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Mapping and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) : Other Mapping and Visualization Software

Information on Geographic Information Systems (GIS), maps and mapping tools/software & digital map/geospatial data resrouces


     UW-Madison CARTO License

UW-Madison has a campus-wide license for CARTO, an online geospatial data visualization platform.  UW-Madison faculty, staff, and students are eligible to sign up for an account. These “organization” accounts have more capabilities than free accounts.

IMPORTANT! If you already have a free CARTO account that uses your email address, the following steps will NOT work.  If you want access to the added goodies of an organizational account, you must first change the email address used in your free account to something else, such as a personal Gmail or Yahoo account.

To setup your account and get started, follow these steps:

You will login to the CARTO using a Google Apps account that is given to all faculty, staff, and students through their NetID.  To get started, it’s critical that you first log out of all other Google accounts!

Visit, and click on the Login link in the upper right hand corner.

Click on the “Google” login button in the middle of the screen.

A Google Accounts sign-in screen will pop up.  Do NOT use a personal gmail account on this screen.  Instead, you should type in your UW e-mail address.

You will be redirected to the standard NetID login screen.  Type in your NetID and password.

Finally, you will be redirected back to the CARTO site, and logged in as a UW-Madison Organization user.  Note: the first time you complete this process, the Carto system sets up a new login account for you.  This often takes 45 seconds or more… be patient, it will eventually work. 

Tips and Tricks

1. In the future, always make sure you are logging in to the CARTO platform using your UW Google Apps account, not a personal Gmail/Google account. One quick way to tell if you are logged in with a UW Organization account is to check the top header.  
You should see “wisc” before your name: 

2. Each CARTO user has their own public feed that displays maps and datasets they choose to make public.  
The feed follows the format: For example,

3. If you already have a free CARTO account that uses your address, you should change that to another e-mail address; otherwise you will have problems logging in to your organization account.

The fine print:

  • Each UW-Madison CARTO user is limited to 100MB of file uploads.
  • Your CARTO account will expire when you leave UW-Madison

Learn More

CARTO has excellent learning resources available on their Website.   We recommend you start with their online video guides and recorded Webinars.  When you are ready to dig deeper, check out the online documentation or visit the CARTO Stack Exchange for community support.

Campus Support

Contact Jim Lacy at the State Cartographer’s Office if you have any questions.