Land Information (GIS)


The GIS Section provides the following services

Daily interaction (in person, by telephone, and via email) with residents, municipal officials throughout the County, State agencies, other Planning and Zoning Department staff, and other Portage County Department staff to provide information on parcels of land, and mapping products for individual requests and ongoing projects.

Oversight of the Land Information Plan, which describes County-wide GIS projects to be undertaken over the next 3 years. (Required for participation in the State of Wisconsin Land Information Program).

Update and maintenance of electronic information regarding zoning and land use districts, roadways, tax parcels, addresses, and municipal and voting boundaries.

Update web map applications, that allow for general public access to Portage County land information and mapping capabilities via a personal computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Access to Orthophotography: This aerial photography was captured the first week in April 2020. The information is used extensively by County Departments and the public.

Provide staff support for the Land Records Committee.

What GIS Is

GIS is an acronym for "geographic information system". In a GIS, information is organized by location much like you might organize a file drawer alphabetically. Because information is stored by location, we can use maps to display it. Knowing where things are can reveal patterns that are not visible in a simple list of information or a written report. Pictures are, indeed, worth a thousand words!

How GIS is Used in Portage County

GIS is used throughout Portage County to make informed decisions. Elected officials, county employees, and private citizens use GIS every day to do their jobs efficiently and economically.

  • Elected Officials
    Elected Officials use census data, roads, and parcel boundary maps for redistricting.
  • Emergency Management
    Emergency Management uses aerial photography, tax information, addresses, roads, and federal floodplain data during flood events. Maps are created to plan citizen evacuations and inform emergency responders about washed-out roads. Tax information is used to assess property damage.
  • Zoning Section
    Zoning Administrators use aerial photography, tax information, zoning, and natural features information to assist clients with questions regarding the development or use of their property.
  • Planning Section
    Planners use aerial photography, tax information, and zoning for long-range planning and other research.
  • Land Conservation Division
    Conservationists use aerial photography, addresses, and Global Positioning System (GPS) data to inform citizens about lake health issues and to manage invasive species such as Eurasian Water Milfoil.
  • Water Quality Section
    County Water Quality Specialist uses the computer system to track groundwater quality and quantity information, based on water test results, which is utilized by the general public and government departments and agencies to understand a variety of issues.
  • Police and Fire Departments
    Police use aerial photography and GPS data to reconstruct vehicle accidents and crime scenes. Fire Departments use road and address maps to minimize response time to emergencies.
  • Realtors
    Realtors use tax information, aerial photography, and parcel boundary maps to help sell the property.
  • Farmers
    Farmers use aerial photography, parcel boundaries, GPS data, and soil data for Precision Agriculture. Precision Agriculture allows farmers to calculate fertilizer and water needs, determine what crops to plant, and protect surface and groundwater quality.

Maps & Data

The GIS Section of the Planning and Zoning Department produces various maps and datasets. Several interactive maps may be accessed from this page.

A downloadable esri file geodatabase containing parcel, roadway and other data is also available

Paper maps may be purchased from the Planning and Zoning Department based on the following fees:

Printed Map Price:
$1 per square foot

Page SizeUnit Price
8.5 by 11$1
11 by 17$2
17 by 22$3
22 by 34$5
34 by 44$10