The Village of Wheeling currently participates in the Community Rating System (CRS) program which is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP requirements. One of the requirements of the program is to detail which areas are deemed “Repetitive Loss”, meaning the property has had two or more insurance claims over $1000 in a 10 year period. A secondary requirement of the program is to inform all residents that live within the repetitive loss area about their situation and provide them with flood insurance information. By using GIS, the village was able to create a list of addresses for all properties within the repetitive loss area so that letters could be sent to each resident.
Because the village already had an existing address database using a point as each address, creating a list of addresses just required selecting the points that fell within the repetitive address areas. The addresses were then exported into Microsoft Excel to be used in various mail merge applications. If not for GIS, the addresses would have had to be typed in manually by looking at the various repetitive loss maps created in another mapping type program. By using GIS, the village was able to quickly create a product that would have taken a longer time using previous methods.
In the latest update to MapOffice™ Advanced the ability for community staff members to bring up historical imagery was added. With 17 communities in all the Consortium has collected a wide variety of aerial imagery. The aerial imagery for some communities dates back to 1939. In the example above aerial imagery from 1939 and 2010 is contrasted. GISC Community members have a wealth of aerial photography information and now they can easily visualize it by year. This ability allows for staff members to see historical uses of property. The next step for the development team is the creation of a slider that will provide additional functionality and make the comparison of land use over time easier and more intuitive. Development will continue to add years as photos become available.
The Village of Deerfield Community Development Department has begun a process to accurately survey and review all records related to the Deerfield Cemetery. The process involves obtaining records related to the property, plots, and all other associated information. As part of the process, the Village of Deerfield GIS Department was asked to convert the legal plat of the property and develop a base map of the cemetery. The base map will be used as a foundation to continue the development of placing cemetery records into a real world location.
This program will continue to grow into the future with the final goal of creating an accurate account of all records associated with the cemetery along with the ability of staff to locate the information in mapping environment. The image included in this article is an example of the initial plat conversion based on supplied records.
Rear yard drainage is a notable topic in Riverside these days as the village is preparing to have some drainage studies performed. The village has been using its GIS (Geographic Information System) program to track drainage complaints over the past two years to realize where, away from the Des Plaines River, residents are experiencing flooding or drainage problems.
Imagery, elevation, and structural improvements data will be provided by the GIS for the drainage study locations and potential solutions will be provided by the contracted consultants. Hopefully some economically feasible solutions will be realized and the storm drainage for these residents will become more predictable than the weather.
LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is a remote sensing technique where laser pulses are directed toward the earth and the time it takes for the impulse to return provides elevation information as well as some characteristics of the surface below. The village has just received LiDAR data from a private contract and a less dense and unclassified dataset from Cook County as part of the annual GIS Consortium data request.
A one foot contour dataset for the entire village was created from this point information which was the main objective to acquire LiDAR. However additional uses are being discovered of this information as well such as developing a tree canopy and other elevated infrastructure, supporting 3D mapping, and initiating a tree inventory, all of which were not available products of the former data capture procedure. Best of all, LiDAR is less expensive than the former elevation data collection techniques.
One of the many benefits that a Geographic Information System (GIS) can provide is the ability to keep data centralized so future updates can be made frequently and with ease. At the Village of Morton Grove the Police Department has decided take full advantage of the GIS to start their planning early for one of the largest event of the year, the Morton Grove Days Fourth of July Celebration. To the average spectator this special event may seem easy to host but that is simply not the case. The amount of planning that it takes for street closures, proper police coverage, safe seating, etc. all require well thought out ideas and eventually a few good maps.
Each year the Police Department implements a few new ideas that they believe will help the event go smoother than it may have in the previous year. But it was not until this year that they decided a map of the event area and all of its parts could act as a great aide for the new ideas that they are proposing to institute. The process simply starts as a rough draft map on paper that eventually makes its way in the computer as GIS data. Locations of police officers, music stages, patron seating areas, etc. all become GIS data that are stored in one centralized database in the computer. This data is then used in combination with other existing GIS data to create a simple map schematic of the event. Furthermore, the map is printed for review by the Police Department and any changes that need to be made are as easy as a few simple edits. Thus demonstrating how storing data in one centralized location such as a GIS can improve time efficiency when creating and updating maps for pre-planning purposes.
Often times a municipality may be confronted with a tough decision regarding the ownership and maintenance of their physical assets. For the City of Park Ridge these tough decisions seem to come on a weekly basis in the form of trees. A scenario might play out in the form of a resident coming in and complaining that a tree is dying in front of their house and that the city must replace it. Although the fact might certainly be that the tree is dying, speculation may still remain on whom actually owns that tree.
A lot of the times the City Forester will be able to go out to the site of the tree in question and decipher who has proper ownership either visually or with the help of a plat of survey. Other times providing an answer is not so easy; this is where the Geographic Information System (GIS) can be a valuable tool in its ability to supply the City Forester with accurate measurements right inside the office. GIS has the capability to easily measure the distance between a property’s parcel line and the edge of road to determine whether that tree is in the parkway or not. If the tree falls within the parkway then it is the responsibility of the city to take care of, whereas if the tree is located outside of the parkway, then the responsibility will lie in the hands of the property owner.
The most important part for the City Forester to understand from this point is the accuracy of the GIS data. When the parcel data comes from the county and the roads data comes from an engineering consultant, there can be a plus or minus factor on the measurements between these two datasets within the GIS. None the less, GIS supplies easy access to valuable information that can help when other means may require extra time and money for similar results.
Every year, the Village of Winnetka Police Department provides additional security and crowd-control support for a local church’s annual rummage sale. The sale is held on the church grounds and affects parking and traffic patterns within in the adjacent area and several surrounding neighborhoods. The size of the event requires the involvement and coordination of numerous village departments, including Public Works and the Police Department. To help improve the coordination efforts, the GIS (Geographic Information System) department developed several mapping products to allow the departments to share event information more efficiently.
There are two maps that are traditionally developed for this event, one for the Public Works department to highlight areas where they have to setup temporary signs and barricades for restricted parking in and around the church grounds and one for the Police Department showing a detailed view of the church property with officer posting locations highlighted. While all components of this event are provided in a written form to the primary departments involved, using these two map products provides a supplemental, spatially-based template that allows for improved communication and a more concise transfer of information before and during the event.
The GIS Consortium (GISC) over the past several months has been developing online, on demand tutorial videos for MapOffice™ and MapOffice™ advanced. These videos are found on the GISC website under the video gallery page (http://www.gisconsortium.org/gallery/video/) and available to anyone.
The stated purpose of these videos is to expose the public, decision makers and municipal users to the efficiencies that can be achieved using the MapOffice™ products and tools. To date there is an overview of MapOffice™ available and four in detail tool tutorials. The next video tutorial being created is to show the efficiency of looking up utilities in MapOffice™ Advanced.
Every year, the City of Des Plaines hosts a city-wide bike ride called the Tour De Des Plaines. This event requires the involvement and coordination of numerous city departments, including Public Works, the Police Department, and the city’s Emergency Management Agency. To help improve the coordination efforts, the GIS (Geographic Information System) department develops several mapping products to allow the departments to transfer event information more efficiently.
There are three maps that are traditionally developed for this bike ride: one for the general public to highlight the bike route and water stations along the ride, one for the Police commanders and Emergency Management Agency personnel displaying the route, water stations, and barricaded roadways, and one for the patrol officers displaying the road barricade locations. Using these mapping products provides all those participating in or organizing the Tour De Des Plaines with the same, geographically-based template for the event, allowing for a more efficient transfer of information and improved communication before and during the ride.
The city of Lake Forest updates a list of residents who have signed up for Rec Center services on a yearly basis. To aid in seeing the layout of where these residents are located, the City has used GIS to map out point locations for each address recorded. In addition to the point locations, a density analysis is also run to help give a more visual, picture of the results. This year’s map included 2500 addresses, which accounts for nearly 40% of all households in the city.
To further this analysis, city employees can compare the results found on the map with demographic data that is offered through Business Analyst Online, which is prepared by MGP, Inc. Included in this demographic data is up to date information on age groups, income, and household income. By comparing this data to the geographic makeup of residents using the Rec Center, the City can find ways to offer their services to areas that are not utilizing them as much as others.
The Village of Norridge has requested and received information pertaining to ComEd operated lights in the village, specifically ones along the major roads and intersections. The purpose is to compare the data provided by ComEd with the location information collected via field checks to make sure that the billing information is correct.
By using GIS and the location information provided by ComEd, the lights can be plotted on a base map and then compared with the known locations of the lights collected by the village. Any inconsistancies, such as missing lights or duplicated locations can be noted and then reviewed with ComEd. This will allow the village to make sure it’s paying the correct amount in electrical bills and will improve ComEd’s data records for the village.
In this day and age having accurate, reliable, and live information is important. It’s critical for dispatch to have correct and current addresses, it’s key for inspectors to know where and what permits were issued for that day, week, month, and it’s essential for developing communities to have up to date available property listings. By using GIS and other Village applications GIS will be able to provide these capabilities for the Village of Glenview. Dispatch will be able to plot live incidents, Inspectors will be able to map out and view current and past permits along with viewing what type of permit(s) have been issued, and possibly, Development will be able to plot up to date available properties.
By being able to mashup or merge several applications\databases into one is priceless and endless. GIS can provide this platform and the hope is that, the sky is the limit.