Wisconsin Geospatial News

New format unveiled for Mapping Bulletin

Find a bug?

Although we’ve tested the new Bulletin site with a variety of browsers and operating systems, there will most likely be a few kinks we need to work out in the first few weeks. If you find anything odd or out of place, I would appreciate hearing about it!

Send comments and bug reports to me at lacy@wisc.edu.

By now you’ve no doubt figured out the Mapping Bulletin has a completely new look! We’ve been working for several months on a number of important changes that I want to tell you about.

First, the main change is the way in which we are publishing articles. In the past, we published a new Bulletin roughly every two months, with each issue containing around 12-16 articles. This wasn’t a very timely way to get information out to our readers, plus it was throwing a lot of information at folks all at once.

So, we decided to drop the periodical format we’ve used for over 30 years. Instead, we now publish news and other information on a continual basis. My goal is to add a couple of new stories to the Bulletin every week. My hope is that publishing information in these smaller “chunks” will make life easier for our readers.

There are some other significant changes worth mentioning:

  • The former “news” section on the SCO Web site has been merged into the new Bulletin. This was always a point of confusion, so we felt it was time to merge the two under the umbrella of the Bulletin.
  • We added a search function to the site, something that was sorely missing from the old Bulletin. The search currently operates on keywords (much like Google), but we are working on adding the capability to search by dates and news categories as well.
  • In parallel to the Bulletin redesign, we recently finished a project to scan and convert our older paper-only (1975-1996) Bulletins to PDF format. These, along with existing PDF-format Bulletins from 1997-2003, have been indexed by our new search engine. This means you can now search over 30 years of Wisconsin mapping history! See the “browse archives” tab for more information.

With the move away from the periodical format, one thing some of you may miss is the old “printable issue” option. Since the issue format no longer applies, we couldn’t easily translate an old concept into the new system.

Still on our to-do list is integrating the SCO GIS events calendar and GIS jobs pages into the Bulletin. These will be implemented over the next few months, so for now the “calendar” and “jobs” tabs lead back to the main SCO Web site.

Details aside, I sincerely hope all of these changes are for the better, and make life easier and more productive for our readers. As always, I appreciate your feedback.

Best wishes,

Jim Signature