Mapping and GIS

Many of the issues facing the Great Lakes are complex and dynamic. A science-based adaptive management approach for assessing and understanding Great Lakes coastal processes and ecosystem health across multiple scales of space and time as envisioned by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative requires new and innovative tools. Mapping data from multiple sources must be discovered, acquired, integrated, analyzed and visualized in creative ways. Since 1994, Wisconsin Sea Grant has collaborated with many partners to apply geospatial technologies to better understand the issues facing the Great Lakes.

Wisconsin Coastal Atlas

The Wisconsin Coastal Atlas is an innovative web resource that helps people better understand coastal issues, share coastal data and inform decision-making about sustainable use of the Great Lakes.

Wisconsin Coastal Guide

The Great Lakes Circle Tour leads you around the largest freshwater system on the planet but the main route often takes you far from the water’s edge. The Wisconsin Coastal Guide shows you where to pull off the highway for a quiet beach, a hidden lighthouse, or a secluded park.

Wisconsin Coastal Communities Map

The Wisconsin Coastal Communities Map provides information about the 15 counties, 22 cities, 17 villages and 51 towns that border Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. Hover over communities to quickly compare their population and click on a community to center in the map display and bring up a menu to access their government website, interactive map, plans and ordinances.

Hydrologic dashboard for the Fox-Wolf watershed

The hydrologic dashboard links web mapping and data visualization to explore the spatial pattern of large rainstorm events in the Fox-Wolf River watershed in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin GeoTools Project

The Wisconsin Geotools are paired mobile- and web-based applications that allow citizens to create and map natural and cultural observations of meaningful places in their community. As groups of citizens collectively use the geotools, the resulting place-based stories can potentially enrich our understanding of, and appreciation for, the places where we live and the shared value they hold for society.

St. Louis River Estuary – The Stories and the Science Website 

This website connects stories about the use and conservation of water resources with the science of land use impacts on water quality to enhance spatial awareness and stewardship of the St. Louis River Estuary.


Watch mapping and GIS-related videos on our YouTube channel.

Current research and outreach

Browse our 2024-26 Directory of Projects and People to find information about current research and outreach that is mapping and GIS-related.