Winter 2010

The Newsletter of the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium

Table of Contents

MN GIS/LIS Consortium

From the Chair
Conference Wrap-up 
Scholarship Winners
Scholarship Drawing
Polaris Awards
Lifetime Award

MnGeo Update
Stimulus Funding Map
Chronic Wasting Monitoring

Elevation Info

Governor's Council
Commendation to Goodhue Co.

Base Map Services
Socioeconomic Data

LiDAR Use in Winona Co.
Rice Co. Pictometry
Prairie Island Natural Resources
Fillmore Co. GIS
Prior Lake / Scott Co. Collaboration

Historic SPOT Online

K-12 Education
GeoMentor Project

Will Craig: URISA Hall of Fame



Metropolitan Council Base Map Services
By Matt McGuire and Jessica Deegan, Metropolitan Council

Having an accurate, fast, cartographically solid base map with standard data layers is a need for most organizations. The Metropolitan Council harnessed the rich local data of MetroGIS – especially the NCompass Street Centerline Data – and others to produce an ArcGIS Server Map Cache service for the Twin Cities region. Rather than keep it internal, we are pleased to offer a publicly available cached base map service for the region.

What it is

Cached map services are tiled images of a set of data layers that allow for quick rendering and movement around a map. The Metropolitan Council base map is intended to be a quick and easy solution for providing fast drawing backdrop for web mapping applications or desktop GIS work.

Ten scales were cartographically designed to allow for ease of use with layered business data – the scales range in increments from an overall region view to detailed neighborhood views. As a user zooms in and out, the appropriate scale is automatically displayed.

The following thematic layers are included:

  • County boundaries
  • City, township and unorganized territory boundaries
  • Lakes and rivers
  • State and regional trails
  • State and regional parks
  • Roads (NCompass local roads)
  • Highways
  • Airports
  • Railroads
  • Light rail line
  • Transit centers
  • Landmarks, including schools, college campuses, hospitals, golf courses, cemeteries and other major destinations

See the metadata for further documentation. The service focuses on the seven Twin Cities metropolitan counties; however, some data layers extend to the surrounding Minnesota counties of Benton, Blue Earth, Chisago, Goodhue (partial), Isanti, Le Sueur, McLeod, Mille Lacs (partial), Morrison, Nicollet, Rice, Sherburne, Sibley (partial), Stearns and Wright, and to the western Wisconsin counties of Pierce, Polk and St. Croix.

The Council intends to update the base map quarterly and “as needed” if unique needs arise.

How to use

The Metropolitan Council base map can be accessed several ways:

Find more information, including a link to the service, at MnGeo’s GeoService Finder. Also see the extensive help page.

While this base map was developed for internal purposes, by making it public we hope others in the GIS community can benefit from our investment. So, if you use this service, we’d love to hear about it!

Contact for more information