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Future Projects

Land Information Officers across Wisconsin are busy drafting 3-year strategic plans.  This is one of the requirements of the state program.

In Brown County, we collected feedback and needs from many users of the GIS system and this is being compiled into our 3-year plan.  Over 180 responses were received from the online survey conducted through this blog and the Brown County GIS site this past summer and fall.  All of this input is much appreciated!

The detailed plan is in the works but the overall project areas to focus on over the next 3 years are shaping up as follows:

Six  major project areas are to be in focus over the next 3 years:

1.      Land Records System (AS/400) replacement and data improvements

2.      PLSS & Parcel Map Framework improvements
3.      Addressing & Street data completion and improvements
4.      Other Foundational Element Layer updates and enhancements
5.      Internet  Access,  Programming/ Automation and GIS Server enhancements
6.      Administrative, Staffing & Budget Policy improvements

If you're interested in more details, the strategic plan will be available online in draft format soon for review.  I know these plans aren't a lot of fun to read (or write!) but they do help guide the future of our program, which in turn helps you get your work done more effectively. Your continued feedback is always appreciated.


Good turnout yesterday for "Land Information Day" (aka "GIS Day")

We had a good turnout for Brown County's Land Information Seminar  ("GIS Day").

About 60 people showed up, asked great questions, and hopefully learned a thing or two!

Thanks go to Cathy Williquette, Debbie Gore and others from the Register of Deeds office for helping set up this event. Also, thanks to Museum Staff  Kevin Cullen, Beth Lemke, and Lisa Zimmerman for helping to host the event and giving the exhibit tour after the seminar.  Thanks also to all who showed up and made this a successful event!
Audience at the Neville Museum Auditorium

Debbie Gore, Deputy Register of Deeds

Jeff DuMez, GIS Coordinator / Land Information Officer


Oneida Reservation areas in Brown County.

Want to know what areas or parcels are within the Oneida Reservation?

Yes, there's an app for that.  (click here).

You can zoom in to see detailed parcel information, and you can also search by Parcel ID using the search box on the upper right.  The yellow highlighted area is the Oneida Reservation.

Note: This only covers the Brown County portion of the Oneida Reservation.  Click to open mapping app to see the reservation area within Brown County.


Free training! Attend the Brown County Land Info Seminar on Nov 18, 2015 at the Neville Museum

Brown County is offering free training on how to use the county's internet land information systems.

The "Brown County Land Information Seminar" will be held in downtown Green Bay on November 18, 2015 at the Neville Public Museum (210 Museum Place, Green Bay).  Sessions will start at 8:30am and will take place in the museum auditorium on the 1st floor.

This seminar is intended to help you most effectively use Brown County's land information & GIS web sites. Staff will be on hand to answer questions and receive feedback.

Additionally, museum staff is offering to guide you through the current exhibit on the 1st floor titled Building our Community:  Over 100 Years of Architecture & Design in Brown County between 11:30am to 12:30pm to close out the seminar. 

Using the Land Records Search site (some handy tips)

Brown County's "Land Records Search" site has been online for almost 14 years now, and has hardly changed at all since it launched.  You probably already figured out these "tips & tricks" for using this site, but here are the answers to the most common questions just in case you don't already know:

Land Records Search site tips:
  1.  Enter JUST a street name if you don't find an address. This will give you all properties on the street, and you can choose correct one from the subset.  This strategy helps you see hyphenated addresses.
  2. If your address search involves a County Highway, usually listed as County Road by the US Post Officeyou will need to enter "CTH" and the name of the highway (Ex: CTH B, CTH GV).   If your search involves a State Highway, you need to enter "STH" plus the name of the highway (ex:  STH 57). 
  3. Do not use any periods or apostrophes in the street name


TIME apps: Historic parcel boundaries, ownership, & assessment information

View historic property boundary, ownership, and assessment info using the new TIME apps. 

