SCO Publications

TitleSummaryPublication Date
State Cartographer’s Office Annual Report, 2020-21Report on State Cartographer’s Office activities from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.08/12/2021
Map of Annual Change in Residential Property Values, 2016-2020This poster-sized map (24×30 in.) shows the annual percent increase or decrease in total assessed value for improved residential properties in Wisconsin, using data from Versions 3 and 7 of the Statewide Parcel Database.07/13/2021
State Cartographer’s Office Annual Report, Fiscal Year 2020Report of State Cartographer’s Office activities from July 2019 through June 2020.08/13/2020
State Cartographer’s Office Annual Report – Fiscal Year 2019Summary of the activities of the State Cartographer’s Office from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 (Fiscal Year 2019).08/29/2019
Extended Statewide PLSS Corner Numbering SystemThis publication outlines an extension to the Statewide PLSS Corner Numbering System, also known as the Romportl Numbering System. The need for an extended version of the system arises from several special cases known to …07/24/2019
Statewide PLSS Corner Numbering SystemThe Public Land Survey System (PLSS) is the foundation of property boundary descriptions in Wisconsin. An essential characteristic of PLSS is a numbering system that locates each corner within the statewide PLSS network. The Wisconsin …07/24/2019
Final Report, This Land Is Your LandReport for the one-day forum entitled This Land Is Your Land held at the Lafayette County Multipurpose Building in Darlington on April  18, 2019 — the fifth annual PLSS forum organized by the PLSS Work …05/14/2019
The New 2022 Datums: A Brief BookIn 2022, the National Geodetic Survey will adopt and publish two new geodetic datums that are the underlying bases for positioning, mapping, and navigation. The new datums will impact many human activities. They will have …05/13/2019
Wisconsin’s Geospatial Infrastructure Gets an UpgradeOverview of a project to integrate PLSS (Public Land Survey System) data into the statewide parcel database.01/03/2019
WSRS 2022 Task Force Goals and Creation of Focus GroupsDescribes the goals, mission, current activities and focus groups of WSRS 2022, the Wisconsin Spatial Reference System 2022 Task Force.01/03/2019
State Cartographer’s Office Annual Report – Fiscal Year 2018Summary of the activities of the State Cartographer’s Office from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018 (Fiscal Year 2018).08/13/2018
SCO Strategic Plan (2018-2021)SCO strategic plan for the period of July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2021.07/24/2018
Final Report, 2018 Surveying-Parcel ForumReport on a public forum entitled, “Meet Me at the Corner,” held on April 25, 2018.05/16/2018
Wisconsin Orthophotography (2005)This SCO infosheet discusses the current status of aerial imagery in the state of Wisconsin.12/31/2005
Wisconsin Orthophotography (2012)This SCO infosheet discusses the current status of aerial imagery in the state of Wisconsin.01/28/2012
Wisconsin Orthophotography (2008)This SCO infosheet discusses the current status of aerial imagery in the state of Wisconsin.01/31/2008
Wisconsin Orthophotography (2009)This SCO infosheet discusses the current status of aerial imagery in the state of Wisconsin.01/20/2009
Wisconsin Orthophotography (2010)This SCO infosheet discusses the current status of aerial imagery in the state of Wisconsin.03/29/2010
Wisconsin Orthophotography (2011)This SCO infosheet discusses the current status of aerial imagery in the state of Wisconsin.02/09/2011
Wisconsin Orthophotography (2013)This SCO infosheet discusses the current status of aerial imagery in the state of Wisconsin.01/24/2013
Wisconsin Orthophotography (2014)This SCO infosheet discusses the current status of aerial imagery in the state of Wisconsin.01/21/2014
Wisconsin Orthophotography (2015)This SCO infosheet discusses the current status of aerial imagery in the state of Wisconsin.01/20/2015
Wisconsin Historic Aerial Imagery FinderThe WHAIFinder (pronounced “WAY-finder”) digital archive of historic aerial imagery provides quick and easy access to over 38,000 digital aerial photographs covering the entire state of Wisconsin.04/18/2018
UW-Madison “Then and Now” PosterThis image of the University of Wisconsin–Madison blends a modern color photograph from July 2, 2010, with an historic black and white photograph from July 6, 1937. The photographs show the campus across a span of 73 years.11/13/2012
