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SSIS Soils Data, Minnesota

SSIS data has been superseded by NRCS's SSURGO data. This webpage and the downloadable files remain for historical completeness.

This page provides information on soils data digitized using the University of Minnesota's Soil Survey Information System (SSIS). The source for this data is the Natural Resources Conservation Service county soils survey maps. SSIS is a non-GIS computer program originally created in the mid-to-late 1970s and used to collect and display soil information on a section-by-section basis. Note: this program was active from the mid-1970s until the mid-1990s; no new counties are being done.

Conversion process

Soils data for about 40 Minnesota counties was collected using SSIS. Most SSIS soils data was converted to GIS formats, either by LMIC (now MnGeo) or by the University of Minnesota, using the following process:

For more information, consult the SSIS Soils Data Documentation. To find out more about the data in its original SSIS format (.bas and .dat files), see pages 8 and 10 in the Governor's Council County Soil Surveys report.

For information about other soils data available for Minnesota, see MnGeo's soils page.

Download SSIS data

For historical completeness, the SSIS files are still online at: but users who want current soils data should use SSURGO.

Files available for download from the FTP site are in Arc/Info export and shapefile formats, stored in separate folders by format. Each county's township files have been assembled into a self-extracting zip (.EXE) file. After downloading this zip file, simply execute (run) the file. For example, double-click it from Windows Explorer or File Manager. Doing this will automatically extract the following files:

Download attributes

SSIS files include soil codes and soil name descriptions; however, no other tabular information on soil properties is included. Users can download tabular information from NRCS's Web Soil Survey to link to the map unit symbols. The Soil Data Mart's tabular data is from the National Soil Information System (NASIS); this replaces their previous MUIR database.

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