State Cartographer's Office - Major Projects

In addition to our day-to-day activities, the State Cartographer's Office works on larger-scale projects with time frames of several months or even years. These projects may include major updates to our website or mapping applications, funded research projects, large data development activities, and large-scale coordination initiatives. These projects are sometimes internal, but in other cases involve collaboration with outside partners. This page highlights these projects and identifies resources where additional information can be found.

archive3 Looking for more? Check out our archive of past SCO projects.


(July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014)

In order to enhance the PSCW's geocoding and analysis capabilities, the State Cartographer's Office is collaborating with the Wisconsin Land Information Program (WLIP) at the Department of Administration (DOA) to develop statewide address and parcel layers. Key project participants include county land information offices and the Wisconsin Land Information Association (WLIA) parcel mapping demonstration project team. The initiative is known as the LinkWISCONSIN EBM Parcel Mapping (EBM) project.

For more information, visit project Web site.


(Expected Completed December 2013)

In 2011, the State Cartographer's Office received funding through the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) Cooperative Agreements Program (CAP) for a project entitled "Business Plan Development for a Wisconsin Aerial Imaging Program." The project is examining existing models used to manage orthophotography projects in the state, and based on considerable community input, analyze the lessons learned from these past projects. The expected outcome is a formal implementation plan (a "blueprint") for an aerial photography program that meets the needs of the widest possible audience of users in Wisconsin. For more information on this project, see our Statewide Orthophotography Planning Infosheet. pdf 1.04 MB, or visit the project Web site at:



The SCO continues to spend a significant amount of effort on outreach, collaboration, and education of local units of government on the benefits of integrating their geodetic control and Public Land Survey System (PLSS) corner datasets into ControlFinder and PLSSFinder.



The SCO relies on Web technology to facilitate its community outreach mission of supplying geospatial information to professionals and the public. But how effective is our outreach strategy and who are we reaching? We recently focused some attention on this question.



The State Cartographer's Office provides opportunities for students to participate in service-learning projects, to apply what students have learned in the classroom and enhance their university experience. These projects are often carried out in collaboration with other units at UW-Madison, other UW system campuses, and individuals in the community.



The State Cartographer's Office has proposed developing a statewide cartographic database to support a variety of map services and products including rendered maps, rendered layers, map image tiles, Web services, and raw data layers. The project has linkages to other initiatives at the national and state level, including the National Map and the Esri Community Maps Program. This project is in the initial planning and requirements-gathering stage. 


(May 2012 - June 2013)

WiscLINC represents Wisconsin's only effort at providing an NSDI (National Spatial Data Infrastructure) clearinghouse node. Initiated in the mid 1990s, the catalog has become dated in terms of both content and functionality. We are in need of a newer framework for an updated catalog of geospatial data in the state.

Objectives of the project include: enhanced functionality to provide data access paths for download as well as reporting data existence; improved ease of back-end maintenance through software platform upgrade; simple mapping interface to preview web services; access to Robinson Map Library data holdings and SCO informational materials.

This project is in its initial planning stage.


(Expected completion winter 2014)

Wisconsin's current statewide PLSS layer, Landnet, is out of date and does not make use of more accurate local datasets. Improving this layer would provide needed statewide data as well as model a successful statewide data integration effort. The goal of the SCO PLSS project is to implement a pilot study of PLSS data integration for a subset of Wisconsin counties, and to identify and assess the barriers to a statewide effort.



WIGICC (Wisconsin Geographic Information Coordination Council) was formed in 2008 to serve as a forum and coordinating body for geographic information and technology in Wisconsin. The goal of WIGICC is to give stakeholders in the geospatial community a voice in statewide initiatives and issues. The State Cartographer, along with the state's Geographic Information Officer, is a non-voting, ex officio member of the Council. The Council itself is formed of 19 members from local, regional, state, tribal, and federal government, the private sector, the educational sector, and non-profits. The WIGICC website provides information about WIGICC events and activities, as well as instructions for joining the WIGICC network.