Wisconsin Geospatial News

SCO to collaborate with DOA on statewide parcel map initiative


The Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) has finalized an agreement with the State Cartographer’s Office (SCO)  for a “Version 1 Statewide Parcel Map Database Project” to create the state’s first statewide digital parcel map to be made publically available.

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The “Version 1 Project” is one part of a larger Statewide Digital Parcel Map Initiative, a multi-year effort by the DOA to develop and implement a parcel map implementation plan for the state. This initiative is a direct result of Act 20, the state’s 2013-15 biennial budget bill, which directed the DOA to develop this plan. The Act also established a requirement for counties to post certain parcel information online by 2017, including tax assessment data, zoning information, address data and acreage.

The Version 1 Project builds on the successful cooperation between the DOA and the SCO on the LinkWISCONSIN EBM Parcel Mapping Project, which is producing statewide parcel and address data for the Wisconsin Public Service Commission. The Version 1 Project also builds on earlier work such as the Wisconsin Land Information Association parcel mapping initiative.


The Version 1 Project will create a statewide parcel database aggregated from existing county and municipal parcel datasets. The database will include the parcel attributes required by statute. In addition, the project will:

  • Offer recommendations for a searchable format for parcel attributes.
  • Identify benchmarks to assess completeness of digital parcel data.
  • Provide quantitative assessments of each county parcel dataset in terms of these benchmarks.
  • Describe tools used to standardize county and municipal datasets.
  • Make recommendations for a preferred county data export standard for integration into a statewide parcel database.
  • Analyze longer-term benchmarks going beyond the immediate statutory needs for posting parcel information online.

The project will begin on July 1, 2014 and end on September 30, 2015, with $121,765 in funding.

Relationship to the Statewide Parcel Map Initiative

The Version 1 Project is just one aspect of the larger Statewide Digital Parcel Map Initiative, which will be a multi-year endeavor with many parts and phases. As noted in a recent memo by Ed Eberle, DOA Division of Intergovernmental Relations Division Administrator, the DOA has reinforced their commitment to include stakeholders in the implementation planning process for the Parcel Initiative. DOA staff will be actively seeking input from county land information officers, first in the design of the 2014 WLIP county survey, and will be traveling to county seats around the state to meet with land information officers and members of county land information councils to learn more about their specific needs.

Aspects of the Statewide Parcel Map Initiative that are not covered by the Version 1 Project include the following:

  • Hosting and distribution of the statewide parcel database. The DOA is working with several potential project partners to host and distribute the finished parcel database, including the development of a web search tool to allow the database to be searched.
  • Updates to the parcel database. The data deliverable of the V1 Project is a one-time delivery. However, the question of sustainability will be addressed in the project report.
  • A participatory planning process with stakeholders to aid in creating long-term benchmarks for improving local parcel datasets. Facilitation of this process is beyond the scope of the Version 1 Project. An inventory of local government, state, and private business uses for specific improvements to local parcel datasets is also beyond scope.
  • Allocation of future increases in Land Information Fund revenue. The final project report may provide specific recommendations on how to assist counties to meet short-term benchmarks for statutory posting requirements for parcel data, but the SCO will not be responsible for making funding allocation decisions.
  • Creation of a governance structure for local land information system standards and interoperability. The project will not develop a model for creating a governance structure for local land information system standards and interoperability.
  • Filling gaps in data. The project will identify gaps in parcel coverage but will not attempt to fill in these gaps if shareable digital data does not already exist.

Relationship to the LinkWISCONSIN EBM Parcel Mapping Project

While there are strong linkages between the Version 1 Project and the LinkWISCONSIN EBM Project, there are also significant differences.

  • The EBM project is concerned primarily with addresses, while the Version 1 Project focuses on parcels.
  • The EBM project focuses on Public Service Commission needs for broadband mapping, while the Version 1 Project ultimately must factor in a wide range of state, local and private sector needs.
  • The EBM data deliverables will not be made publically sharable, while goal of the Version 1 Project is to produce a database for online distribution to the public.
  • Unlike the EBM Project, the Version 1 Project is being developed in response to a statutory mandate to distribute county parcel data online.
  • The Version 1 Project is directly focused on assisting counties to achieve the online distribution requirement for parcel data.

More Information

For more information on the Version 1 Project and the Statewide Parcel Map Initiative see the WLIP website. The Version 1 Project and the Statewide Parcel Map Initiative will also be discussed at the UW-Madison Geospatial Summit on April 24 and at the Wisconsin Land Information Association spring meeting on June 5.

Please contact Peter Herreid or Howard Veregin directly with specific questions.