Map for Puerto Rico”, which I developed as a web map and a web map app. My email is fquinon@msn.com. I will be grateful if you or anybody else in the blog can help. Thanks.