USGS Layers
October 4, 2013 10:15 AM   Subscribe

Because of the federal government shutdown, the USGS website has been shuttered and all the data that I use regularly has been taken offline. I need to find a source for the "Official Soil Descriptions" [google cache works now, but I anticipate this will last a while, so I need all of them] and the soil survey layers for the state of Texas. Any idea where I can download these?
posted by Brent Parker to Law & Government (14 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Have you checked the Internet Archive WayBack Machine?

I know people are using it to access Library of Congress stuff.
posted by mareli at 10:25 AM on October 4, 2013

Response by poster: I should have mentioned that. The OSD is not the Wayback Machine and the GIS layers that I need are not stored by the either.
posted by Brent Parker at 10:26 AM on October 4, 2013

You've checked the version of USGS? UH has a bunch of databases some of which might be local. I'd give the library there a call or chat because they may have ways of accessing that stuff.
posted by jessamyn at 10:27 AM on October 4, 2013

Response by poster: Here is an example of an OSD entry that is currently available through Google's cache. doesn't have these.

GIS layers are entirely different beast. I am just hoping that a friendly person on metafilter just might know an agency that has the data.
posted by Brent Parker at 10:50 AM on October 4, 2013

You might also ask the Texas State Library. Good luck!
posted by PaulaSchultz at 10:52 AM on October 4, 2013

For Texas soil survey information, I would contact the folks at the Map and GIS Library at Texas A&M. Someone may have the layers you need already downloaded, or they may be able to point you toward someone who does.
posted by rockindata at 10:54 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Would a .kml file for Google Earth work, or do you need the actual shapefiles with attributes for analysis in ArcGIS? This site appears to have a .kml with soil series for the entire US - if you had to, you could import it into Arc, convert from kml to shp, and clip to the extent you need. I'm not sure how many of the attributes that would normally be included with a soil map will be included in the .kml, though.
posted by dialetheia at 10:57 AM on October 4, 2013

You also might be able to find what you need in the California Soils Resource database & mapping tools from UC Davis - they appear to have map data for the whole US, and it doesn't look like it depends on any NRCS backend information. Again, not sure if they include the attributes you need, but it might get you most of the way there.
posted by dialetheia at 11:03 AM on October 4, 2013

Best answer: Is this useful? From the Stephen F. Austin State University.
posted by hydrobatidae at 11:03 AM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]

Oh, I found it referenced on this site from Texas A&M. You might be able to find something from a smaller area that answers your questions (or contacts who might have more information).
posted by hydrobatidae at 11:08 AM on October 4, 2013

Response by poster: Hydrobatidae - that's perfect. Thank you! Now I just need to find a good source for the OSDs.
posted by Brent Parker at 11:24 AM on October 4, 2013

it looks like the USDA ftp server is still up, so you may be able to get the ftp links from the cache and then download pdfs?
posted by rockindata at 11:55 AM on October 4, 2013

Response by poster: No dice with the FTP server. I went through every folder.
posted by Brent Parker at 3:06 PM on October 4, 2013

Best answer: So for anyone that is playing along at home these are the place you can download this information, if god forbid, this happens again in the future.

Official Soil Series Descriptions

Soil Survey Layers
posted by Brent Parker at 3:58 PM on October 31, 2013

« Older How will the government shutdown affect a trip to...   |   Fictional accounts of therapy Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.