For those who once had to go to a desktop computer to study soil survey information, there is now an “app” for that. SoilWeb combines online soil survey information with the GPS capabilities of smartphones. This combination allows users to retrieve a graphic summary of soil types in the form of soil profile sketches. Each profile sketch shows soil horizons, often compared to a vertical ice cream sandwich made up of layers of soil. Soil names, locations and taxonomic categories are also shown.
Clicking on soil sketches sends the user to the corresponding Official Series Description, a user-friendly narrative of commonly used soil properties such as horizon depths, colors, texture and rock fragment content. Clicking on a soil name provides the user with a more detailed description, including: physical and chemical properties, definitions and links to a variety of environmental databases.
The SoilWeb app is a portable version of the UC Davis California Soil Resource Lab’s Web-based interface to digital soil survey data from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.