Spring 2005 and 2010 are the first two TIME apps published.  You can view archived assessment information by clicking on the parcel inside the TIME apps.  Aerial photography from roughly the same date as the parcels will appear as the default base map.

To go directly to the TIME apps:
  1. Click here for Spring 2005, then simply zoom and click parcels to view detailed info.
  2. Click here for Spring 2010, and of course, zoom & click!
  3. Click here for Spring 2014, and "
Note: TIME apps have more layers available via a button on the upper right part of the app.  See the "Tips" section below for more on this. 

To access the TIME apps from GeoPrime:
  1. Go to Brown County's online GIS mapping site (click here)
  2. Click the Layers button and check "on" the parcel dates you want;  --OR--
  3. Click the "Identify Drilldown" button, then click on any part of the map you're interested in.
  4. On the list that appears, click "Parcel & Aerial Archive from ____" (whichever year you want) and then click the button that says "Go To Archive" 


Printing from the GeoPrime GIS web map: Saving your map as a PDF

To print from the GeoPrime GIS map, make a PDF first and then print from the PDF. This often works better than printing directly (some printers may freeze up when using direct print;  Saving to a PDF first will usually solve that problem).    Also, you can customize the title as shown on the example below:
  1. Click the Print button on the GeoPrime top toolbar.
  2. On the print preview window, click on <Title> and enter a map title (on my example below I put in the parcel address, and for the subitle the Parcel ID.
  3. Choose "Save PDF"
  4.  When the PDF is ready, a popup will appear;  Click OK and choose a file name & location to save your PDF map on your computer.  Be sure to pay attention to the folder you save the file!
  5. Open the PDF file on your system with whatever PDF viewing software you have (such as Adobe Acrobat) and print from there.


Thanks for participating in the user survey!

Thanks to everyone who provided feedback on Brown County's GIS web site!
Almost 200 responses were received; A far better response than I expected.

(if you haven't taken the user survey, it's not too late:  click here)

What's next?

I am reviewing your suggestions and have started making improvements and changes where I can, as time permits.


How to measure using GIS online

Brown County's "GeoPrime" GIS mapping site gives you the ability to measure distances, areas (acres and square feet) and also map coordinates.

**If the task you are undertaking requires accurate measurement or coordinate or a boundary determination, please consult a professional land surveyor (consult the phone book or search online for a list of local land surveyors).**
  • Use the Measure tool for an approximate distance, area or coordinate. For example, you may want to use an aerial photo base map to measure the distance between two objects visible on the photo, the acreage of a field, or the lat/lon coordinate of a particular location.
To use the Measure tool:
  1. Click the "Measure" button (near the upper-left part of the GIS map)
  2. Choose the type of measurement you want to perform (distance, area or coordinate)
  3. Pick "connect the dot" for the distance or area measurement, then click on the map at the starting point of the map feature you want to measure.  Single-click with your left mouse button at every angle point as you measure.   To finish, double-click.  The length or area of your drawing will appear.  

For parcel size (get the measurement of a mapped property):
After zooming in to where parcel details are visible, the dimensions are shown as text on the map.  The black text along the parcel boundaries gives you the platted property dimensions, and the pink text in the middle of the parcel gives you the acreage or square footage (SF).  The acreage or square footage is available for most parcels visually (pink text) and also by clicking "Identify Drilldown" and then clicking the parcel for the listed acreage.;xmin=77235.78581944302;ymax=592189.6301859585;ymin=591775.0468526252

For survey corner coordinates and other more detailed survey measurements:Additional survey measurements can be viewed by clicking the Identify Drilldown button and then clicking on the map at the location you desire.  Choose "Surveys covering the area you clicked" and then open the Survey Index app.  The survey index provides surveyors and others with access to many other detailed maps and survey documents including section corner tie sheets.


