University of Wisconsin–Madison

SCO Publications

Mapping Wisconsin’s Economic History

This publication describes a project that created a digital GIS database and portal of historic “Bordner” maps for the coastal areas of Wisconsin. The Bordner Survey (or Wisconsin Land Economic Inventory) was a highly detailed inventory of Wisconsin conducted primarily in the 1930s. The survey captured information on agricultural and forest cover, and cultural and physical features, based on field workers’ observations. This project, funded by NOAA through Wisconsin’s Coastal Management Program, digitized Bordner maps for the Great Lakes watershed, created digital mosaics of 1930s aerial photography, and produced a custom online application to support visualization of the maps and photos. The project was conducted jointly by the State Cartographer’s Office and the Forest Ecosystem and Landscape Ecology Lab in the Department of Forest and Landscape Ecology at UW-Madison.

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