What is GIS?
GIS stands for Geographic Information Systems. A GIS is a computer-based set of hardware and software used to capture, store, analyze, manipulate, and visual spatial information. GIS data is generally represented by discrete vector objects or continuous raster graphics. Discrete vector objects have distinct x, y, and z coordinates and are represented by points, lines, or polygons. Examples might include addresses (points), road centerlines (lines), or tax parcels (polygons). Continuous raster graphics represent spatial data which contain a series of equally spaced and sized grid cells, such as pixels. Examples of raster data might include various remotely sensed data, such as aerial imagery or digital elevation data models, which are digital representations of the terrain surface.

How does Jackson County use GIS?
Jackson County captures and stores geographic coordinates within our Geographic Information System for an array of different features. Common features include addresses, subdivisions, tax parcels, Certified Survey Maps (CSMs), parcel lots, road centerlines, Public Land Survey System (PLSS) monuments, building footprints, hydrological features, and a wide variety of emergency service data that helps our 911 system function. The Jackson County GIS Division edits and manipulates GIS data on a daily basis and allows the public to visualize this data through our Web Map and Open Data Portal.

How do I obtain an address or fire number for my property?
All addresses or fire numbers in the unincorporated areas and villages of Jackson County are assigned by the GIS/911 Coordinator. The forms and application materials are available under the Residential Addressing tab. Complete the application materials as thouroughly as possible and return them to the GIS/911 Coordinator. Once the address/fire number has been assigned, all documentation will be mailed to you as well as to the local municipal clerk. If applicable, the village or township clerk will order and install all signage. Each township assesses a fee for the cost of the sign and its installation. See the Jackson County Directory to contact your local clerk for this cost.

Who do I contact when my address or fire number sign has not been installed?
Your local municipality is responsible for ordering and installing the address sign. See the Jackson County Directory for the contact information for your municipal officials.

How accurate are the Jackson County property parcel boundaries?
This entirely depends on the accuracy of the source data used to map the property, such as a legal document. Mapped data is generally accurate, but not guaranteed. It is important to understand that there exists a margin of error in both the GIS data as well as the aerial imagery. A structure may appear to encroach over a parcel boundary due to natural distortions in the imagery introduced during the acquisition process. Please have a licensed surveyor conduct a survey of your property to establish your property boundary lines.

What is the source information for mapping tax parcel boundaries?
Jackson County uses the property boundary legal descriptions from recorded documents, such as deeds, plats, Certified Survey Maps (CSMs), etc.

Are the tax parcel boundaries in the county GIS the same as a survey?
No. Tax parcel boundaries as displayed in the Jackson County web map and the County's downloadable data is usually NOT survey-grade and should NEVER be used in lieu of a survey conducted by a certified land surveyor.

Are the tax parcel boundaries in the county GIS the same as a survey?
No. The tax parcel boundaries in the GIS web map is a general reference to locate, identify, and inventory parcels of land within the county and should not be mistaken or used as a legal description. Please contact a certified land surveyor to determine your parcel boundaries.

What if my property boundaries look wrong on the web map?
You may contact the Jackson County Real Property Lister, April Riley, to discuss any concerns regarding your tax parcel.

Why is there a difference between my tax parcel's GIS acreage and the acreage on my tax statement?
There may be multiple reasons. Sometimes, right-of-ways are not included in tax statements, but still shown in our maps. GIS Acres are calculated in the computer based on the shape of a property, and Tax Statement Acres can come from a legal description or a surveyor. Sometimes, a standard land section is rarely 640 acres exactly. Also, remember that natural features, such as rivers and lakes, can change, and so do property boundaries.

Where can I purchase a plat book?
Plat books are produced through the Jackson County UW-Extension Office as a 4-H fundraiser. Books are available for purchase at the Jackson County Treasurer (715-284-0206) or UW- Extension Departments (715-284-4257).