This study, published in the Journal of Land Use Science, examines the social, economic, geographic/biophysical, and regulatory factors underlying parcelization -- the subdivision of large landholdings -- in rural Wiscosnin over a period of 35 years. Results paint a unique picture of the complex interplay of historic and contemporary parcelization drivers. Simple factors robustly explain parcelization in the earliest period examined, but in later time periods model fitness decreases, suggesting that the drivers of contemporary parcelization are more complex than in previous decades.
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Report on a series of public forums held in 2015 to gather information on user needs for the Wisconsin Historic Landscape Database. This database was derived from the 1832-1866 General Land Office survey of Wisconsin documenting information about soils, vegetation, cultural features, and wetlands. Funding for the forums was provided by the Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment at UW-Madison. (Published August 2016)
wisconsin historic landscape project 2015 community forum report final.pdf 2.5 MB
This study of washington Island was presented by Will Craig at the WLIA (Wisconsin Land Information Association) Fall Regional Conference in Oshkosh in October, 2015. The study focuses on the processes used to collect and map the dates of initial land transfers on Washington Island, Wisconsin. It starts by describing the PLSS (Public Land Survey System) and then documents the various ways that land was transferred from the public domain on Washington Island. The study documents the sources of data on land patents and describes the methodology used to transfer information into map form using GIS (Geographic Information Systems).
Mapping Initial European Settlement in Wisconsin.pdf (2MB)
This article, published in the Journal of Extension, shows how maps can be used in a Web analytics context to help assess the impact of outreach and Extension programs. The article shows how maps can be generated from Web analytics data using free GIS software. The website of the State Cartographer's Office is used as a case study. The full article can be found in the June 2015 issue of the Journal of Extension (Vol. 53, No. 3, Article # 3IAW2).
Interested in doing this yourself for your own website? This document shows you how create a Google Analytics report with latitude-longitude values.
Announcement of a new collaborative project with the Wisconsin Department of Administration to create Wisconsin's first statewide digital parcel map to be made publically available. (Published April 2014; Revised January 2015)
Final report of the LinkWISCONSIN Address Point and Parcel Mapping Project. This project was funded by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin with an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant awarded by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. The report describes the processes used to integrate address point and parcel data from Wisconsin's counties and municipalities to create statewide layers. (Published Sept. 2014)
Summary of a project through the Wisconsin Public Service Commission to add address and parcel GIS layers to Wisconsin’s statewide broadband map. (Originally published July 2013, updated January 2015)
The 2014 WLIP Report was published jointly by the Wisconsin Department of Administration and the State Cartographer's Office. The report discusses how WLIP funding was invested in county geospatial infrastructure in 2013, and gives the results of the 2014 WLIP survey focusing on county priorities for parcel map development. (Published Sept. 2014)
The University of Wisconsin-Madison and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are partnering on a project to map the current land cover of Wisconsin. This publication describes the key aspects of the project. (Updated Jan 2016)
SCO_statewide_land_cover_project_Jan2016.pdf 2.25 MB
GeoData@Wisconsin an online geoportal designed to provide discovery and download capability for local Wisconsin geospatial data to be used for educational purposes. The geoportal is developed and maintained by UW-Madison Geography Department's Robinson Map Library and State Cartographer's Office. (Published January 2015)
The State Cartographer’s Office (SCO) is Wisconsin’s resource for information about maps, cartography, geographic information systems, land information systems, and geospatial technology. This publication provides details on our responsibilities, vision and mission, strategic priorties, and who we are. (Revised Jan. 2016)
about SCO jan 2016.pdf 1.9 MB
Primarily targeted at geospatial professionals who want want a better understanding of elevation terminology, this Infosheet describes the differences between ellipsoid heights and elevations (orthometric heights), and the implications of the National Geodetic Survey's GRAV-D project. (Published January 2012)
This paper provides an overview of geospatial PDFs and their basic features, as well as some of the tools available to interact with these files. Information is also provided on more complex software tools designed to manipulate and create geospatial PDFs, as well as several mobile apps. This paper focuses on USGS US Topos as a case study, since these maps are widely used. (Published May 2014)
This article, published in the Journal of Web Librarianship, uses Web analytics to evaluate the effectiveness of online maps to support community outreach efforts. The specific focus is the WHAIFinder (Wisconsin Historic Aerial Image Finder), which provides online access to a rare collection of aerial photographs from the 1930s. The article is available from the Journal of Web Librarianship website for those with an institutional subscription to the journal. A limited number of copies are
This report -- jointly published by the Wisconsin Department of Administration and the State Cartographer's Office -- discusses how Wisconsin Land Information Program (WLIP) funding is invested in county geospatial infrastructure, the 2013 county survey results, and the challenges and opportunities for the aggregation of county map data into statewide GIS layers. (Originally published Nov. 2013)
Our office has been the key point of contact for federal (USGS and NGS) control for over 30 years. In our continuing effort to make this information more accessible as a central point of access, we developed ControlFinder. Our newest version of Control Finder is built
