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Global Change Master Directory (GCMD)
USDA's Soil Data Viewer

Abstract: The Soil Data Viewer is a tool built as an extension to ArcView that allows you to easily create soil-based thematic maps. Soil Data Viewer shields users and applications from the complexity of the soil database and incorporates rules
for appropriate use of soil data. It provides an easy to use tool for geospatial analysis of soil information for resource assessment and management.

The soil survey attribute database associated with the spatial soil map is a complicated database with more than 50 tables. The Soil Data Viewer provides users access to soil interpretations and soil properties while shielding them
from the complexity of the soil database. Each soil map unit (polygons) may contain multiple soil components that have different use and management. The Soil Data Viewer makes it easy to compute a single value for a polygon and display results, relieving the user from the burden of querying the database, processing the data and joining and linking to the spatial map.

Related URL
Description: Download and install the USDA Soil Data Viewer.

Description: USDA Soil Data Viewer user guide.

ISO Topic Category

Use Constraints
Although the Soil Data Viewer 6.1 installer no longer checks for a specific operating system or a specific version of ArcGIS, Soil Data Viewer 6.1 is currently certified only for Windows 7 Professional x64 and ArcGIS 10.0 thru 10.2, or Windows XP Professional and ArcGIS 10.0 thru 10.2, or Windows 8.x and ArcGIS 10.0 thru 10.2.

Soil Data Viewer 6.1 may or may not work under other versions of Windows, but it hasn’t been tested under any version of Windows other than Windows 7 Professional x64 and Windows XP Professional.

Soil Data Viewer 6.1 will not be supported for any version of ArcMap prior to 10.0.

The Microsoft .NET Framework, version 3.5, or higher, must be installed prior to installing Soil Data Viewer 6.1. The Soil Data Viewer 6.1 installer will let you know if this requirement has not been met.

Some version of either Microsoft Access, or its corresponding runtime package, must be installed. Technically, one doesn’t need Microsoft Access to run Soil Data Viewer, but a driver that allows Soil Data Viewer 6.1 to communicate with a Microsoft Access SSURGO Template database is required. While Microsoft Access is not required to run Soil Data Viewer 6.1, one could not import soil tabular data into a Microsoft Access SSURGO Template database without having access to Microsoft Access on some platform.

If a driver that allows the Soil Data Viewer application to communicate with a Microsoft Access SSURGO Template database is missing, an exception will occur the instant that that Soil Data Viewer attempts to open a Microsoft Access SSURGO Template database. If the exception mentions a missing or empty table, the problem is a missing driver. If you need this driver but don’t want to install Microsoft Access, we suggest that you download and install the 64 bit Microsoft Access 2010 Runtime. The Microsoft Access 2010 Runtime is free.

Soil Data Viewer still only recognizes a Microsoft Access database with a .mdb extension. We do not yet provide SSURGO Template databases in .accdb format. Microsoft Access 2007 and 2010 are both capable of working with an Access database in .mdb format. Our intent is remedy this as soon as possible.

Access 2007 and 2010 users will need to enable all macros. Instructions for doing this are provided in the PDF file Enabling Macros in Microsoft Access.

In order to be able to generate thematic soil maps, ArcGIS 10.0 or 10.1 must be installed. Please see section ArcGIS Version Compatibility for additional information.

If all requirements but the ArcGIS requirement are met, you can still install Soil Data Viewer and run it independent of ArcMap, but output is then limited to a tabular report.

A PDF viewer, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader offsite link image or some equivalent, must be installed on your computer in order to view reports created by the Soil Data Viewer application.

Phone: 402-437-5755
Email: jim.fortner at
Contact Address:
National Soil Survey Center
100 Centennial Mall North, Room 152
City: Lincoln
Province or State: NE
Postal Code: 68508-3866
Country: USA

Extended Metadata Properties
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Creation and Review Dates
SERF Creation Date: 2004-04-15
SERF Last Revision Date: 2018-09-13