In an earlier post, we showed some of the powerful things you can do with the web soil survey on a desktop computer, but sometimes you need soil information when you aren’t in the office. One app that can do the trick is call SoilWeb. It is available in the Apple and Google Play App Stores for free.
[Tweet “This tool gives you the soil information overlaid on Google Earth’s 3D maps. @dryject #downanddirty”]
SoilWeb was developed at UC-Davis and accesses the USDA soil survey data for most of the United States. It runs of the GPS on your phone, so you simply click a button and the soil (or often soils) that are directly below your feet pop up.
Check out: Down and Dirty
You can make a few clicks and find information like drainage class, parent material, plant available water, organic matter, pH, CEC, texture, and infiltration rate by depth. I use this tool all the time when I’m visiting a new site. It’s also a lot of fun when you’re driving down the highway to see how the soil types change as you go – especially when visiting places you’ve never been. I’m aware of the possibility that I’m alone in thinking this is fun, but thought I’d throw it out there!
Another cool tool (from the same developer) is SoilWeb Earth. You can download a KML file at http://casoilresource.lawr.ucdavis.edu/soilweb-apps that you can then open in Google Earth (smart phone, tablet, or computer). This tool gives you the soil information overlaid on Google Earth’s 3D maps. Click on an area in Google Earth and the most common soil types pop up like shown below. You can click on the names of the soils to get more data about them. I think you’ll find both of these resources fun and easy to use and they will help you get to know your site a little better.