Wisconsin Aerial Imagery (2018)This SCO infosheet discusses the current status of aerial imagery in the state of Wisconsin.  This includes both historic aerial photography, and present-day orthoimagery projects conducted by local, state, and federal government organizations.01/26/2018
Statewide Orthophotography PlanningIn 2012, the State Cartographer’s Office began work on a Federal Geographic Data Committee Cooperative Agreement Program project entitled “Business Plan Development for a Wisconsin Aerial Imaging Program.”  This infosheet provides an overview of the project.01/18/2013
Statewide Land Cover Mapping ProjectThe University of Wisconsin-Madison and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) partnered on a project to map the current vegetation, water, and urban patterns (“land cover”) of Wisconsin.01/25/2016
Quick and Easy Web Maps with Google Fusion TablesThis technical paper is obsolete, since Google Fusion Tables will be shut down on Dec 3, 2019.02/28/2014
Creating Web and Mobile Maps Using ArcGIS OnlineThis SCO Technical Paper provides an introduction to Esri’s ArcGIS Online Platform.  ArcGIS Online is a simple cloud-based utility for producing, editing, and sharing geospatial data. Designed by Esri, the makers of the popular ArcGIS …02/27/2012
Final Report, 2016 Surveying-Parcel ForumReport on a public forum entitled, “Parcel Mapping and the Public Land Survey in Wisconsin,” hosted by the Wisconsin State Cartographer’s Office in 2016.04/27/2016
Survey Control FinderSurvey Control Finder is a mobile-friendly web app that provides a central point of access to over 28,000 control points and over 200,000 Public Land Survey System records in Wisconsin.02/07/2018
V4 Statewide Parcel & PLSS ProjectDetails about Wisconsin’s statewide parcel and PLSS project.02/07/2018
Mapping Wisconsin’s Economic HistoryThis publication describes a project that created a digital GIS database and portal of historic “Bordner” maps for the coastal areas of Wisconsin.10/10/2017
State Cartographer’s Office Annual Report – Fiscal Year 2017Summary of the activities of the State Cartographer’s Office from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017 (Fiscal Year 2017).09/08/2017
SCO Strategic Plan (2016-2017)SCO strategic plan for the period of July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017.07/01/2016
SCO Strategic Plan (2013-2016)SCO strategic plan for the period of July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2016.07/01/2013
SCO Strategic Plan (2010-2013)SCO strategic plan for the period of July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2013.08/02/2010
A Concept for a State Geospatial Data PortalThe State Cartographer’s Office drafted a position paper presenting a concept for a state geospatial data portal that goes beyond immediate needs and attempts to address some of the critical issues related to user requirements for geospatial data access in Wisconsin. This paper tries to consider how the state of Wisconsin should invest in geospatial infrastructure for the future, in order to maximize the return on the investment made over the last three decades through the Land Information Program.12/07/2016
Using geospatial PDFsThis document provides an overview of geospatial PDFs and their basic features, as well as some of the tools available to interact with these files, using USGS US Topos as a case study. 2nd edition, published in 2019.09/17/2019
Using Web Analytics to Evaluate Online MapsThis 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.02/28/2014
Statewide Parcel DataDetails on accessing Wisconsin’s statewide parcel data, via ftp, web application, or REST service.09/25/2017
Analysis of Web-Usage Statistics to Evaluate the Effectiveness of Online Maps for Community OutreachThis study employs Web-usage statistics to assess the effectiveness of the WHAIFinder (Wisconsin Historic Aerial Image Finder) application for meeting community outreach goals.08/07/2012
An Open Source Web Application for Historic Air Photo Display and Distribution in WisconsinThis 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.04/22/2011
Concepts and Methods for Rule-Based Web CartographyOne 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.08/09/2011
Final Report, LinkWISCONSIN Address Point and Parcel Mapping ProjectFinal 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.09/29/2014
The WIREdata case and its implications for Wisconsin geospatial dataOn 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.01/05/2009
2009 Wisconsin GIS Inventory ReportThis 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.05/01/2009
2013 WLIP ReportThis 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.11/25/2013
2014 WLIP ReportThe 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.09/24/2014
