Statewide Parcel Map Database Project Ver 1

Posted 06 Jul 2015, Emily Pierce, Geospatial Committee

What is V1: Version 1 State Parcel Map Database Project?

The objective of the V1 Project by the State Cartographer’s Office (SCO) is to create a statewide parcel database and map layer based on an aggregation of existing local parcel datasets. Goals of the V1 Project include:

    • Assist counties to post certain parcel attributes online, as enumerated by s.59.72(2)(a), in the most efficient and cost effective manner
    • Avoid the need for counties to adjust their land information system processes in order to participate in early versions of a statewide parcel map
    • Recommend a searchable format standard for DOA to provide to counties for the certain parcel attributes, as required of DOA by s.59.72(2)(a)
    • Make substantial progress on the statutory requirements for DOA to plan for and develop a statewide digital parcel map (s. 16.967)(3)(h) and s.16.967(6)(b))
    • Improve upon the workflow and methods used to create a statewide parcel layer for theSCO/DIR LlnkWISCONSIN EBM Parcel Mapping Project, which ends June 30, 2014

Why is this being done?

Wisconsin Act 20, the biennial state budget for 2013-2015, created statutory directives for state and local governments to coordinate on the development of a statewide digital parcel map. The Statewide Parcel Map Initiative is an effort to create a digital parcel map for Wisconsin by aggregating local parcel datasets utilizing geographic information systems (GIS) technology. The Parcel Initiative is a multi-faceted, multi-year collaborative effort of the Department of Administration, State Cartographer's Office, and local governments.

What is the timeline?


The statewide parcel layer will be made available to the public on July 31st, 2015 through a web application. It is anticipated that functionality will also be provided to download the layer, query by attribute, or spatially select parcel areas to download. Development of this application is currently underway by the project team at the SCO. Updates will be posted to the Statewide Parcel Map Initiative project page on the SCO website. This will be the first version of GIS parcel mapping, with certain attributes, that can be utilized at a statewide level.

The V1 Interim Report was also published to the SCO website. This report describes the processes employed to create the statewide parcel database GIS layer by integrating local-level datasets, presents a searchable format for parcel data, and makes recommendations on a series of "benchmarks" for future parcel dataset development and improvement. WLIP program manager, Mike Friis, is requesting feedback from stakeholders and comments can be submitted via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

DOA and SCO will be hosting a webinar regarding the V1 Interim Report on Thursday, July 16th, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. Stay tuned to for details. Bring your questions to the webinar or submit them in advance.

What does this mean for land surveyors in Wisconsin?

Because the information will be publicly available and seamless across the state, the general public might assume they don't need a survey for "simple" things like putting up a fence or determining setback for construction.They may also have a mistaken understanding of the accuracies of the information that will be provided. Land surveyors need to articulate to their clients that,due to the quality of the information and its limitations, a property survey may still be necessary.

Land surveyors also need to understand that, like other GIS technology, this is only an additional tool and should not supplement proper survey work and title research required by survey standards.