The Village of Deerfield is currently in the process of planning for the redevelopment of the northwest quadrant of the Central Business District, commonly known as the “Village Green Redevelopment Project.” This project currently involves multiple village departments and is the planning phase. During this planning phase the GIS Department was requested to run a pilot test program using existing resources create a 3-D representation of the redevelopment area. Until recently this task would have required a significant amount of work to complete usually requiring outside vendors whose fees would only increase the overall budget on the project. However, with the advancement of technology and the available tools within GIS it was easy to use existing geographic information in order to keep this request in-house and save the village some money.
By using the data that the city collects annually the GIS Department was able to create a 3-D model that included buildings, driveways, sidewalks, roads and parks for the “Village Green Redevelopment” area. The creation of this model used GIS tools to extrude each feature listed above to its true elevation height above ground level. The model is then adjusted to show these features in a 3D-world where it can then can be used and consumed for planning purposes including map visualization, panning and rotating in a 3D view as well zooming in and out to better understand the data being represented. At the same time, other GIS tools allow a user to record these movements and replay them as an animation file thus making this method very affective for community staff presentations and public meetings.
In conclusion, it is easy to visualize how the functionality of GIS along with other applications can allow the village to use existing data in a way that was not easily attainable in the past. Furthermore, representing a portion of the real world in a 3-D environment allows village staff to conceptualize what impacts might occur during the redeveloping of a specific area. This brief showcase illustrates how communication and data flow between village departments can be used to produce these types of products and further benefit both the village and public during an important redevelopment project.
Many local governments face the challenge of organizing decades worth of permit, building plan and zoning variance documents in a way that will allow employees to locate them if needed. Most municipalities have these paper documents stored in boxes, filing cabinets or in some other storage container that can be a burden to search through. The Village of Winnetka Community Development Department has recently attempted to reduce their amount of paper documents by scanning new zoning variance requests into a digital, PDF format.
The ultimate goal for the department is to convert all their documents, both current and historical, to a digital format that allows for a more efficient workflow. While there are several document management solutions available for managing digital files, many are expensive and do not provide a spatial component to show the location that each document applies to. To avoid purchasing new software, the Geographic Information System (GIS) Department was asked to produce a sample project linking the existing digital zoning variance documents to the village address data and would allow for employees to retrieve documents spatially.
GIS software is not a document management tool, but it does allow for external files to be linked to spatial data using a common attribute, such as address or Parcel Identification Number (PIN) information. For this project, a data table containing all the network path information for each variance document was created and stored in a geodatabase. To create the link between the documents and their corresponding spatial features, the address information and PIN number for the parcel associated with each document was also included in the table. An existing address point feature class for the village acts as the spatial component for this project and also contains its corresponding PIN information. Thus allowing for the use of these common attributes to link these sensitive documents to their respective geographic location.
Accessing the documents from the GIS system requires a basic knowledge of the tools available in the software. Using a database relationship between the document path data table and the address point feature class, a user can query an address and open the PDF using basic GIS tools. When accessed, the software reads the network path of the document from the data table and opens the file in the standard PDF viewer software loaded on the computer. This allows for village employees to retrieve document information using a basic map interface instead of searching through numerous network folders and deciphering file naming conventions hoping to find what they’re looking for.
While PDF document retrieval and viewing can be done without GIS, integrating the functionality of accessing digital zoning variance files and linking them to GIS has helped the Village of Winnetka streamline their document retrieval workflow and help improve their time efficiency. All in all, demonstrating the effectiveness of using GIS within local government to centralize documentation and to make searching for it more efficient.
Every month, the Crime Analyst for the Village of Wheeling Police Department provides a report detailing all criminal incidents within the village for the preceding month. These reports typically include charts displaying each incident as well as the different crime type frequencies from one month to the next. In addition, the reports also include maps showing the location, type and shift of each incident. With no mapping software available, the crime analyst created these reports using a combination of free programs and software. The result of these methods was very labor intensive resulting in increased time consumption as well as limitations on the amount of the other work that could be completed on any given day.
