Soil Geographic Data Standard

Document number


Maintenance authority

Natural Resources Conservation Service


The overall objective of the Soil Geographic Data Standard is to standardize the names, definitions, ranges of values, and other characteristics of soil survey map attribute data developed by the National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS). The NCSS is the body composed of the various federal, state, and local units of government who work cooperatively to develop the soil survey of all lands in the United States.


This document proposes a set of data standards for the inventory, mapping, and reporting on the soil resources of the United States. It includes a description of the proposed data elements to be used when reporting and transfering data used to describe soil map units and their components. These map units are associated with soil maps developed by the National Cooperative Soil Survey.

This document does not detail data elements used to describe soils at a specific point/site on the landscape, the field methods used to collect the data, or the various classification systems used to classify soils. A future standard will likely be developed to deal with point/site data. Documents containing the various classification systems are listed as references at the end of this standard.

Sponsored by

FGDC Subcommittee on Soils

Project history

DocumentVersionDate Custodian
FGDC-endorsed standard   1997-09