Archiving local government geospatial data at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Posted Aug 13, 2019Author: Jaime Martindale, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The University of Wisconsin-Madison continues to provide annual updates of the most detailed local government data in our state to the BTAA Geoportal. This year, UW-Madison contributed 454 new geospatial records representing Wisconsin county-level data for 2019. The data are archived for long-term preservation at UW, while discovery and access to the widest audience possible is provided by the BTAA Geoportal.

Since 2006 the Robinson Map Library at UW-Madison has collected and archived Wisconsin local government geospatial data for academic and public use. Recently, coordination with the Wisconsin Department of Administration has made the data collection process more efficient -- enhancing the continued growth of the archive.

Each year the Wisconsin Dept. of Administration sends a ‘call for public data’ to all 72 county Land Information Offices to submit their most current framework GIS data layers (roads, tax parcels, building footprints, hydrography, land use, zoning, parks/recreation/trails, PLSS, etc.). This data is archived at UW-Madison and metadata describing the content is created for each layer. The metadata records are submitted for inclusion in the BTAA Geoportal where users have direct download access to the data from the Robinson Map Library.

We hope users of the BTAA Geoportal see the tremendous value in having access to both current and historic geospatial data for Wisconsin. Annual snapshots are important for facilitating temporal analysis of cities, counties, and regions over time. The Robinson Map Library’s mission is to promote the powerful geographic analysis capabilities these datasets offer by guaranteeing access from a stable archive and publicizing Wisconsin’s collections within the BTAA Geoportal.