The Village of Wheeling Police Department requested that a process be instituted that would allow the Crime Analyst to create the report maps more efficient and timely manner. It was requested that the maps be in PDF format and that they could accommodate all possible crimes and incidents. Moreover, the maps were to be maintained by the Police Department with support from the GIS Department when needed.
With this criterion in place, the GIS Department decided to create a database that would allow for the Crime Analyst to load in crime incident data each month so that the report maps could be continuously updated. The database included the details and location of each incident as well as a four digit Illinois Uniform Crime Report Offense Code. A set of symbols was then created with each symbol referencing the four digit crime code allowing for each incident to have its own unique symbol.
It was also decided that the final map product would allow for the Crime Analyst to load the most recent crime data into a database and then map all the incidents at once using the GIS’ ability to map locations based on an address. In addition, when each location is mapped out it will automatically be assigned a symbol based off the four digit crime code and the shift. This eliminated the need for the Crime Analyst to map each incident individually by hand thus transforming the old methods into a less time consuming process. From there, map templates representing each police beat were created that allowed the Crime Analyst to export each map to a PDF format as soon as the incident data is loaded into the program. This in turn eliminated the need for the Crime Analyst to zoom in and out to create legible maps once again saving time as well as eliminating the chance of error.
Although the preceding non-GIS method of creating maps for the police report was effective, it is easy to see that with the use of GIS technology the Crime Analyst was able to create the monthly reports in less than a day compared to the four days required using the previous methods.
The Village of Skokie Manager’s Office recently approached the Geographic Information System (GIS) Department with the idea of creating a map of the downtown area in order to highlight the local businesses and restaurants. This project started as a basic map depicting major streets and the shopping zones on those streets in the downtown area. As the project began to take shape, the GIS Department suggested going in a slightly different direction and using a Keyhole Markup Language (KML) file to give the public a way to locate attractions in the village. A KML is a file to be used in conjunction with Google mapping applications such as Google MapsTM and Google EarthTM. For this particular project the village decided that Google MapsTM was the better application over Google EarthTM simply because every internet connection could access the file rather than having to download and install the Google EarthTM software.
The base of the project was the underlying data from which the GIS Department was able to create the KML. Data is created by first producing an Excel spreadsheet with certain attributes such as address, business name and type and phone number. This table is then is then run through a GIS process called geocoding which essentially means to place this information onto a map using the address of each location. Each point, now at the proper spatial location, still retains its original attributes from the spreadsheet such as the business name and phone number. Once these points have been created in the GIS they then get transferred into KML file using another GIS function where the end result is a useable file for GoogleTM applications.
The KML makes information about restaurants, entertainment and art in the village readily available to the public via the internet. Since GoogleTM is a free mapping application, the data that is placed in the Google MapsTM comes at no additional cost to the village. While the idea of using GIS data in GoogleTM is relatively new it is still amazing to see how far technology has come to simplify processes such as these and obtain an end result that helps the local community better serves their residents and customers.
One of the latest Geographic Information System (GIS) developments in Riverside has been the creation of a community Zoning Map and Street Map. It was requested that the existing village Zoning Map be created within the GIS Department as a color map depicting the zoning boundaries as well as the proper zoning classification. While the zonig map is driven by the local community the street map is more of a GIS Consortium (GISC) standard map product that is suggested as soon as a community joins the consortium. The street map provides a good basis for future mapping products in that much of the fundamental community information is present. These maps have been completed by incorporating many layers of information that have been formulated since the inception of the program.
As mentioned previously, the zoning map requires the creation of zoning boundaries with their respective zoning types displayed according to a proper color scheme. The former zoning map was referenced to be sure that all of the previous map elements were incorporated such as the district requirements, revision list, legend and effective date. The street map incorporates important places, recreation areas and trails throughout the community. A street name index was also created which can be very useful for an individual who is not familiar with the village as it provides a gird number of where to find a given street in the map.
Other than the layout of the map itself, the data used in both maps helps to give them a consistant look and includes the street names, roadways, neighboring communities and address grid. Rather than having these maps made at separate times during the fiscal year these two maps are created at a similar time making it easier to consider what message each map communicates as well as the similarities that would persist between the maps.
