The Fall 2016 edition of UW-Madison Libraries magazine highlights GeoData@
Wisconsin, a new online application that provides users with direct download access to Wisconsin geospatial data holdings in the Robinson Map Library. GeoData@Wisconsin was jointly developed by the Robinson Map Library and the State Cartographer’s Office, one of several collaborative projects between the two offices.
GeoData@Wisconsin is built using open source software and is part of the Open Geoportal, a consortium of several universities and organizations helping to facilitate the discovery and acquisition of geospatial data. GeoData@Wisconsin was developed primarily by UW-Madison students as a service-learning project, with guidance from Jaime Martindale, Robinson Map Library Geospatial Data Librarian, and AJ Wortley at the State Cartographer’s Office.
The data layers available for download through GeoData@Wisconsin represent Wisconsin municipal, county, regional planning commission and state agency data within the Robinson Map Library’s geospatial archive. These datasets include tax parcels and assessment data, streets, land use, address points, municipalities, zoning, hydrography and building footprints. State agency holdings include data from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, and the Legislative Technology Services Bureau.
Originally designed for UW-Madison students, staff and faculty, GeoData@Wisconsin is now available to the entire UW System as well as the public at large through publicly accessible datasets. Martindale and Wortley are involved in a parallel effort with other institutions in the Big Ten Academic Alliance to make geospatial data from all institutions available in a single site. These efforts involve deliberations about a number of important topics including data standards, digital preservation and archiving, metadata, open data access, and geospatial data management. According to Martindale, the ultimate goal is providing students and researchers “what they need to effectively do their work.”