Between 1832 and 1866 the US Government Land Office surveyed the land area that would become Wisconsin. Surveyors divided the landscape into the now familiar grid of townships and sections while documenting information about vegetation, soils, and wetlands.

In the 1990s the UW-Madison Forest Landscape Ecology Lab entered the historical survey data into a Wisconsin Historic Landscape database. The database is linked to the public land survey system, making possible to derive a variety of different maps from local to statewide.

In the summer and fall of 2015 we are holding a series of Community Forums in to gather information on ideas for web-based features, functionality, and products that users need to take greater advantage of this unique database.

Our goal is to gain a better understanding of the user community and identify users’ needs and goals, so that we can make the database more accessible and useful to interested citizens, community organizations, individual landowners, government agencies, land information professionals, educators, and others.


Without you, we can only speculate about what users might want. By participating in a Community Forum you have an opportunity to identify features and functionality that will enhance your ability to use the database, whether in a professional capacity or as a private citizen.


Please share your ideas with us by attending a Community Forum! These forums are free and open to the public. Click on one of the forum links below to register.

We also welcome you to contact a project team member directly to discuss your thoughts and ideas. Visit our Contacts Page for team member information.


View David Mladenoff's presentation on the project, recorded at the September forum in Madison. Click here if you just want the Powerpoint slides.


If you were not able to attend a forum, please take a few minutes to fill out our online survey.


This project was made possible by a grant from the Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment