University of Wisconsin–Madison

SCO 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.

Funded Projects

Statewide Parcel Database, Ver. 2

  • GOAL Create a digital statewide parcel dataset from county and municipal data, including all attributes required by statute, and make the layer available online.
  • PARTNERS Wisconsin Dept. of Administration (DOA); county/municipal land information offices.
  • FUNDING/TIMELINE DOA; 10/1/15-12/31/16
  • STUDENT ASSISTANTS Chris Scheele, Ryan Halton

Statewide Parcel Database, Ver. 3/4

  • GOAL Enhance the statewide parcel database through automated asynchronous aggregation of local datasets, movement to a contributor model of aggregation, improvements to zoning data, and prototyping of public lands information delivery.
  • PARTNERS Wisconsin Dept. of Administration (DOA); county/municipal land information offices.
  • FUNDING/TIMELINE DOA; 1/1/17-12/31/18

Historic Coastal Geoportal

  • GOAL Develop a historic geospatial database and online mapping application featuring Wisconsin Land Economic Inventory (“Bordner Survey”) data for Wisconsin’s coastal counties.
  • PARTNERS David Mladenoff Forest Ecosystem and Landscape Ecology Lab, UW-Madison.
  • FUNDING/TIMELINE Wisconsin Coastal Management Program; 7/1/16-6/31/17


  • GOAL Develop a beta version of software for LifeMapping, a university-based project seeking to attract users and investment to its interactive mapping product. The project hopes to spinoff from campus as an independent company in early 2018.
  • PARTNERS Dean Olsen (UW student & project founder), UW Cartography Lab, Earthling Interactive, KW2 Marketing.
  • FUNDING/TIMELINE Portion of a larger project funded by D2P, UW-Madison; 1/1/17-12/31/18
  • STUDENT ASSISTANTS Scott Farley, Sung-Hyun Kang, Skylar Orenstein Buono,  Chris Scheele

Wiscland 2

  • GOAL Create a new digital statewide land cover dataset to replace the current 1990s-era data.
  • PARTNERS Department of Forest & Wildlife Ecology, UW-Madison; Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
  • FUNDING/TIMELINE  WI DNR through the US Fish & Wildlife Service/Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act; 5/1/14-9/31/16
  • STAFF Carly Mertes, Jo Horton, Matt Bougie

Internal/Student Projects

Partisan Campaign Contribution Maps

  • GOAL Create poster-sized maps showing partisan campaign contributions in Wisconsin by ZIP code for 2003-16.
  • CLIENT Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
  • STUDENT ASSISTANT Dawson Bancroft-Short

Renewable Energy Interactive Map

  • GOAL Migrate Fusion Table map of renewable energy installations to current version of software and add functionality.
  • CLIENT RENEW Wisconsin
  • STUDENT ASSISTANT Austin Coppernoll

Election Results Visualization Redesign

  • GOAL Create new interactive map of real-time election results for
  • CLIENT Wisconsin Public Television/ Radio

Experimental Crime Mapping

  • GOAL Create a spatial database with custom map layers including City of Madison Police incident reports, and race and demographic data.
  • CLIENT Martin Whitehead, CEO at HI-TAPO

PLSSFinder Updates

  • GOAL Process Public Land Survey System (PLSS) corner data for over 60 counties to update PLSSFinder. Work with counties to comply with Benchmark 4 of the Statewide Parcel Map Project to deliver updated PLSS information to the State Cartographer’s Office for public access.
  • STUDENT ASSISTANTS Dawson Bancroft-Short, Austin Coppernoll

Wisconsin Land Economic Inventory (“Bordner”) Maps

  • GOAL Continue digitizing the Wisconsin Land Economic Inventory (WLEI or “Bordner Survey”) maps with the eventual goal of completing the entire state.
  • PARTNERS David Mladenoff Forest Ecosystem and Landscape Ecology Lab, UW-Madison.

Web App Updates

  • The Aerial Photography Catalog has been upgraded to provide a more intuitive interface, improve database quality, eliminate obsolete records, and streamline the process for managing database updates.  Student Assistants Caitlin Wolters (former student), Ben Schroeder.
  • WHAIFINDER, which delivers scans of 1930s-era aerial photographs for the entire state, has been upgraded using the Leaflet JavaScript library and the CARTO platform.  Student Assistants Tobin McGilligan, Ben Schroeder.
  • GeoData@Wisconsin, providing single-point discovery and download of Wisconsin local and statewide GIS datasets, now contains over 600 public-access datasets.  Partner Jaime Martindale, UW-Madison Robinson Map Library.  Student Assistants Laura Poplett & Ellen Falette (Robinson Map Library).
  • ControlFinder and PLSSFinder, which provide access to geodetic control data, Public Land Survey System corner data, county tie sheets, and National Geodetic Survey data sheets, are being merged into a single application. Partners  County surveyors and land information offices, National Geodetic Survey. Student Assistants Matt Bougie, Will Westbury,  Tobin McGilligan, Dawson Bancroft-Short, Ben Schroeder, Austin Coppernoll, Ben Segal.
Last updated: November 28, 2017