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Soils and Soil Survey Basics

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Video:  Living Soil Film (Soil Health Institute, Nov 2018)
Time 1:00:22;  Our soils support 95 percent of all food production, and by 2060, our soils will be asked to give us as much food as we have consumed in the last 500 years. They filter our water. They are one of our most cost-effective reservoirs for sequestering carbon. They are our foundation for biodiversity. And they are vibrantly alive, teeming with 10,000 pounds of biological life in every acre. Yet in the last 150 years, we’ve lost half of the basic building block that makes soil productive. The societal and environmental costs of soil loss and degradation in the United States alone are now estimated to be as high as $85 billion every single year. Like any relationship, our living soil needs our tenderness. It’s time we changed everything we thought we knew about soil. Let’s make this the century of living soil.  This 60-minute documentary features innovative farmers and soil health experts from throughout the U.S.

Web Soil Survey

Video: Web Soil Survey – Part 1: Application Access (NRCS NSSC, Feb 14, 2018)

Time: 11:48; Part 1 of a 3 part series on Web Soil Survey. This video covers information on the Web Soil Survey home page, ways to access the application, and explanation of the top ribbon of the application.

Video: Web Soil Survey – Part 2: Set Area of Interest (AOI) (NRCS NSSC, Feb 14, 2018)

Time: 12:11; Part 2 of a 3 part series on Web Soil Survey. This video covers ways to set an Area of Interest (AOI), limits for the AOI, and ways to change the display legend and imagery background

Video: Web Soil Survey – Part 3: Tabs and Downloads (NRCS NSSC, Feb 14, 2018)

Time: 13:30; Part 3 of a 3 part series on Web Soil Survey. This video covers the various tabs of soil information, report settings, shopping cart, and download of soil data.

National Soil Survey Center

Videos: USDA NRCS National Soil Survey Center

This is the display of all the online videos produced by the National Soil Survey Center. There are over 100 videos available, most of which will probably not be interesting, but some may be - such as “Water Movement in Soil” 3:11. View as a grid to see the most number of videos.

Soil Data Viewer

The Soil Data Viewer can be downloaded from HERE. Version 6.2 will work with Windows 10.

Reading: Soil Data Viewer 6.2 User Guide (NRCS, Oct. 2015)

A 57 page pdf with complete instructions on how to use Soil Data Viewer, standalone or as an add-in to ArcMap.

Video: Using Soil Data from the USDA Geospatial Data Gateway in ArcGIS (Mar 2016)

Time: 14:55; This video will explain how to download soil survey spatial and tabular data from the Geospatial Data Gateway ( and how to use the soil data viewer add in for ArcGIS to analyze this data.

Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

520 Lafayette Road North, St. Paul, MN 55155 | (651) 296-3767 | Fax (651) 297-5615 | TTY (800) 627-3529

An Equal Opportunity Employer

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