Business Plan Development for a Wisconsin Aerial Imaging Program

In 2011-2013, the Wisconsin State Cartographer’s Office (SCO) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison led a collaborative effort to identify the steps needed to implement a statewide aerial imagery program in Wisconsin. Through a series of surveys, Webinars, regional meetings, and interviews, they gathered input from stakeholders regarding their needs and expectations for a sustainable statewide aerial imagery program. In response to the extensive input received, they created a program implementation “blueprint.”


The primary tangible output of the project is a 51 page business plan that summarizes the current state of aerial imagery projects in Wisconsin, proposes a number of unique models that could be used to implement an imagery program, and identifies the broad steps needed to build the program. While less tangible, they also developed a better understanding of the steps required to conduct a formal statewide geospatial business plan project. These “lessons learned” are already being applied to a new enhanced broadband mapping effort happening in Wisconsin.


While they made excellent progress during the project, much work remains. They were not able to clearly identity a lead agency/organization to manage a future aerial imagery program. The community was also deeply divided over the potential funding sources needed to support an ongoing program, which made it difficult to provide definitive recommendations on funding sources. Despite these two shortcomings, they learned a number of important lessons during the process, and have a good framework to build on for the future.

Final Report -- Business Plan

Interim Report

Wisconsin Aerial Imagery Business Plan Project

Wisconsin State Cartographer’s Office


Howard Veregin

James Lacy 

Chris Diller

Andrew Faust 

Curtis Pulford

Ronald Wencl

Link to more information about the 50 States Initiative