Using Digital Soils Data

Soils data generally consists of:

  1. a map showing the geographic relationships of each soil,
  2. a text describing the soils, and
  3. tables giving physical and chemical data and interpretations for various uses.

Soils data is difficult to work with because of the complex structure. A soil mapping unit can contain many different unique soils with individual properties. Additionally, those soils have different properties at different depths. Mapping with soils data without understanding the structure can lead to grievous errors as pertinent data is ignored or misused. To add to the confusion, there is no one correct way to use soils data. Different maps require different treatments of the data in order to present the most accurate and helpful information.

In this module, there are questions about the structure of soils data and about how to use the various properties to create the most accurate picture possible. You can find out how to do various calculations using soils data and then how to implement these calculations in ArcView.