Wisconsin Orthophotography (2016)This Infosheet summarizes the status of orthophoto projects in Wisconsin, and describes current and future trends that affect imagery users in the state.01/29/2016
Wisconsin Aerial Imagery: A Blueprint for Moving the State ForwardThis discussion paper proposes an implementation strategy for a Wisconsin statewide aerial imagery program. The recommendations in this document were developed following an open and participatory process conducted in 2012 and 2013 where imagery stakeholders throughout Wisconsin provided their insights and requirements for a statewide aerial imagery plan.06/03/2014
Key Characteristics of a Proposed Wisconsin Aerial Imagery ProgramThis document summarizes the key components of a Wisconsin aerial imagery program proposed in a discussion paper published by the State Cartographer’s Office. This includes recommendations for contracting, technical standards, funding, and other logistics.06/02/2014
Pronounce WisconsinPronounce 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. 01/17/2014
GeoData@WisconsinGeoData@Wisconsin an online geoportal for fast and free access to Wisconsin geospatial data.  The geoportal combines a map-based spatial search with traditional keyword searching and faceted browsing options to locate and download geospatial data.  GeoData@WI was developed and is maintained by the Robinson Map Library and the Wisconsin State Cartographer’s Office at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.01/27/2020
Final Report, 2015 Surveying-Parcel ForumReport on a public forum entitled, “Aligning County Surveying and Parcel Mapping Efforts in Wisconsin,” hosted by the Wisconsin State Cartographer’s Office on March 12, 2015, at UW-Stevens Point. 05/07/2015
Using Maps in Web Analytics to Evaluate the Impact of Web Based Extension ProgramsThis 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.06/30/2015
Wisconsin Historic Landscape Project 2015 Community Forum ReportReport 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.07/11/2016
Parcelization in rural agricultural and forested landscapes in Wisconsin, 1972–2007This 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.12/05/2016
Statewide Parcel ProjectAnnouncement of a new collaborative project with the Wisconsin Department of Administration to create Wisconsin’s first statewide digital parcel map to be made publicly available.01/15/2015
Wisconsin Coordinate Reference Systems, Second EditionThis 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.06/30/2015
About the State Cartographer’s OfficeThe 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 priorities, and who we are.11/13/2019
State Cartographer’s Office Annual Report – Fiscal Year 2011This 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.09/09/2011
State Cartographer’s Office Annual Report – Fiscal Year 2012This 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.07/23/2012
State Cartographer’s Office Annual Report – Fiscal Year 2013This 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.08/09/2013
State Cartographer’s Office Annual Report – Fiscal Year 2014Summary of the activities of the State Cartographer’s Office from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014 (Fiscal Year 2014).09/03/2014
State Cartographer’s Office Annual Report – Fiscal Year 2016Summary of the activities of the State Cartographer’s Office from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016 (Fiscal Year 2016). 09/07/2016
State Cartographer’s Office Annual Report – Fiscal Year 2015Summary of the activities of the State Cartographer’s Office from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015 (Fiscal Year 2015)08/01/2015
Mapping European Settlement in WisconsinThis 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.11/13/2015
V1 Interim Report and Digital AppendicesInterim report of the V1 Statewide Parcel Map Database Project (V1 Project). The V1 Project is a collaboration between the State Cartographer’s Office, the Wisconsin Land Information Program (WLIP), and local governments. This report describes the V1 Project, part of the Statewide Parcel Map Initiative established by Act 20 of 2013.06/30/2015
History of the State Cartographer’s OfficeA synopsis of the formation of the State Cartographer’s Office (SCO) and the role played by Arthur Robinson.10/21/2016
Final Report, A Day with Your County SurveyorReport on a public forum entitled, “A Day with Your County Surveyor,” hosted by the Wisconsin State Cartographer’s Office on April 3, 2017, in Wisconsin Dells.04/28/2017
Understanding ElevationPrimarily 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 …01/06/2012