The Village of Norridge has a street light system that contains lights owned by the village and lights owned and operated by ComEd. H&H Electric, which maintains the village owned lights, provided the village with multiple maps showing the ownership of each light, how they are all connected, and the control boxes for each system.
With this information, the village was able to start building an electrical system model that would be displayed on its in-house mapping software: MapOffice™ Advanced. This allows the village engineer to see the locations of all the street lights and how they connect to their corresponding control boxes. With this information, the village engineer and public works, can easily replace bulbs and determine where malfunctions they may be located on a circuit. Because the information is accessible from any computer on the village server, both departments can access the information without having to share hard copies of the information. By using GIS, the village is able to begin to put together a comprehensive street light/electrical model that will help the village with any incidents that may arise.
The Village of Wheeling is currently putting together information to create a safe crossing zone in accordance with the Safe Routes to School Program. The village is looking into creating an improved cross walk at the intersection of Anthony Rd. and Schoenbeck Rd. due to its proximity to both Booth Tarkington Elementary School and Jack London Middle School. This would allow students who are walking to school to cross a major intersection more safely. One important aspect needed to determine if this would be an ideal location where an improved cross walk should be placed is a map showing the attendance boundaries for each school in the study. By knowing where the students are coming from, the village can determine if this intersection is appropriate for an improvement.
To help in the process, a map was created showing the attendance boundaries for the elementary and middle schools in each village. The attendance boundaries were merged together so that the elementary school districts fit into their respective middle school districts. This allows the map to show that, in the target study area, students from both Booth Tarkington Elementary and Jack London Middle School have to cross the intersection of Anthony Rd. and Schoenbeck Rd. to be able to walk to school. Without GIS, the planning department would have to spend time combining hand drawn maps to figure out the exact attendance boundaries for each school. By using GIS, the planning department was able to quickly determine the attendance boundaries, saving them a considerable amount of time.
The village of Oak Brook has had requests from multiple organizations to bring new restaurants into the village. As a result the village has to plan and approve the locations requested by the organization. A part of the planning process required having maps made, which display the proposed location (with dimensions), wetland areas, and detention areas that will need to be relocated.
The image displayed with this article is a portion of one of the maps created for a planning meeting involving village staff and representatives of a restaurant. It was designed to give a good view of the area and dimensions in which they have to work with, along with possible conflicts with local wetlands. The map allowed village staff to compare similar sized sites with the new proposed site, in order to get an idea of where they can place entrances and exits, as well as parking and water detention areas.
Recently the Riverside Historical Commission became aware that the Village’s GIS program could provide them assistance gaining property history information, particularly property images. Part of the Cook County Assessor’s workflow includes capturing an image of the front of every property in its database. Those images are available to the Village of Riverside through an existing data sharing agreement due to the Village’s GIS initiatives.
GIS staff was able to obtain images for the entire community and also managed the files so they could be located at the Village Museum and accessed easily by the Historical Commission volunteers. Realizing these additional resources were available saved the Commission a great deal of time and energy compared to the alternative of walking or driving the community to take their own photos.
The GIS Consortium (GISC) Information Technology Technical committee met this week to review and discuss the upcoming business intelligence functionality for MapOffice™ Advanced. For years the GIS Consortium has been working to provide authoritative community data on demand in a spatial context. Until now the mapping of community enterprise data relied on Specialists to geocode. Last year Tom Thomey, MGP Inc Executive laid out the vision to be able to map real-time community data in MapOffice™ Advanced at the 2009 GISC Annual Board of Directors meeting. With the roll out of business intelligence this month this has become a reality. Business intelligence allows community staffs to interact with a wide variety of data from their community enterprise systems. Users have the ability to create custom on demand requests. These queries or searches can be saved and run daily. With business intelligence community IT departments are able to setup this service securely in MapOffice™ to give staffs the ability to spatially analyze their enterprise system data like permits, business licenses and crime incidences on demand. In summary business intelligence, leverages the community's GIS investment, provides information on demand and improves efficiency.
The City of Lake Forest has begun using GIS to make a map and store data that shows current plans for their 10 year Capital Improvement program. In the past, employees would rely on spreadsheets and individual maps produced for that year to visualize projects and their locations. With the 2011 Capital Improvements plan being mapped this October, the city has also requested to begin keeping long term project data in a database feature class, which in turn will allow for editing and quick visualization.
Currently, the first draft of the 10 year plan has been created, and is currently being used to plan for upcoming conferences. Future plans include analysis on the planning data, as well as linking information regarding street condition and water main break density to help assist in project planning.
Local communities are constantly changing in order to meet the vast array of shifting that occurs within the economy. If the economy is going strong then many new businesses may start to pop up on every corner. More importantly, when the economy is doing poorly, many businesses may close up shop leaving many vacant and available properties. Because municipalities need these businesses to survive, it is important that they monitor what is happening on the ground level in order to better understand how these changes can affect the community’s generation of revenue.
At the Village of Morton Grove, they have been tracking the changes of available properties for the past five years in order to keep a watchful eye on what is happening. More recently they have decided to leverage the use of their Geographic Information System (GIS) in order to map out where these available properties were located throughout town. Not only would this give the village a good understanding on what business sectors might be struggling, it would also allow them to identify if any trends have been occurring over these five years. All of the data that was originally stored in word documents was migrated into GIS and given a geographical location based on address. This way the data could come to life on a map making it easier for the Economic Developer to understand what is happening in the community. From there, it will be up to them to try and fix the problem by advertising available space or possibly look to redesign an area to make it more attractive for potential business owners. Overall, although GIS won’t be solving the problem, it is simple to see that GIS can help to make tabular data come to life and thus provide a good visual representation of what is occurring within the community.
For many municipalities mapping still comes in multiple forms. With Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Geographic Information System (GIS) ranking among the highest used, it is safe to say that integration between the two systems is a huge benefit.
CAD is predominately used for engineering style design drawings that encompass detailed precision but also has the ability to make simple maps. Whereas GIS deals more with detailed maps, attributed data and spatial analysis. Although they both have their strengths, there is often a time where one application is better suited for the job, or, they will both be used to make one end product.
For the Engineering Department at the City of Park Ridge, using both systems to create one useful end product was exactly what they needed to accomplish the task of creating a sophisticated map from a simple design drawing. The City Engineer, who is well versed in AutoCAD, was assigned the duty of creating a “Departure Sight Triangle” study for one intersection in town. What this study does is calculate the angles at which an automobile can see oncoming traffic when turning into an intersection and determines if any objects, such as trees or signs, impact the driver view. If so, action will be taken to remedy the situation. Designing all of the detailed line work in AutoCAD was not a problem but the creation of a better looking map would have to be done in GIS. Luckily the two applications were set in the same coordinate system so using the engineer’s design inside of GIS was not a problem. From there it was as simple as letting the GIS Department leverage their skills to create a detailed thematic map that could then be shown to the city council to help their analysis on this sensitive issue.
A contour line is a representation of equal points of elevation. Contour lines are displayed successively in a contour map to display the change in elevation over an area. The interval between lines defines the resolution of the elevation data.
Elk Grove Village recently developed a one foot contour dataset from LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data collection to improve upon a two foot contour provided by Cook County. Other datasets can be derived from this elevation information such as a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) or Digital Terrain Model (DTM) and is simply another way to simulate the real world lay of the land. These elevation representations become very powerful decision support tools when overlaid with other infrastructure such as storm sewers in a GIS (Geographic Information System).
The Village of Skokie’s Human Services Department manages a program aimed at providing reserved on-street parking for residents with special needs. This program has certain guidelines depicting how many permits can be issued along certain lengths of roadway. The ordinance states:
“The number of reserved disability parking spaces on any 1 residential street shall not exceed 25 percent of the available parking spaces on each side of a block.”
The ordinance now has a geographic reference which enables the Village’s Geographic Information System (GIS) to get involved. The Human Services director began a dialog to see if any residential street is in violation of the existing Village Code. By plotting the location of the Reserved Residential Parking Program participants and grouping addresses within close proximity, the GIS analyzed the data and found the Village to be in compliance with the Code.
The Village of Glencoe has an existing Sign Inventory Program that has been completed for the entire Village. The inventory program was completed years ago and to ensure the Village of Glencoe meets new future Federal Sign Regulations the GIS Department has began the process to make the existing inventory usable for staff review.
A major focus of this process was to convert all existing sign related databases into a format that was usable for mapping. Once this process was completed, the GIS Department was able to use our mapping software to create maps of all the signs located within the Village of Glencoe. These maps will be used in the planning phase to determine existing inventory and assist the Village on determining the scope of reviewing the current inventory. Future products will include mapping products in a usable format for Field Crews to conduct field verification processes.
The final goal of the program will help ensure Glencoe is meeting new Federal Sign Regulations and to ensure all existing data is used in the most efficient manner.
The City includes a Storm Water Fee with every water bill. The purpose of this fee is to collect money for the maintenance of City Owned storm sewers. The current fee is based solely on the building footprint. Over time it has become apparent that this method is not adequate as it does not include all impervious surfaces. For example a property with a small building and a large parking lot is only charged for a small portion of the storm water that runs off the property and into the city storm sewers.
Therefore it was decided to include Parking lots, sidewalks, and private roads, along with the buildings to ensure that property owners were assessed in a more equitable manner. It also had the benefit of increasing the amount of money collected from Storm Water Utility Fees without increasing the fees themselves.
The Finance Department approached the GIS Office to create imperious values for each parcel and tie them to utility billing accounts. The GIS office created values by merging all impervious features with parcel features. Addresses were used to tie the Utility Billing Accounts with each parcel associated with the utility billing account. Finally a table was created showing the new impervious values with existing impervious values.
The comparison table was created to show how much of the fees would increase if all impervious areas are included. It was also used as a check to verify the accuracy of the GIS data. At this time the new values are not being used, but they are planned to be added by January 2011. By using GIS the city quickly created impervious values for each utility billing account and ensure that storm water fees would be assessed in a fairer manner.
Public safety response is often not limited to the boundaries of a municipality and can include providing assistance to neighboring communities or direct response to unincorporated properties. This response can also extend to interstate systems that border a municipality, as is the case with the City of Des Plaines Fire Department.
Since mile markers are the only way for the department to identify the location of an emergency call along the interstates, it was critical for all first responders to be aware of the location and mileage associated with new mile markers determined by the Illinois Tollway Authority. Using assistance from the city’s GIS (Geographic Information System) staff, the Fire Department developed a series of maps displaying the new mile marker locations, both independently along the interstate and in relation to other critical fire response components, such as hydrants. Using the maps as a guide, the department now has a series of spatial tools for locating and responding effectively to an emergency call along the city’s bordering interstates.
Elk Grove Village has recently purchased a GPS (Global Positioning System) unit to support data collection for its GIS (Geographic Information System). GPS data collection utilizes the GPS satellites in orbit around the Earth to calculate the x,y location of the GPS receiver as well as the time and elevation to a certain degree.
GPS is traditionally used to collect the location of infrastructure such as manholes, signs, fire hydrants, etc. After the data is collected it is downloaded, corrected, and then integrated into the GIS. The correction process involves an automated mathematical adjustment of the data according to records captured by nearby stationary monitoring stations.
Village staff will use this equipment annually to capture infrastructure from new construction projects and to initiate new projects which require intense data collection such as a parkway tree inventory or sign inventory. An added benefit of this device is that it can be used to locate facilities that may have been buried over time or that are covered by snow in the winter.
The City of Lake Forest has begun to take an inventory and place orders for signs throughout the city. GIS was able to provide accurate tables of sign counts for Public Works. Using these counts employees were able to categorize work zones by ward and know how many signs they would be dealing with from certain categories, such as regulatory and warning signs.
In addition to counting the signs, the tables helped employees by allowing them to know what kind of signs they would need to upgrade to meet the upcoming MUTCD standards for 2012. MUTCD stands for Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, and sets the standard on sign dimensions and visibility. The City met with a client to discuss upgrades and place orders, and having the tables and access to GIS for visual reference proved to be increase the work management of the project.
The Village of Oak Brook uses data collection units from a company called Aclara to monitor water meters throughout the Village’s service area. The data collection units are strategically placed throughout the village to read water meters and relay the data back to Village IT. The units were installed several years ago, and it is now time for Aclara to come back to the village and service all of the units. Some of the units are currently functioning up to standards, while other are either malfunctioning or are located in areas that are no longer serviced.
The image displayed with this article is a portion of the map that was created for Aclara staff to locate the units throughout the village. The map includes unit number and location, water mains, water towers, and basic features in the Village. It was designed to assist Aclara staff in locating the units, as well as a record of location that will be saved by the Village. GIS has streamlined made the process of replacement more efficient.
The Village of Lincolnshire Streets Department in compliance with new Federal Sign Regulations is to begin the process of inventorying all signs within the village. The process will involve using staff in the field to review and inventory all signs within the corporate limits. To assist the staff, the GIS Department was asked to take an existing sign inventory database and make it available for field crews to view, update, and use. The GIS Department prepared a device which had all the mapping and sign data displayed to assist crews while conducting the inventory process. Most signs will only need to be reviewed and updated, but field crews will have the ability to update, add, remove, and modify any asset while in the field. When the inventory is completed the returned data will be brought back into a Sign Inventory Database which will continue to be used when new signs are added or removed.
The final goal of this program is to ensure the Village of Lincolnshire is meeting all Federal Sign Regulations and all signs have been properly inventoried. The image in this article is an example of the mapping and data available to field crews while conducting field data collection.