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ENG 108: Researching Place: Soil Surveys

Fall 2011

About Soil Surveys

NRCS Soil Surveys

How to find soil surveys on the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

  1. Go to
  2. Enter “soil surveys” – include quotation marks – in the search box.
  3. Click on Soil Surveys by State | NRCS
  4. This takes you to - a state-by-state breakdown of soil surveys. 
  5. Click on the state you want.
  6. This will take you to the published soil surveys for a state.  Find one that has an archived report available in PDF.  Click on the county link.
  7. Then click on the “Manuscript” link  and your report will appear.  It may take awhile because these reports are pretty large.  

Web Soil Surveys

Alternative for Web Soil Survey

  1. Go to
  2. Enter “web soil survey” – include quotation marks – in the search box.
  3. This will take you to  Click on the big green button that says “Start WSS
  4. It will take awhile to load, but you’ll go to  Click on “Soil Survey Area” in the left column. 
  5. Fill in the state and the county you want.  Then click on the radio button next to the soil survey you want, and click on “Set AOIto choose your area of interest. A message “Creating AOI” will be superimposed on the map.  This will take some time. 
  6. Once it’s finished loading, scroll up to the “Shopping Cart (free)” tab.  Click on it. 
  7. The message “Adding Soil Resource Content to Shopping Cart” will appear.  Again, this will take a few minutes.
  8. Once it’s finished, click on the “Check Out” button.  A box will appear asking when you want the results.  Select “Get it now” and click on OK.  A “Generating custom soil resource report” will appear.  This will take some time to finish.  You may get a question about whether you have a popup blocker enabled.  If you do, turn the popup blocker off (exact methods will vary by your browser). 
  9. Save the PDF report, and you’re done!  

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