The majority of the 400+ school districts in the state don’t have a detailed, up-to-date map showing their exact boundaries in a digital format. They typically maintain the location of their school district boundaries using hard copy maps and/or some other format the district deems appropriate.
The Wisconsin Legislative Technology Services Bureau (LTSB) GIS Team maintains a variety of spatial datasets on behalf of the Wisconsin Legislature. These political subdivision layers are developed from the U.S. Census Bureau’s decennial census data.
Zoning in Wisconsin varies by type, class and authoritative jurisdiction. Zoning type and zoning class definitions may also vary between jurisdictions, making them potentially incompatible with one another. For this reason, zoning can be difficult to seamlessly aggregate at regional and statewide scales and it is generally best to contact the authoritative jurisdiction for the most complete zoning data.
Historically, satellite observations of the Earth’s atmosphere, land, and oceans have been acquired via satellites operated by federal agencies and space programs. Commercial sources are increasingly available and can supply very high resolution imagery to users for a fee. Both real-time and archived data are available from a variety of public sources.
GIS parcel data in Wisconsin is created and maintained at both the municipal and county levels. For the majority of Wisconsin counties, parcel data is regularly aggregated from municipal to county-wide datasets if the parcels are not originally created by the county. Some exceptions to this include the Cities of Eau Claire, Beloit, Antigo, and Janesville, where parcel data remains available only at the municipal level. There are also areas of the state that are not yet digitally parcel mapped.
It is difficult to point to a single, “best” roads dataset for Wisconsin. While the Wisconsin DOT does maintain roads data, many GIS users who have statewide or regional needs opt to use data from the Open Street Map (OSM) project, or the U.S. Census Bureau. For local government roads, start with GeoData@Wisconsin.
While Wisconsin does not have a statewide aerial imagery program, there are several options for acquiring digital imagery (either public domain, or for a fee.) This includes imagery developed from local, state, and federal agencies. Typically, the highest-resolution imagery in the state is produced and distributed by local governments.
Wisconsin currently does not have a single, statewide geospatial data download site. Data are available from a variety of local, state, and federal sources. This page is not all-inclusive; it is intended as a starting place for the most commonly-requested Wisconsin geospatial datasets.
Check out the new “Find Data” tab if you are looking for commonly-requested Wisconsin geospatial datasets.
Coalition of Geospatial Organizations’ (COGO) Report Card on the U.S. National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) highlighted at news briefing.