Hunting areas on Brown County Lands

Hunting is allowed on certain areas on Brown County-owned lands.   You can view these hunting areas using this map (click here).   The mapping app has some nifty functions that will help you change between an elevation map and an aerial photo.  It will also work with a smart phone and it's GPS.   Please be sure to follow all regulations and rules which are listed along the left-hand side of this map and on the popup disclaimer.  If you have any questions please refer to the phone number that shows on the map. Happy hunting!


Help us help you! Please take our user survey.

Help us as we plan for future enhancements to the Brown County Land Information / GIS web site.  Click here to take a short user survey This will only take you a few minutes and it is completely anonymous. Thanks!


Find a Brown County map or GIS app easier: Lots of web site improvements.

The LIO web site has been re-organized and improved! With so many new maps and GIS apps coming online, it was time to organize and make things easier to find.  Here's what was done:
  • The LIO home page now has more descriptive categories in which maps and GIS apps are placed. Thumbnail images help those with tired eyeballs quickly scan categories.
  • A "Find a Map" page was added to help people find maps and other land records. People can more easily see how to search for information or map of an individual property, or use the gallery to peruse maps or search them by more broad categories using key words.
 The maps, apps, and search functions will continue to grow and evolve as time permits.

Check it out and send a note with any suggestions or comments you might have.


See Green Bay and Brown County Wisconsin through 72 years of change

Green Bay and Brown County Wisconsin through 72 years of change

The app will show you two aerial photos side-by-side with an interactive vertical bar down the center.    The aerial photo on the right is from 1938 and is the earliest complete aerial photo ever taken of Brown County.  

Drag the vertical bar left & right to compare aerial photos from 1938 to 2010.  Zoom in on the map to see the details.  (tip:  zooming with your mouse scroll wheel is often easier than using the + and - zoom buttons on the app).

Explore the growth of the cities and other changes to the county's land use over 72 years with this map.

Note: When zoomed in, modern-day streets and properties will appear to help provide you with some reference.


Using the Draw tools to add your own graphics to your GIS map

You can draw your own map graphics on the GeoPrime app.  Draw lines, text or areas to highlight things on your map and call attention to them.  Here's how:

1) In the GeoPrime app click the "Tools" button  > Choose "Draw"
2) Pick the type of feature you'd like to draw (point, line, box, circle, polygon or text)
3) Choose options like color and line thickness, then start clicking on the map to draw.

To move a graphic after it's drawn, click on it to 'select' it, then drag the graphic to move it.

You can save your graphic drawing by clicking the "save" button on the lower right portion of the Draw toolbox.  This will save a file to your computer with a ".drw" file extension.   You can always load that .drw file back into your map using the "load layer" button on the far lower right corner of the Draw toolbox.  
*Note that this process will save the graphic drawing overlay only, not the entire map (to save the entire map with your graphic overlay, you should instead use Print > Save PDF or Save Image).

Saving these .drw files is also useful if you need to switch to other tools and you want to preserve your graphic drawings. You may have to load your graphics back in if you move on to another tool.

Here is an screen shot showing an example of some extra graphics added to the map with the Draw tools:

Accessing the "Map Key" (map symbol legend) in the GeoPrime app

 The GeoPrime mapping site provides you with a lot of useful information about properties in Brown County.  The map uses lots of map layers with many colors and symbols, and although we strive to keep the map as user-friendly as possible, the groundswell of information can be a bit overwhelming at times.

To help understand what the map symbols mean, one handy shortcut is to click on the layer name.  This will bring up a map key (legend) for that particular map layer or layer group. 

For example, clicking on the name of the layer "ESAs & Shoreland Zones" will show you the various symbols associated with the ESA layer and some other information about it as shown on the screen shot below:

There is also a printable legend (PDF) available on the app's upper toolbar.

Note:  This screen shot/example shows the Shoreland Zoning and ESA (Environmentally Sensitive Area) map layers--If you have more questions about these, click here.


How to zoom quickly on an online map using the Shift key

Brown County online GIS

“Zoom In” quickly using the Shift key

How to Zoom In to an area (handy shortcut using your Shift key)
The GeoPrime web map and most of our Featured Maps & Apps  allow you to zoom in to a rectangle that you draw.  This shortcut will help you zoom around the map more quickly and it’s very handy when starting from a wide view, such as the entire county, and zooming in to a specific location.

