Getting Land Unit boundaries from the NRCS

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{{#customtitle:Getting Land Unit boundaries from the NRCS|Getting_Land_Unit_boundaries_from_the_NRCS}}

This exercise is included in the tutorial: Setting up your farm or land project
If you are working with the USDA NRCS Conservation Programs you can use GeoAgro CPlanner, to download your land unit boundaries directly from the NRCS Conservation Planning Database.

Requisites: In order to start using GeoAgro CPlanner to access your own folders in the NRCS National Conservation Planning database, you will need to:

In this tutorial we will review how to:

  1. Download land unit boundaries from the NRCS to a .xml file using GeoAgro CPlanner
  2. Import the .xml file to a GeoAgro GIS Project.
Note Note: If you don't have GeoAgro CPlanner installed, you can still try Exercise 2, since it contains a sample file



Exercise 01 - Exporting Land Unit Boundaries from the Customer Folder

In this section we will review how to use GeoAgro Cplanner to download farm boundary data from the NCPDB

  1. Open GeoAgro CPlanner, and login with GeoAgro Training credentials as detailed in this exercise: Log in to Cplanner using USDA e-authentication
    Search for Folders in Hardin County, IA, and open one of the 10 training folders included in that County.
  2. On the right panel, click on the downloaded folder to select it and click on “Open folder” to open it. Cplanner will open the Customer folder window.Uploading
    Click on “XML”.
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  3. A “Save file...” window will pop up. Save your file to your local disk in the default location.

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  4. Now browse to the folder you used to save the file. 

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  5. Inside this folder there is a .xml file (Dev001-------IA001.xml) that is the correct one. Now we are going to import the available NRCS Land Units into the GIS. Please, make sure you use the file inside the folder.
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Exercise 02 - Import land unit boundaries to a Project in GeoAgro GIS

Install GeoAgro GIS

If you haven't yet, follow the steps in this article: Download and Install GeoAgro GIS

Create a Sample project in Iowa

Start GeoAgro GIS by double clicking on its icon at your desktop. You may also run it by using the Windows® Start menu.GIS gis Init 03 01.jpg

The Project Selection window will pop up. Create a Sample project  in Iowa as described in this tutorial created in this tutorial: Create a Project and add data, or just open the project if you have previously created it.

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Your project will be ready for editing


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Importing land unit boundaries into GeoAgro GIS

  1. First, click on the 'Fields_NRCS' layer to make active.

  2. Then, click on the “Edit layer’s object” from the “Edition Panel” and select the option “Import data from CPlanner”.
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  3. A window will pop up asking you for the location of the .xml file you want to import.
    You can use the  “Session_Meta_Data_Dev001-------IA001.xml” file that you recently exported from CPlanner in Exercise 01, or download it from here (to download, right-click on the link and select 'save link as...')
    Select the file and click on “Open”.

  4. After importing, Double-click on the “Fields_NRCS” layer to zoom to land units you just imported.

    Land Unit Boundaries 01.jpg

  5. Click on the 'VE Imagery' Layer to turn on backround aerial Imagery. If it doesn't refresh, use the Pan tool Image:GIS_gis_Navi_02_01.jpg to move the view a bit, and refresh the imagery.

Warning Warning: If you turn on the NAIP Imagery layer please note that there are some issues being resolved. If you find either displacements, or no data, you may add other imagery sources following these steps to add imagery to your project.

  1. You should now see the land units with background imagery:
    Screen farm Iowa.jpg

  2. In some cases, you may find that there are no land unit boundaries available, in those cases, these are some possible courses of action:
    What if there are no land unit boundaries available in the customer folder?
    What if the NRCS Land Units are different to the Landowner/Producer Land Units?

  3. Also, you may digitize new land units or modify existing ones by following this learning guide: Digitizing land features

  4. You may learn how to bring soils, topo and other resources information from this learning guide: Adding Imagery and Land Resources Information

Exercise 03 - Exporting Land Unit Boundaries to Shape file format

Once the Land Units have been imported to GeoAgro GIS, you can export them to shape file format using the export layers tool

Export layers

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Export layers