Frequently Asked Questions

What is Geographic Information Systems (GIS)?
A geographic information system (GIS) is a framework for gathering, managing, and analyzing data. Rooted in the science of geography, GIS integrates many types of data. It analyzes spatial location and organizes layers of information into visualizations using maps and 3D scenes. ?With this unique capability, GIS reveals deeper insights into data, such as patterns, relationships, and situations—helping users make smarter decisions.

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?
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 and applications to disseminate land records.  Various interactive and specialty maps can be found on the Maps page.  Also, you will find links to national, state, and private websites that associate with Polk County.

“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
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. 

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 Saint Croix Falls, WI.  There are various Polk County Offices that can provide you with this map as well.

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.