Here’s how to do this:

  1. Press and Hold Down your “SHIFT” key

  1. While holding the SHIFT key, use the mouse’s left click button and drag a box/rectangle on the map.

The rectangle/box that you draw will show as a red outline.  
Simply release the mouse button (and shift key) when you have finished drawing the box around the area you want to zoom to and the map will go to that location.

Your mouse scroll wheel will also allow you to zoom in/out, as do the buttons along the left side of the map.  
And of course if you know the address, street, or parcel number you wish to zoom to, you can use the “Search” button to quickly go to specific locations.

More information:


How to create mailing labels and/or extract list of parcel owners for an area you specify

Follow the steps below to create mailing labels for land owners of an area you choose (example of a mailing label PDF sheet).  You can also extract a list of land owners in a specified area as a .csv file which will load into Excel (example of a CSV file as downloaded using these steps).
  1. Open the GeoPrime site 
  2. Zoom to your area of interest
  3.  Click the Tools button (upper right)
  4. Choose "Buffer" from the list of tools


Updated Tax Deed Properties For Sale

The County Treasurer has updated Tax Deed Properties for sale.   You can view the property locations, photos, minimum bid, and other information using this app (click here or click the image below).

For information on how to bid on these properties, click here.
Click to view property photos & other details


Outdoor Warning Sirens in Brown County

This map shows the locations of the emergency sirens and their approximate sound range:

Outdoor Warning Siren interactive map (click here)

Sound range may be affected by terrain and can change daily depending on weather conditions. Generally, most sirens can be heard within a mile, though some of the newer sirens can be heard from farther away if conditions allow.

Your feedback is wanted on siren tests that are conducted each Wednesday at noon. 

1) On the interactive map, zoom to where you were during the siren test

2) Click the "Editor" button (upper left corner of the map), choose the green circle (can hear siren) or red square (siren not heard), then:

3) Place a green dot on your location if you could hear the siren at that location. 
--OR-- place the red square at the location you did not hear a siren during the Wednesday noon tests.

4) Optional:  If you would like a reply, please leave your phone or email address on the popup that will appear after you place your marker.

Thanks for your help!

If you have questions about this, please contact Brown County Emergency Management at (920) 391-7431 or visit the Brown County Emergency Management web site.

At all times, please use common sense and take shelter when dangerous weather is present in your area whether or not you hear a siren.

Click to open interactive map


More than 30,000 land surveys at your touch

More than 30,000 land surveys are accessible through the Survey Index GIS mapping app.
Find and view surveys by simply zooming in to your area of interest and then clicking on the map.

Some of the latest improvements to the GIS survey index app include:
  • The app works on any computer browser and will scale down to nicely fit mobile device screens (smart phones and tablets).  If used on a smart phone with GPS, the "Find by location" will locate you on the map.
  • The main "Search" box lets you search by addresses and Parcel ID numbers. 
  • Find the Town-Range-Section, Private Claim, and other PLSS information via pop-up by clicking on the map when zoomed out.  When zoomed in, the PLSS information is labeled as map text.
  • The advanced search lets you search by subdivision name, Town-Range-Section, surveyor name, and survey date. 
  • The map Layer List lets you filter surveys by type (CSM, Subdivision, Plat of Survey, Transportation Plat, etc).   Checking "on" survey map layers by type will highlight surveys of the type you choose and the extent of the survey types will be easier to see on the map as they will have a solid fill and include map text labels.  If labels are not wanted, you can turn them off. 
  • More surveyor-specific map layers have been added, such as two-foot contours.
  • Section corners are labeled on the map with the corner name.  Click on the corner symbol to view the tie sheet image and other information about the corner.
  • Better printing capabilities (more page sizes, a better map legend, export options such as PDF, etc).
You can view the new Survey Index app by clicking here. 