on a robust open-source software stack enabling better usability, integration of Google Maps API basemaps and a more standardized approach to application construction. (Revised January 2015)
Our office has been involved in cataloging and reporting section corner remonumentation status since 1975 through various publications. In our continuing effort to make thisinformation more accessible as a central point of access, we developed PLSSFinder as a free, Internet-accessible catalog designed to help users locate current information about PLSS corners in Wisconsin. PLSS corner information accessible through this application comes directly from county contributors. Corner attribute information is retrievable from this application, while other attribute information is available via direct links to information maintained by the county on their Web site. (Revised January 2015)
This handbook is a technical guide and resource for those who work with geospatial information in Wisconsin. It provides a brief overview of the history, evolution, and basics of Wisconsin’s coordinate reference systems, and compiles in one place the technical specifications for systems most commonly used in the state. (Originally published April 2009, minor revisions January 2012)
This 30" x 20" poster, produced by the SCO, uses historic aerial photography to show how the UW–Madison campus has changed over time. The poster blends a modern color photograph from July 2, 2010, with a black-and-white photograph from July 6, 1937. The poster is available for $10, rolled in a tube and ready for framing, from the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey (WGNHS) -- in person (3817 Mineral Point Road, Madison), or by phone (608-263-7389). (Published December 2012)
This study employs Web-usage statistics to assess the effectiveness of the WHAIFinder (Wisconsin Historic Aerial Image Finder) application for meeting community outreach goals. (Published August 2012)
Pronounce Wisconsin is an online application that delivers audio pronunciations for over 1700 Wisconsin places – including counties, cities, villages, and unincorporated communities – through an easy-to-use map interface. (Published January 2014)
The “WHAIFinder” digital archive of historic aerial imagery provides quick and easy access to over 38,000 digital aerial photographs covering the entire state of Wisconsin. (Published January 2014)
This paper describes an effort to build a digital archive and web-based retrieval system for historic air photos for the state of Wisconsin. The University of Wisconsin-Madison has an extensive collection of historic air photos, including a rare 1937-1941 collection that covers almost the entire state. (Published February 2011)
One of the quickest and easiest ways to produce simple maps for your Web site is to use Google’s Fusion Tables, an online data management application designed for collaboration, visualization and publishing of data. This SCO Technical Paper gives you a quick tutorial on the basic features of Fusion Tables for making simple Web maps.
Version 1.2, updated Feb. 2014, reflects changes to the graphical interface and software features, provides additional KML and Shapefile conversion methods, and gives a summary of Google Maps Engine Lite.
ArcGIS Online is web-based service from Esri that allows users to create, view, and edit custom maps using their own geographic data. This tutorial provides an introduction to the interface, step-by-step instructions for making and customizing a simple point map, creating editable layers, sharing your map, and accessing your maps with a smartphone. Additionally, a sample dataset is provided for those who wish to follow the tutorial verbatim. (Published February 2012)
One of the ways that interactive Web-based maps are different from traditional paper maps is that Web maps permit users to dynamically change map scale by interacting with a zoom tool. The ability to dynamically change map scale poses some challenges for cartographic design, since the mapping engine must be prepared to effectively render map data for different scale displays. This Technical Paper provides a quick overview of concepts and methods for Web-based cartography, with specific reference to issues of content selection and feature symbolization in the context of scale change. (Published August 2011)
This report summarizes activities and accomplishments of the State Cartographer's Office for July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013 (Fiscal Year 2013). It includes an assessment of progress relative to our 2010-13 Strategic Plan. (Published Aug. 2013)
This report summarizes activities and accomplishments of the State Cartographer's Office for July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012 (Fiscal Year 2012). It includes an assessment of progress relative to our 2010-13 Strategic Plan, as well as a list of high-priority projects for 2012-13 identified in our annual business planning process. (Published July 2012)
This report summarizes activities and accomplishments of the State Cartographer's Office for July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011 (Fiscal Year 2011). It includes an assessment of progress relative to our 2010-13 Strategic Plan, as well as a list of high-priority projects for 2011-12 identified in our annual business planning process. (Published August 2011)
This report provides a structured view of county-based GIS capacity in Wisconsin through an inventory of GIS data assets, technical capacity, and management practices. The report is based on self-reported statistics for 2008-2009 using the Wisconsin GIS Inventory tool with answers provided by representatives of Land Information Offices (LIOs) in each county. This is a joint publication of the SCO and the Division of Intergovernmental Relations of the Wisconsin Department of Administration. (Originally published May 2009)
On June 25, 2008, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued an opinion in WIREdata Inc. v. Village of Sussex (2008 WI 69), after nearly seven years of litigation between WIREdata, Inc. and the villages of Sussex and Thiensville, and the city of Port Washington. The litigation touches on Wisconsin state public records law and its application to electronic databases. This publication summarizes the WIREdata case, and highlights the potential impact of the decision on access to geospatial data maintained by government agencies. (Published January 2009)