Introducing: Wisconsin State Cartographer’s Office

Wisconsin State Cartographer’s Office provides maps, cartography, geographic and land information, and geospatial technology.


Wisconsin State Cartographer’s Office

Who Are They?

The State Cartographer’s Office (SCO) is a part of the Department of Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It provides maps, cartography, geographic information systems (GIS), land information system (GIS), land information systems (LIS), geospatial technology, and educational workshops to geospatial data producers and consumers in Wisconsin. SCO also serves as a liaison between government, education, non-profit and private sectors to help with projects and expand the use of geospatial technology.

How Does SCO Support Coastal Resilience?

SCO has the following data, map, web application resources, and collaboration ability on projects to support the development of more resilient coastal communities.


The SCO website has many maps most commonly requested by researchers, professionals, and citizens. Available maps related to coastal resilience include topographic and trout stream maps. If you need help finding a map, you can contact SCO staff for support.


The SCO website has quick links to data catalogs and “tips and tricks” for locating datasets that can be helpful for coastal resiliency work, such as flood hazards, wetlands, land use and land cover, LiDAR, and aerial imagery. 

SCO Web Applications

There are several online applications that SCO has collaborated on that provide access to geospatial data. Applications that could benefit coastal resiliency work include but are not limited to:

  • GeoData@Wisconsin– The most comprehensive catalog of Wisconsin geospatial data, imagery, and scanned maps produced by local, state, and regional governments.
  • Aerial Photography Catalog– A directory of historic Wisconsin aerial photography dating back to the late 1920s– the Catalog directs users toward the sources that have digital copies of the products listed. 
  • Coastal Bordner Survey Explorer– The application displays historic features extracted from the Wisconsin Land Economic Inventory (“Bordner” Survey)  maps within Wisconsin’s coastal regions between the 1920s through the 1940s– a time of significant economic and environmental change. The maps include land cover, cultural features (e.g., buildings and roads), and physical features (e.g., lakes, rivers, wetlands).
  • WisconsinView Data Portal– Archive for Wisconsin public LiDAR projects, including data from counties, FEMA, and USGS. The map provides links to Portal locations and additional data information available for download. 


The SCO collaborates on geospatial projects to build more resilient coastal communities. For example, the Wisconsin Coastal-Management Data Infrastructure (WICDI) project provides data, tools, and training to address regional coastal hazard mapping issues. The goal is to help coastal and culvert managers quickly and appropriately respond to damages or identify vulnerable culverts to increase flood resilience. The project started with Wisconsin’s Lake Superior coastal communities and has expanded to include Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan coastal communities. Another example is the completed Ashland County Building Inventory which developed a detailed building inventory of northern Ashland County to assist in flood preparedness and mitigation in coastal communities.

Connect with SCO

SCO actively supports coastal communities in addressing coastal hazards and becoming more resilient via geospatial technology. Visit their website to learn more about their resources and additional topics not covered here.

Mapping-related question? Reach out via email ( or phone (608) 262-3065.