Brown County Planning & Land Services staff are continuing efforts to finish indexing the remaining surveys within the City of Green Bay (yellow area on the map).  This incomplete area does contain many surveys, but we know some are still not indexed on this map.   Former County Surveyor Pat Ford has come out of retirement to volunteer his time to help complete the indexing within this area!  A fully complete survey index will be available here as soon as possible.  We anticipate that over 40,000 surveys will be available on this app when finished.

New blog

The online mapping "Tips & Tricks" posted over the last several months have been imported into this new "blog" format and are posted below.  

The new blog format will make these tips easier for you to search and make the information easier for you to read.

Also, this blog will incorporate other news items coming out of the Brown County Land Information Office.

Three tips on how to make a better custom web map

Brown County online GIS
Three tips on how to make a better map

The GeoPrime web map has many layers.  There are “base map” layers accessible via two buttons on the upper right, and there are many “overlay” layers accessible with the Layers button on the upper left.  Certain key layers are turned “on” by default when you first go into the map, but you may want to adjust settings to make a better map that communicates your intended message.  

Below are a few of ways you can manipulate these map layers to make a better map.  It is always important to keep your map’s purpose in mind as you design it, so that it’s main purpose is easily understood by your map’s audience.  

  1. Remove clutter:   Click the “Layers” button > expand the ‘Addresses,Parcels,Surveys & PLSS’  layer group by clicking the white triangle to the left of the group layer >   uncheck the “Parcels” layer to remove extraneous parcel map text and lines.   You may also want to turn on/off other overlay layers to help reduce clutter.   Also, see step two:

  1. Change the base map:  Go to the Base Map buttons on the upper right, click the triangle drop-down, and choose “No Base Map” from the list of base maps.   Then, turn on only the overlay layers that you need (such as street names) using the Layers button.   The “Standard Base Map” (the base map that’s on by default when you first go into the GeoPrime site) is references a lot of information to help you get your bearings, but may be more information than you need for your final map.

  1. Adjust Layer Transparency:  There are “slider” bars next to every layer which will let you bring a layer more to the forefront or set it more to the background.  Adjust the transparency to make your primary map features stand out.   You can adjust transparency on the base map layers using the slider that appears when you move your mouse cursor over the base map buttons.    It is often helpful to adjust the aerial photo transparency so that your overlay layers stand out more and aren’t overwhelmed by the photo.  

More information:

Share maps with others via email as a hyperlink

Brown County online GIS
How to share maps with others via email as a hyperlink

The GeoPrime web map can of course be exported to PDF using the “print” button and shared, but you can also share a link via email.  This is handy if you want the recipient get to a specific location on the interactive map where they can still zoom and interact with the map for other details. Here’s how to share a GeoPrime web map link with a location:

  1. Zoom to your area of interest.  Notice that the map link (url) at the top of the screen is always changing as you zoom;  this is automatically updating the map extent coordinates which

Online GIS map update schedule

Brown County online GIS
Map Update Schedules

How often is the online GIS map updated?
A GIS is comprised of map layers & information from many different sources.   A common question we receive is:  How often are the individual map layers updated?     Here are some general update schedules:
Base Map layers
  • Our “Standard Base Map” is updated weekly.  This default base map includes many layers including roads, parks, schools, parcel outlines, addresses, and other information.   The map updates run weekly but there are some caveats:
    • Address numbers are assigned by the municipality (not the county) in most cases.  The County makes every effort to collect addressing information from

Make your online map look like a "Plat Book" map

Brown County online GIS
Make your map look more like a “Plat Book” map
How to make the property lines & land owner names easier to read:
On our GeoPrime web map, the overlay layers have adjustable transparency.   The default transparency setting for the Property Ownership helps keep the map from being too cluttered.  The property owner names start out mostly transparent, keeping the names from being overly dominant features of the map.
You can put more emphasis on the owner names & property lines using the following  steps: