What is Geographic Information Systems (GIS)?

A GIS is a system of hardware, software, data, and workflow procedures for collecting, storing, analyzing and disseminating information about areas of the earth.  People interact with a GIS to integrate, analyze, and visualize geographic data; identify relationships, patterns, and trends; and help find solutions to problems.

Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri)


 Why is mapping a goal here at Polk County?

In accordance to the Polk County Land Records Modernization Plan, it is the goal of the County to: develop, implement and maintain a modern geographic information system (GIS) that is horizontally and vertically integrated; a GIS that provides useful quality data for its citizens, agencies, businesses and other users of land information in an equitable and efficient manner. It is desirable to access this information through a public access terminals and the Internet to display this data in a user-friendly format.

 Why maps or mapping is important?

“Maps can be a very valuable part of transparency in government. Maps give people a greater understanding of the world around them. They can help tell stories and, many times, be more valuable than the data itself. They provide a context for taxpayers to better understand how spending or decisions are being made in a circumstance of where they work and live. Maps help us describe conditions and situations, and help tell stories, often related to one’s own understanding of content.” Esri founder Jack Dangermond

The Polk County Department of Land Information is responsible for creating a variety of maps for county use. Cooperating with various departments, we design maps for many applications.  Specialty maps include a county highway map, maps of the county parks, Supervisor districts, school districts, and many others.  Also, you will find links to national, state, and private websites that associate with Polk County.


 What is LiDAR data?

Light Detection And Ranging:

This remote-sensing technology produces surface models from measured laser pulses emitted from a helicopter or plane. Captured data supports high-accuracy digital terrain models and extraction of detailed planimetric information.


 Can I obtain Polk County maps or GIS data?

Yes! Please use the Polk County GIS Data Portal for access to popular datasets. Or, contact the Polk County GIS Coordinator for the availability of other datasets.


 Is there a fee to obtain a map or map data?

It depends on your request. 

Free Map
Polk County offers a free fold-up map of the county that can be obtained by contacting or visiting the Polk County Tourism Office in St Croix Falls, WI.  There are various Polk County Offices that can provide you with this map as well.

Land Information Fee Schedule
The Land Information Fee Schedule provides the pricing for copies, custom maps, map data, and aerial imagery.

Special requests to format, lot or edit data will be charged at Staff cost, plus 10% for overhead.

ALL ORTHOPHOTOS are subject to the conditions of a signed license agreement.

As of January 1, 2014 Polk County no longer charges a fee for GIS map data.

ALL GIS data acquisitions are subject to a $25.00 processing fee.
Other restrictions may apply.