NorthStar Mapper: Explore Minnesota with Maps Online
By Nancy Rader and Chris Cialek, LandManagementInformationCenter
LMIC has developed a new mapping website to help users quickly find and view key data layers for their area of interest, wherever that may be in Minnesota. NorthStar Mapper lets you browse air photos, land cover, topographic maps and a variety of other GIS data layers.
With NorthStar Mapper, users can:
Navigate directly to a county, city, civil or public land survey (PLS) township
View a customized attribute report on any spot they identify
Find the elevation of any point
Display a full PLS description for any township/range/section
Define an area from which vector or raster data layers can be clipped, zipped and downloaded to their computer
Find the legislative districts of an area and link to Legislators’ websites
Save a map graphic to use in a report
Bookmark and share URLs of noteworthy views
The site employs two web mapping environments to display and deliver data: ArcIMS for vector and land use/cover layers, and OGC-compliant Web Mapping Services (WMS) for orthophotography and USGS topographic maps (DRGs).
The current release of NorthStar Mapper is intended to provide basic layers and functions of interest to a broad audience. Its design will allow LMIC to increase the number of data layers offered and provide more functions in the future. Since the site can draw upon data outside LMIC, it can also be expanded to include layers shared by other organizations.