There have been a number of map reviews resulting in the final products. These maps are currently being distributed throughout the village and can be provided as either a hard copy that is printed at almost any size desired, depending on printing resources, or electronically in an image format such as a PDF that is viewable with Adobe Reader. All data layers within the map have been stored in geographic databases that allow for continued use, modification and additions. The map layout has also been saved so that it is available for future map production which allows for the underlying data features within the existing map to be updated while the layout remains the same.
In conclusion, it is important to note that wondering where you are in town or what zoning district a property falls under are questions that are asked everyday. Moreover, by having the essential tools such as accurate maps to answer these questions the efficiency of the village staff’s daily workflow can be enhanced greatly.
The Village of Lincolnshire and the Geographic Information System Department have been continuously looking for new ways to incorporate GIS into the daily business processes and work flows conducted by their departments. The village’s Public Works Department had previously installed a “Sanitary Sewer Televising” Program and for many years since its inception has used it to help identify and maintain the condition of the sewers within the village. The idea of taking this data and integrating it with the GIS utility databases was an easy decision for the village since it would improve data efficiency and allow for better accuracy.
Once the idea of integration was decided upon the GIS Department and the village’s Public Works Department began to outline a plan for proper methods of data capture in order to better understand the sanitary sewer system and what might be needed for this process to work. The ultimate goal was to use highly accurate base data collected by an external consultant and update this information on the existing sanitary sewer system database within the GIS Department. Features that were identified included residential and commercial service connection locations, pipe size verification, pipe material identification, pipe and asset condition and the positional accuracy of sewer mains and structures.
With all goals outlined in the project’s plan the next phase looked into the process of how to incorporate the data from the external consultant into the GIS database. Since many functions of GIS data creation involve manual work it was determined that best approach was to use televising reports and cross check these reports the GIS system. During this process, GIS technicians would review data provided and update the system while conducting normal data maintenance procedures. This method enabled crucial data updates and information to be added into the system as part of a normal work flow. Although the updates would not occur overnight they would however be integrated into the GIS database progressively with an eventual output to the end users.
In conclusion, it is easy to see how the functionality of GIS along with other business processes within the community can be beneficial for all parties. It is very important for both the GIS Department and other village departments to continue to seek out opportunities where they can share important information. GIS is uniquely positioned to help provide a common platform for data collection, maintenance and visualization of geographical information and the above project showcase is a prime example of how existing data from multiple departments can be shared and used more efficiently.
The Village of Oak Brook relies on accurate utility information in order to assist the community staff with their day to day activities just like any other local government does. For example, the Engineering Department utilizes storm sewer information to assess and resolve drainage issues as well as general pipe replacement. The Public Works Department needs accurate utility information in order to indentify water main size, type and location in order to respond to water main breaks. In addition, the Fire Department needs to have access to fire hydrant information for flow rate testing and to locate the nearest hydrant in the event of a fire. This information has been stored in multiple locations including engineering plans and permit applications but ultimately should reside in one centralized location.
As far as holding this information in one centralized location a Geographic Information System (GIS) is most certainly one of the better options on the market today. Storing utility information from resources like as-builts, hand drawn maps and other sources can easily be filed into two specific databases based on whether it is a sewer or water utility system. These individual databases contain information on the type, size and location of features including some basics as pipes manholes for the sewer system as well as hydrants and valves for the water system. Not only are these databases excellent locations for storing data they also have the ability to link to external databases as long as the proper structure and attributes are maintained (i.e.using a number identification system in order to link to the Water Billing Department so that water billing records can be easily linked and retrieved).
In order to easily update and modify changes in the storm and water databases, field note map books are created. A field note map book is usually an atlas of pages sized as 17x22 where a full community is broken down into multiple pages by a grid in order to present the map at a 1’=100’ scale. Moreover, by using a grid based on the Professional Land Survey township system the community can be subdivided into equalized quarter-sections (northeast, southwest). Once the community is properly split up into quarter-sections the grid number is placed on its respective field note map book page.
