Buffer Map Application User Guide

The Buffer Map Application is a web-based mapping tool for Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Drainage Authorities, and local governments to review the buffer map, suggest corrections, and see DNR review decisions. The DNR will continue to review comments and periodically update the map with accepted changes.


Accessing the application

To access the application for the first time:

  1. Visit the log-in page. You must use a Firefox, Chrome, or Internet Explore 9 (or above) browser.
  2. Click "Don't have an account? Sign up here."
  3. Complete the requested information.
  4. Click "Create Account".

Once you have completed the steps above, your account access will be pending. Authorization will take up to one day. Please wait a few hours before logging into your account.

Existing DNR application users:

  1. Visit the log-in page. You must use a Firefox, Chrome, or Internet Explore 9 (or above) browser.
  2. Log in with your current DNR account username and password. If you forgot your password, use the "Forgot Password?" link to create a new one.
  3. Click the blue arrow to enter the application.


Reviewing and commenting

Registered users will have access to all comments and corresponding DNR comments. Registered users are able to filter comments by user name.

To enter a comment:

  1. Find the area to review on the map using the search tool, the zoom buttons, or the mouse wheel.
  2. Right-click on the "Review" icon. A side panel will open.
  3. Right-click on the map where you'd like to make a correction. Continue to move and click your mouse along the area or feature.
  4. Double click to end the line.
  5. Enter a description of the correction.
  6. Use the "tag" options to categorize the type of correction.
  7. To complete the request, click "Submit Request". Your comments will not be saved until submitted.

To review DNR comments:

  1. Click on a previously-entered comment.
  2. Information on the original comment and the corresponding DNR comment decision is displayed.

Comment review information

Four comment review fields are displayed below the comment the registered user:

  1. Review status - There are five possible statuses for a comment:
    • Pending: Comments have not been reviewed.
    • Change: A change to the buffer map will result from the comment.
    • No Change: No change to the buffer map will result from the comment.
    • Deferred: Additional time is needed to research this request. A change to the buffer map may or may not result.
    • Hold for More Info: This is a temporary status when LGU or DNR staff are consulted to confirm a request. Questions are resolved within a few days.
  2. Review date - The date the DNR reviewed the comment.
  3. Review comment - The review comment provides detailed rationale for accepting a map change request or not. For map changes, it may also provide instructions to DNR programmers that implement approved changes. In many cases, the DNR makes use of text strings that begin with a hashtag (#) to help categorize responses to requests. For example, #PWI_Buried is on the public waters inventory map but tiled or otherwise buried.
  4. Comment status - There are two comment statuses - open or closed. The comment status is directly tied to the review status. When a review status is "Pending" or "Hold for More Info" the comment status is "Open", indicating that DNR review of the comment is not complete. When a review status is "Change" or "No Change" or "Deferred" the comment status is "closed", indicating that DNR review of the comment is complete.

Additional notes

Many comments that resulted in a site being marked "Needs Field Review" were given a review status of 'No Change". However, if the DNR "Review Comment" contained any of the following text strings, the site is marked "Needs Field Review":

  • #Superseded_Channel
  • #PWI_Buried
  • #PWI_PublicDrainage_Buried
  • #PWI_Farmed

When a field review decision is made, DNR staff enter a comment describing the results of their field review such as "remove from buffer map" or "50 ft on buffer map" and the rationale. If a change to the buffer map results, the change is implemented with the next release of the buffer map.

Multiple comments are entered for some locations. It may be necessary to review each comment in order to understand why or if a change to the map is accepted or not.


Map navigation


Map key

1. Layers
Change the background layer by clicking on the control. There are four different background layers: street map, light grey background, LIDAR-derived "HPI", and an aerial imagery layer.

2. Zoom
Click the + and - buttons to zoom into and out of the map, or use your mouse wheel. Click and drag to pan.

3. Legend
Click on the legend icon to open a side-panel box to display the legend for the buffer map.

4. Search
Click the search icon to open a side-panel box. Use the search tool to quickly find an area on the map by location name, address or public land survey information.

5. Filter
Click the filter icon to open a side-panel box. As a default, all comments are displayed. Click "Use Current User" to view only comments from you. To filter for a specific user, enter the user name and click the filter icon to the right of the entry box. More than one user name may be entered at a time. To remove one filter, click on the recycle bin icon. To remove all filters, click "Clear User Filters".

6. Review
The review icon is used to suggest a correction to the preliminary buffer map.

7. Help
Access to the Buffer Map Application User Guide.

8. Logout
Click on the logout button to exit the application.



If you have questions about using this application, contact [email protected].

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