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Mapping and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) : Finding Geospatial Data: Wisconsin

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

Wisconsin Data Resources from UW-Madison Affiliates


An online geoportal developed and maintained by UW-Madison's Robinson Map Library and the WI State Cartographer's Office. It combines an intuitive, map-based search interface along with traditional text-based metadata search tools for rapid GIS data discovery. Here you'll find GIS data from WI state agencies, counties, and local governments, as well as UW research data.  Each year new datasets are added to the archive and collections are updated online. This is the only resource in Wisconsin that also provides historic access to these important layers though time.

Robinson Map Library, UW-Madison Department of Geography

The best place to begin your search for state and local-level data in Wisconsin is the Robinson Map Library. The Map Library actively collects data from UW researchers, state agencies, counties, and municipalities and manages the data in a campus archive.

Other University of Wisconsin-Madison GIS Data Resources:

Center for Sustainability & the Global Environment - 1710 Univ Ave
The Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE) aims to improve our understanding of the global environment, and how it is being affected by human activities. Link to downloadable maps, data and models:


North Temperate Lakes – Long Term Ecological Research Spatial Data catalog (UW-Madison)
Search for and download datasets like detailed bathymetry of select Wisconsin lakes (i.e. Lake Mendota.)


Wisconsin Geologic & Natural History Survey - 3817 Mineral Point Rd
Staff at the Wisconsin Geologic and Natural History Survey (WGNHS) annually respond to more than 20,000 requests for information and assistance in the areas of geology, hydrology, minerals and mining, soils, biology, natural hazards, topographic maps, and other environmental and natural resource topics. 
Link to downloadable data:


WisconsinView - 1215 AOSS Building, 1225 W Dayton St
Wisconsin View is a project of the Environmental Remote Sensing Center at the UW Space Science and Engineering Center. 
Link to downloadable imagery:


UW-Madison Applied Population Lab (APL)

Wisconsin Food Security Project
The recently expanded Wisconsin Food Security Project provides an interactive website for exploring and documenting food security and food security infrastructure throughout the state. Key features include mapping and charting, PDF profiles, and tabular data downloads.

Net Migration Patterns for US Counties
The Net Migration website highlights trends and patterns in where Americans are moving by providing reliable estimates of net migration broken down by age, race, Hispanic-origin, and sex for all U.S. counties each decade from 1950 to 2010.

Madison Neighborhood Indicators Project
By providing users with timely and detailed information, the Madison Neighborhood Indicators Project aims to support better understanding of the changing needs and assets within Madison neighborhoods. The website centers on an interactive map with charts and tables to describe changes in selected indicators over time.

The Neighborhood Atlas
Living in a disadvantaged neighborhood has been linked to a number of healthcare outcomes, including higher rates of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, increased utilization of health services, and earlier death. Health interventions and policies that don't account for neighborhood disadvantage may be ineffective. The UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health's Neighborhood Atlas website was created in order to freely share measures of neighborhood disadvantage with the public, including educational institutions, health systems, not-for-profit organizations, and government agencies, in order to make these metrics available for use in research, program planning, and policy development.

Additional Wisconsin Data Resources

Wisconsin Statewide Tax Parcels and Zoning
All versions of the Wisconsin Statewide Parcel Layer, as well statewide zoning data are available in ESRI shapefile or file geodatabase (.gdb) format from the WI State Cartographer’s Office.  This data represents an annual snapshot, to ensure you have the most current, comprehensive parcel data, contact the city or county land information office directly.

County Web Mapping Applications (WI)
A current list of Wisconsin counties that host online web mapping applications for viewing local GIS data. This list is maintained by David Hart of the UW Sea Grant Institute.

DATCP (Dept. of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection) FTP Site
From gypsy moth treatment sites, to Wisconsin’s nutrient management regulations and specialty meat production, view a series of web mapping applications that display these datasets and more.

Department of Public Instruction (DPI)
School District boundaries in Wisconsin in GIS format

Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Open Data
Download data directly from the Open Data site, published by the WI DNR.

Geological and Natural History Survey (WGNHS) GIS Data and Maps
The WGNHS provides downloadable maps and GIS data in shapefile and coverage formats. These include bedrock geology, glacial geology, water-table elevation maps, etc.

Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC)
Click on “GIS Maps” at the top of this page to see what mapping information may be available. The Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission is commonly known by its acronym, GLIFWC.

A Handbook of Web-based Environmental Geospatial Data for Wisconsin Planners
This document is composed of information about environmental geospatial data and data sources that we expect planners and professionals in fields related to natural resources would be seeking.

Land Cover (WISCLAND) – Wisconsin Land cover data
WISCLAND is the Wisconsin Initiative for Statewide Cooperation on Landscape Analysis and Data, a partnership of public and private organizations seeking to facilitate landscape GIS data development and analysis.

Legislative Data form the WI State Legislature/Redistricting
Find relevant Wisconsin data for wards, congressional districts, senate and assembly boundaries, and other legislative information here.

Wisconsin Roads data from OpenStreetMap