In addition to the grid information each field note map book shows the utility system and aerial photography for that particular location at a 1" =100' scale. At this scale, structures can be easily distinguished and field crews can easily markup the pages for edits that need to be made to the utility system by the GIS Department. The notes section on the right of the field note map book page provides an area where field crews and engineering staff can provide comments on discrepancies between what is in the GIS and what is said to be true in the field. The image below shows an example field note map book page for the water distribution system. Hydrants and valves are labeled with their location as well as the length of the water main. Also included on each page is a site map of the village. This allows field crews and engineering staff to quickly determine the location of the water main relative to the village.
Due to its close proximity to the City of Chicago, the Village of Norridge has an extensive bus route system containing routes from the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Pace and its own publically funded internal system. These routes travel on every major street within the village and in most cases overlap each other creating a vast network of routes and stops. If a village resident wanted to know what routes traveled through the village, the resident would have to access the individual websites for the CTA, Pace and the Village of Norridge to get information about their respective routes.
The Village of Norridge requested that a map be put together containing all bus routes within the village. This map would allow a village resident to view all bus routes in a single source instead of accessing multiple sources. The challenge would be to make every bus route visible because in some cases there are four or five different bus routes running on the same street. The solution was to remove detail on either side of the road in order to leave room for stacking the bus routes next to each other when needed. Although the routes would not be to scale, the resident would be able to distinguish the routes from each other and still know which roads the bus routes travel on.
The final product consists of a map of the village road network with colored lines representing the different bus routes. For each route that leaves the village, the major stop is listed in the direction of the route so a village resident can make an informed decision on which bus is the best to take when traveling to a destination outside the village limits. The map is accessible via the Geographic Information System (GIS) section of the Village of Norridge website and a pamphlet was created that can be obtained from the front counter at village hall.
Within the sector of local government there are many important services that a community provides for their residents. Among the long list, one service that often gets a lot of discussion is the condition of the streets, or better yet, the street resurfacing program. Whether residents file a complaint about the vast number of potholes on a street or someone passing through town inquires about a refund for a road induced flat tire, the general condition of a street attracts a fair amount of attention. With these ideas in mind the Village of Morton Grove decided to take a different approach at surveying the condition of their streets in an effort to better understand the current state of their road infrastructure.
The village decided that to maximize the use of their time and money they would create a street resurfacing inventory with the help of an application called MicroPaverTM as well as the resources of the Geographic Information System (GIS). Collectively, both applications had something that the other program did not necessarily excel at. MicroPaverTM was very proficient at managing a street inventory and assigning all streets with an accurate condition rating based on multiple street condition attributes. On the other hand, the GIS was very good at producing a final product in the form of a map and making the results from the MicroPaverTM more understandable to the common viewer.
Although the village engineers were more concerned with the numbers and statistics reported from the MicroPaverTM software, they knew that the data had to be readable to the village board staff that were not engineers themselves. By having access to the capabilities that the MicroPaverTM technology provided it was quite simple to use an export tool that would transfer the street data into a GIS useable file. Once in the GIS, the streets were categorized based on their pavement condition rating and given a color scheme to delineate which streets had a status of pass and which had a status of failure. Applying the proper color scheme to the final map product was crucial since the map would eventually be displayed at the village’s budget meeting and act as a mechanism for understanding the overall condition of the current street infrastructure. In addition, the more streets that were displayed with a failing status might lead the board to believe that more of the budget dollars should be allocated to the street resurfacing program.
In conclusion, community projects that require definitive answers usually require a systematic approach. In the example listed above it easy to see that using GIS in conjunction with the MicroPaverTM software allowed the Engineering Department of Morton Grove to answer some serious questions in regards to an important community service, street resurfacing.
Every year mother nature takes its best shot at northern Illinois bringing snow, ice and rain to every crack and crevice of our infrastructure. During the cold weather months, changes in temperature and moisture are continually creating a freeze and thaw cycle that batters our roads producing potholes and other concerns beneath the surface.
