Streaming Soil Survey Data in Google Earth (updates)

Submitted by dylan on Thu, 2008-04-17 00:55.

STATSGO KML sample imageSTATSGO KML thumbnail

SSURGO KML ThumbnailSSURGO KML Thumbnail

A short update to a previous post on the visualization of NCSS/USDA soil survey data in Google Earth. The use of the NetworkLink construct, combined with the spatial indexing present in PostGIS, allows for very rapid lookup and presentation of this massive database. Scale-dependant switching between the detailed (SSURGO) and generalized (STATSGO) databases is done through simple area calculation in PostGIS.

Here is the link to the KMZ file. Here is a link to our conventional viewer application, based on Ka-Map / Mapserver, using the same PostGIS back-end (previous post on this). This PLSS KML file is very useful along-side soil survey information.

Feedback is always welcome!


  • added link to download-able KMZ file, no longer need to manually create a network link
  • KMZ (compressed KML) is now used to for streaming soil survey data (5x-10x smaller files)
  • graphical component summaries are presented in the map unit info "bubble"

Soil-Web Graphical Component ListSoil-Web Graphical Component List

Soil Dtail Info

Am i doing something wrong? Over the past 2-3 weeks the function that allows you to click on a polygon does not appear to be working consistently. I'm guessing its a bug that needs fixing. Wanted to call it to you attention.

Soil Web in Google Earth

I'm also having very recent trouble with the KMZ for SoilWeb. I haven't changed anything, but in the last few weeks it is slow to display polygons or doesn't display at all. I've tried re-adding the KMZ, and can't seem to get it to show any polygons. The display status in the upper left corner is correctly indicating soil survey area and extent...

Site Index

Really enjoy the Google Earth extension. Is there anyway to access Site Index?

More Data

Hi Tim,

Click on a polygon to get more information on the selected map unit. Clicking on the component names will take you to a new page with details on that component.


Great resource! I have had this app on my iphone for a few months and it works great. I just added the layer in kzm Google earth, which is also working great. Question: Where are you getting the vegetation from? Does it relate to the soil type or area? Thanks.

Vegetation Data

Those data come right out of the SSURGO database. All we do is format and link them to the USDA Plants database.

whole country?

This is awesome. Do you know whether anyone has done all the lower 48 states?


Yes. We are slowly adding all of the lower 48.

Couldn't find soils KMZ file

Your soils layer for Google Earth looks very useful. However, the link to the KMZ file didn't work for me--it just redirects to a webpage. Am I missing the download? Can you help me get it? Thanks!


Thanks for the note. The link is now fixed.