Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey

The Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey has a well organized, appealing website.  Their data is easy to find although there is not much GIS data available.

Although because I am more interested in sample data sets than anything, the GIS data they do have–statewide geologic map; pleistocene geology, precambrian geology, quaternary geology, (surficial?) geology and bedrock geology for various counties–may actually be a great reference.  Other than the statewide geologic map, the data is available on a per-publication basis.

Some other data is available in the open-file reports.

They also have a well contructor’s reports CD available for purchase, albeit only scanned images of the wells and a very simple database.

Other .pdfs are also available of various state-wide maps and for various open-file reports.

I found some interesting things while reviewing the data I downloaded.

  1. There is minimal attribution on the data–enough to symbolize it.
  2. Dip & Strike triangles are captured as points with attribution of the horizontal azimuth and inclination.
  3. One item I found odd at first but quickly grew to appreciate is that they provide a georeferenced .sid of  each plate.  This allows you to directly compare the digital data to the final cartographic product.  Think this may be a keeper of an idea.


I spent almost nine years working for a great company, Applied Data Consultants, through a variety of roles–spent approximately 3 weeks doing Parcel work as a GIS Tech before I started working in Avenue for my own sanity. After that, spent several years doing various programming tasks including building tools for internal production and application development. The last couple years, I served more of a Consultant role, both for internal and external clients.

Where one polyline ends, another starts in this case.

In a couple days, I start my role as Geological Information Specialist at a state agency in Minnesota. I previously worked for the Wisconsin DNR (where I originally “discovered” GIS) and Pierce County, Wisconsin so I have some governmental experience but I am wondering how I will adapt to the organizational differences.