Considering that water mains reside below the surface of streets, sidewalks and driveways they are subject to heavy stress during the winter due to the freezing and thawing cycles that continually move the earth’s surface. Since water mains are not flexible, the slight movement of earth can cause tiny fractures and even eventual breaks. Once a fracture is created it most likely prone to break at some point in the future. Although this has been happening for years it is not until the implementation of the Geographic Information System (GIS) Department at the Village of Lincolnwood that research was done to attempt to indentify and predict where these breaks would happen. Whether it is the same pipe that continuously breaks every year or it is a water main that has never been broken since its installation the idea of tracking this information made GIS a viable option for analyzing this information within the village. As breaks occur every month they can be mapped out and stored within a GIS database for geographical location positions. Once the data has a position on the earth it is much easier to identify larger areas that contain a higher density of breaks or analyze why a certain area may have no water main breaks at all. From there, preventative measures such as replacing pipes or increasing the pipe size can be looked into as a method to limit the cost of repairs future water pipe repairs.
GIS creates an environment that can easily analyze geographic data and help facilitate decision making. By keeping records of all water main breaks in the GIS, the Village of Lincolnwood was able to locate and analyze problem areas as well as plan better for the future.
Each year the Village of Glencoe creates an official Street Guide of the village. This product is developed and consumed by both village staff and the general pubic. Each year the GIS Department and other village departments go through review and update cycle of this product. During the 2009 review and update cycle it was determined that the village would move this historically black and white product into a color format.
This annual project cycle can be broken down in four phases which include:
Phase 1: Review Phase
Phase 2: Pre-Final Review Phase
Phase 3: Final Review
Phase 4: Map production and reproduction
Phase 1: The review phase starts with the updating the previous years map with all known changes collected throughout the year. Secondly, a memorandum can be delivered via e-mail or manually to all of proper village recipients along a map for review purposes and checklist as what to look for when conducting the review process. Community staff members that are typically involved with the map update process include department heads or managers, GIS Coordinators and GIS Consortium board members. During this phase the village staff will review and provide comments to the GIS office by a date that is outlined in the title of the memorandum.
Phase 2: Pre-Final review phase begins after the GIS Department makes the appropriate changes to the street guide map from the initial review process and then redistributes new packets with an updated memorandum. These packets are then sent out a second time to the same village recipients with comments form previous responses. This is done so that all village staff employees are able to confirm the changes that were updated in the initial review. Any additional comments are again provided to the GIS office by a date that was included in the second delivered memorandum.
Phase 3: The final review phase is completed when all updates have been completed and all comments from the village staff have been addressed. The GIS Department then reviews the map product one final time for overall map layout clarity and data content accuracy. At this time, a PDF versions or printed maps are provided to the selected village staff employees for one final review and authorization. If there are no further comments at that time the map product becomes official and moves into the final phase of production.
Phase 4: The map production and reproduction phase begins immediately after approval is received in Phase 3. The maps are printed in-house using the village plotter and distributed to the village’s staff. Also at this time the Map Product Drawer will be updated by removing any remaining maps from the previous year and replacing with the new product. The Map Product Drawer is restocked throughout the year based on public demand of the product.
Overall the annual review process ensures the street guide product is reviewed and updated to reflect the community at the time of publication. The product can involve multiple village departments and staff members to ensure the end result meets the needs of those who will eventually be using it. Moreover, community collaboration between the village employees and the GIS Department help to make a successful end product good for internal use as well as public distribution.
One might ask what benefits a local government would get by modeling their community in a 3-D environment and the answer is simple, a great deal. The idea of modeling the real world on a computer was once a difficult task and usually only existed in video games. However, with technology advancing at an alarming rate this once difficult task has now become more of a normal occurrence.
Community and Economic Development Departments at the local government level have consistently searched for ways to evaluate the structure of their town in order to see what implementations may be working and what areas might need improvement. Usually these types of reviews are done by outsourcing the project to an external consultant in return for a 3-D representation of the study area. Although this method is quite efficient, it often costs a community extra money. For the City of Park Ridge it was decided that to keep this type of work in-house and use the resources of the Geographic Information System (GIS) to review the “Higgins Road Corridor” project in a 3-D environment would be beneficial.
By using the data that the city collects annually the GIS Department was able to create a 3-D model that included buildings, driveways, sidewalks, roads and parks for the “Higgins Road Corridor.” The basics of creating this model entailed using GIS tools to extrude each feature listed above to its true elevation height above mean ground level. While this data is extruded it is also converted to a specific file type that can be imported into Google’s SketchupTM application.
Once the data was exported to a useable Sketchup file it was then imported into the Google SketchupTM application allowing it to be displayed properly by applying specific colors and textures to all features in order to make them more realistic to the real world. In addition, text labels were added to call out all of the major roads and parks within the study area making the 3-D model ready for production. One of the benefits of using the Google SketchupTM application is that it allows for easy layout creation and final conversion to a PDF product for printing. Once in a PDF format these products can be printed and mounted for display purposes at city board meetings, this being the method that City of Park Ridge practiced for this particular project.
In conclusion, it is easy to visualize how the functionality of GIS along with other applications allowed the Community and Preservation Department of Park Ridge the ability to stay in-house with this particular project and administer more control during production time. Furthermore, representing a portion of the real world in a 3-D environment allowed city board members to conceptualize what impacts might be endured by redeveloping the “Higgins Road Corridor”, such impacts that are not always seen in a 2-D environment.
ArcReaderTM is a free Geographic Information System (GIS) application created by ESRITM that gives novice users the ability to explore geographic data within an interactive map environment. In addition, ArcReaderTM is a great tool for the common GIS user looking to advance their skills in GIS, but do not have the time to tackle the learning curve involved in understanding ESRI’s more advanced ArcViewTM application.
The history of using ArcReaderTM within the City of Highland Park goes back many years with its first deployment of installation conducted in the city’s sewer maintenance trucks. Not only did the use of this application replace the oversized field note map atlases that were being used at the time, it also ensured that the data being displayed was more current. By selecting this mobile application, the City of Highland Park has continued to provide the Public Works Department with the ability to view their utility infrastructures out in the field with no additional cost to the city. Moreover, the implementation of this application has improved the process in which field crews accurately track and identify their unique utility information while working out in the field.
In addition to the deploying the ArcReaderTM application for the use of the Public Works Department, the City of Highland Park GIS Department also decided to create another project that would satisfy the needs of other local government needs. The goal of this new project was to provide the community staff with the ability to measure distances or areas, turn layers on and off and create maps that could be used for board meetings as well as presentations.
As city employees started to use the newly deployed ArcReaderTM project they began to request more theme-orientated maps requiring specific data layers that were not found in the second deployment. For example, the Community Development Department requested a project that related more to land use and site plan development where as the Engineering Department requested a project that allowed for contour line and spot elevation identification. Feedback on these customized map projects has been well received as the city’s departments have found it easier to use a product that contains data relative to their daily workflow. Thus exemplifying the ability for GIS technology to speak the language of local government and aid in the processes that occur within many community departments.
ArcReaderTM is an important part of local government GIS structure at the City of Highland Park as city employees are provided with an easy to use application that comes at no additional cost. Not only does this applications provide the tools necessary for assisting its users with their day-to-day tasks, it also provides them with the knowledge of how geographic data works within their community making this application a successful tool in local government for years to come.
Recent improvements in the manufacturing practices of energy efficient lighting solutions have made “going green” a more viable option for local government. The City of Des Plaines has begun the process of investigating these alternate lighting solutions for their city-owned streetlights to become more environmentally friendly and to provide a cost savings for the city.
The first step in the process of determining the viability of energy efficient lighting is to compare the operating costs to that of the city’s current lighting solutions. While the location of all the city-owned streetlights was plotted in Geographic Information System (GIS) before this project began, no additional data about each light was available. It was determined that this missing information would need to be populated before the Engineering and Public Works departments could perform a cost savings analysis. To assist with this process, the GIS Department divided the city into a grid and created a map for each grid section showing the locations of city-owned streetlights. These maps allowed the Public Works Department to systematically review the city assets and document the necessary attribute information for each light. The completed maps were then returned to the GIS department where the attribute information gathered by the field crews was added to the existing streetlight feature class.
For this project, the most important attribute gathered in the field was the type of bulb being used in each light. Adding this information to the data allowed the Engineering Department to gather not only a general count of each light type, but also to see how they were spatially distributed across the city. The ability to see this distribution provided the Engineering Department with a resource to locate areas where energy use was inefficient and where lights needed to be updated.
Combining the information gathered in the field for city-owned lights with existing information for ComEd lights within the city, the Engineering Department was able to get a rough estimate on the number of each light and its type. By comparing the current operating costs of the existing lights against the costs of replacing each one with an energy efficient alternative, the estimated cost savings for the city is over $200,000 per year. This provided the department with a strong argument to propose an update to more “green” lighting option.
Using GIS to assist in gathering information for this project allowed the city to effectively calculate a significant potential cost savings from implementing energy efficient streetlight solutions. In addition, the city now has a comprehensive, spatial streetlight data layer that can be used for future mapping needs and allows for a more efficient review of the city’s current lighting assets.
The use of Geographic Information System (GIS) to understand spatial patterns of crime and criminal behavior has become more prevalent in recent years. The recent introduction of GIS and reporting software has made this type of analysis increasingly easier. Every several months the Police Department for the Village of Glenview receives updated maps showing the location and time of residential and automotive burglaries along with summary statistics. Looking at the addresses spatially allows for the detectives to put together possible patterns in criminal behavior.
It is important to note that because the village uses New World Systems for its dispatch and records keeping software. The GIS and New World Systems is integrated making mapping quick and efficient. The software uses the GIS data to show squad cars where an emergency is as well as logging that emergency into a records database. Using these records the GIS Department and Police Department add the data to a map providing a spatial context not always readily apparent when responding to burglaries. By mapping and cataloging incidences, patrol adjustment may be modified to ensure that problematic areas are receiving increased resources (i.e. more patrols, increased frequency of patrols). The inclusion of graphs and charts also gave other police department staff personnel such as detectives a historical understanding of where crime has happened as well whether the burglary was categorized as either residential and/or automotive.
In the past this type of analysis was done on large village wide maps with push pins where the data could not be easily shared or emailed. Now with an integrated records/dispatch system and a proper GIS quick analysis of historical and current data displayed on a fully customizable and accurate map becomes much easier.
Information captured in a Geographic Information System (GIS) can be distributed in many different ways including, but not limited to, hard copy map prints, electronic image files, Google EarthTM and as an ArcReaderTM (PMF) project. Of these methods of distribution, ArcReaderTM has been found to work quite well in Elk Grove Village.
ArcReader is a free data viewing application provided by ESRI, the leading GIS software development and services provider. This software allows for the development of customized interactive maps by the community’s GIS Department that provide for map viewing, printing and querying of GIS data. ArcReaderTM can be downloaded from the ESRI website at http://www.esri.com/software/arcgis/arcreader/download.html.
So far, ArcReader Projects have been created for the 2009 Alexian Brothers Bike Race, the Public Works Department, the Clerks Office and most recently the Fire Department. Each ArcReader project contains basic community information like addresses, street names, parcels, water features and roadways as well as more specific information pertaining to the specific event or department. Some examples of how ArcReader projects have been used within Elk Grove Village are as follows:
- The Bike Race ArcReader project provides a shared resource of information for all geographical locations pertaining to the race event and will continue to evolve as more information is mapped.
- The Public Works ArcReaderTM project provides information for utilities throughout the village as well as department specific information that has been mapped such as snow plow routes and tree trimming areas.
- The Clerks ArcReaderTM project includes the zoning, subdivision and annexation layers.
- The Fire Department ArcReader project incorporates fire districts, automatic aide areas, response analysis layers, geographical information for the trails, groves, and water depths and hydrant flow information.
Deploying geographic information in this way has provided for a common location for related information and the ability to view where these events, infrastructure, services and regulations exist throughout the community. Once the data is mapped in the GIS it can continue to expand in accuracy of geographic representation and by capturing additional attribute information. Often, analysis is requested after realizing the relationships that exists between all of this information and the results can bring a significant benefit to a staff, department or the entire community.