Summer 2007

The Newsletter of the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium

Table of Contents

MN GIS/LIS Consortium

2007 Conference
Silent Auction
From the Chair
Spring Workshops
Award Nominations
Scholarship Winners

Right of Way Maps Online
More Photos via WMS

Governor's Council
Applications FY08
Commendation Nominations


County GIS Association
Ramsey 2006 Orthos
Utility User Group

SSURGO update
Web Soil Survey v.2
2010 Census Tracts
2010 Census Address Update
Land Cover Website
Satellite Mission

Higher Education
U of M GIS Job Fair
St. Mary's Update

Other Places
Seamless Photos/Topos
WI GIS Coordination
City GIS Sites
Climate Change Risk
Projections Poster
European GPS Update
1507 Map of World


Mn/DOT Right of Way Maps for Transportation Available Online

By Jay Krafthefer, Mn/DOT’s Office of Land Management, with contributions by Dan Ross, Mn/DOT's Office of Decision Support


The Minnesota Department of Transportation has developed the Right of Way Mapping and Monitoring service, a customized version of its Interactive BaseMap for transportation right of way maps. Although built primarily for internal use, this application tool also serves Mn/DOT’s business partners and the public. Right of way (ROW) maps and data are provided through an easy-to-use web browser making access to this highly used information much easier and faster than earlier methods.


The evolution of a particular road with its many improvements and expansions often results in a collection of maps for a single route. Sorting through tabular lists of map numbers was difficult and time consuming, especially since the acquisition of many roads dates to the early part of the twentieth century. The spatial index improves access to this collection of maps and makes identifying the correct maps much easier and considerably more accurate.




The Right of Way Mapping and Monitoring application enables the user to:


  • Visually search for existing maps with interactive map zoom and pan tools
  • Define and choose various selection sets to locate maps by city, county, zipcode, Public Land Survey section, and township and range, in addition to route number
  • View existing right of way maps in their correct spatial reference along with other BaseMap layers, features, and aerial photographs
  • Highlight or enhance information using mark-up tools
  • Print or download the maps to the user’s site

How it works

The site employs Mn/DOT’s ArcIMS template and spatial data warehouse. The Interactive ROW application opens with a statewide view showing county boundaries and interstates. Basic tools are provided to zoom in and out, to pan and to identify information. When you zoom into a district or county, additional features automatically appear including ROW footprints. A list of the ROW footprints will appear in the table of contents. By selecting a footprint you can view either the ROW map or a CAD file if one is available for the selected footprint. You can also turn on additional spatial data layers such as aerial photos if you wish.


Users are also provided the ability to obtain a list of available ROW information using a text search. If you know the county, city or township, range, and section, the application will provide you with a list of ROW maps. The user can then click on a map or CAD file and view it or download it.

Advanced tools are provided for users to query, select, markup and measure using the graphic user interface. For example, you can locate specific wetlands that are within a specified distance (buffer) of any roadway. You can also add lines, polygons and text to markup an analysis area. The map can then be printed and shared with your customers.

Development of this web service was collaborative, with project initiation and support from the Office of Land Management, application development from the Office of Decision Support, and statewide core BaseMap layers from the Office of Transportation Data and Analysis.

Future directions


The Office of Land Management is already making plans to enhance the application capabilities and add other data layers such as right of way plats and railroad right of way maps.


For more information: