Recently the Riverside Public Works Department was assisted by a Scout project to repair dilapidated benches throughout the village. With the blessing of the Public Works Director resident Ben Cox located and assessed all of the benches within the village. The data collected was provided to the GIS (Geographic Information System) staff to plot the bench locations and incorporate the condition information and photos taken.
Mapping the benches provides staff an inventory for future reference and a map product made it simple to identify how many and which benches would receive maintenance. The village now knows where to target continued efforts for bench maintenance in the future if desired.
The National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP requirements. As a result flood insurance premium rates are discounted to reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from the communities’ actions. Each community is assigned a rating based off credit points earned in 18 creditable activities. This rating determines the percentage of discount the community would receive based on 5% increments. A Class 1 community, the highest class, would receive a 45% discount while a Class 9 community would receive a %5 discount. The Village of Wheeling is currently a Class 7 community receiving a 15% discount on flood insurance for its residents. The village has a review set for spring 2011 and is looking to solidify its Class 7 rating and possibly move into up into a Class 6.
The Village of Wheeling’s Engineering Department and GIS Specialist are currently working on ways to improve the village’s class rating by going through the 18 different activities and completing projects that the village did not receive full, or sometimes any, points during its last review. Some of the current projects include calculating flood plain and open space acreage, creating elevation benchmarks, determining impervious surface area, and creating an online flood plain map accessible to village residents. Before the village acquired a GIS program, many of these projects would have been too time consuming or not even possible to do. By using GIS, the village hopes to gain a significant amount of credit points that will translate into the residents seeing a reduction in their flood insurance rates and therefore paying less money.
The Village of Norridge is currently in the process of creating a series of bike routes throughout its borders showing residents and visitors how to get to important locations within the village and just outside its limits. The village allows bikers to use the sidewalk to avoid car traffic, so the bike routes were designed with that in mind. Even though bikers can go down any sidewalk, the idea is to post signs along sidewalks that will get them to locations such as the forest preserve, Harlem and Irving Plaza shopping center, and the village hall.
By using GIS, the village was able to create a map showing all important locations in the village as well as ones just outside the village limits. They were then able to draw bike routes along streets by using the available aerial imagery, therefore allowing the village to draw routes that were direct and were along streets with sidewalks. Once the proposed routes were completed, a proposed bike route map was created for review.
The summer of 2010 brought multiple high intensity storms through the Village of Oak Brook, resulting in storm damage throughout areas of the village. The damage typically consisted of streetlight, tree, and flooding. Departments within the village wanted to see these areas mapped in order to plan response, classify the type of damage, and find trends in the areas affected. Points of reported damage were geocoded into a map, and then hotspot analysis was performed for both the wind damage from the June 23rd event, and the flood damage from the July 23rd event.
The image displayed is storm damage hot spot analysis in the northeastern part of the village, which was most strongly affected by the June 23rd event. The analysis allowed the village to see which areas were most affected in accordance to density, and the points were classified by the type of damage located at that point. The maps assisted village staff in locating the damage, planning repair, and will go towards planning for future events of a similar magnitude.
In June of this year it was requested by a Public Works Director that MapOffice™ Advanced provide the functionality to trace up and downstream flow of sewer and sanitary utility lines. The user identified that they would like to be able to click on a point and see all of the storm sewers that are tributary to that point. This month the "Sewer Tracing" task was added. This provides the ability of a community user to click on a utility line that is either part of the combined, sewer or storm system and trace it up or downstream with a single click. Along with visually seeing where the utility line flows there are two tables displaying information related to your query. The first is a table showing some high level summary information and the second details all the infrastructure from the affected pipe. This task puts a complex GIS process behind a single click of a mouse for local government users.
The Village of Lincolnwood is holding its 34th annual Turkey trot on Sunday November 21, 2010. This event features multiple races including a 5k and 10k run, a 5k walk, and a Drumstick Dash for the children. During the planning phase of this event, the Village’s Geographic Information System (GIS) was utilized by preparing route maps as well as site plans for the pre and post race festivities. By using GIS the Parks and Recreation Department was able to visualize and share important aid station and registration information to all departments, including public safety, assisting in this annual event.
A monthly process for Elk Grove Village is to identify the location and trends of foreclosures within its municipality. A subscription to RealtyTrac provides the desired information which is downloaded over the internet. The foreclosure information is provided to the GIS (Geographic Information System) staff where it is plotted on a map. The quantity of foreclosures is tallied in a line graph to realize trending as well.
These foreclosure products are useful for many departments as they direct staff attention to the locations or areas that may have maintenance issues, or be subject to crime or property damage. Police, health and community development staff have an opportunity to mitigate these occurrences because they are informed.
Although severe rain storms hitting Park Ridge have slowed in numbers recently, there still is a need to find ways to analyze past events in order to help with the future incidents; for being prepared with the proper analytical tools is never a bad idea and is something that is important to the city. With these ideas in mind, the city’s Engineering and Building Departments continue to turn to their Geographic Information System (GIS) Department looking for new ways to use technology as a mechanism for analyzing what might be happening in the real world.
Two recent projects that have shown potential to be everyday analytical tools for the city have come in the form of a flood complaint density study and a detailed drainage basin location map. The flood complaint density study was performed by taking data from the flood survey database, mapping it out and then using complex GIS tools to create density locations. The end product displayed a dark color where many flooding complaints occurred at a high density and a light color where the density of complaints was weak. What seems like a simple map can now be used as an analytical tool for identifying potential problem areas of flooding. On the other hand, the detailed drainage basin location map was also constructed using complex GIS tools but the end product details how water may flow from a high point of elevation to a low point of elevation. This map can also be used as an analytical tool giving the city staff a better idea of where the water may be flowing and will prove beneficial for when specific residents complain about flooding in their yard.
Both products leverage the power behind the GIS tools and thus take information that was once static and make it more usable, a good example of how to take data to the another level in order to help find solutions to everyday problems.
Although a Geographic Information System (GIS) is quite sophisticated, there are often times when its power is only needed to perform simple tasks. New to the Village of Morton Grove Public Works Department is the use of GIS to help map out all locations in town that are slated for street patching. While many streets get selected each year for a complete overhaul and resurface, many streets only require a few temporary patches to keep them off the list of failed streets for the year. Moreover, while locating an entire street segment that is selected for resurfacing may be easy, it is the pinpointing of where each specific street patch is set to occur that is harder to place.
For this reason alone the Public Works Department decided to use GIS to assist mapping out their street patching program for the current year. The program started by supplying the GIS Department with all of the locations that were proposed to be patched for the current year with plans to adjust these locations based on budgeting constraints and further field review. Because the base of GIS contains centralized data that is easy to edit, any submitted changes that were submitted during the patching program could easily be corrected followed by the generation of new maps. It is with this ease of data manipulation and new map creation that details while GIS can save time and money even on the simple tasks. Additionally, the labor of this project has now created data that can be archived for the future should anyone decide to inquire about a specific street patch that occurred this year.
Managing utility assets is a critical function of local government and can often encompass a significant portion of a Public Works department’s yearly operating budget. A specific component of utility management is addressing sanitary sewer backup issues that can cause damage to residential and commercial properties by creating standing water or sewage in basements and other areas. To assist with analyzing recent sanitary backup complaints from residents, the Village of Winnetka used Geographic Information System (GIS) to compare each backup location to village designated sanitary system maintenance zones.
The first step in this project was to map out the boundaries of each sanitary maintenance zone as determined by Public Works department staff. These zones, or sectors, relate to yearly maintenance and capital improvement areas and are used to divide the system up to help make it more manageable. By comparing these sector boundaries to the list of backup complaints, the department was able to identify neighborhoods within the village where more backups were occurring. This more refined view of the problem allowed department staff to develop more directed and efficient solutions specific to each system sector by determining if the issue was related to the age of the system in that area, poor drainage, etc.
Using GIS to analyze sanitary backup locations provided the Village of Winnetka with a powerful tool for better utility asset management. Instead of looking at the backups across the entire system, the Public Works department was able to identify specific problem areas and more effectively implement and manage proposed solutions.
Just like the rest of United States, the Village of Glenview is seeing and feeling the effects of the economic recession in all sectors of business, consumption, and employment. As a result from this, Glenview looks for various ways to save and increase revenue and one of those ways is, tracking foreclosures. Early this year Glenview purchased an annual subscription for $600 from the Law Bulletin for weekly data on foreclosures in the community and its service area. This information instantly saves the staff time by combining all information that would otherwise be very time consuming to locate.
With assistance from GIS, Glenview has been able to map and perform analysis to help with tracking potential revenue impact(s) in the TIF district, vacant properties, check compliance with ordinances, stop theft and destruction, and to see if squatters could possibly be using water. As an outcome from this, GIS has saved the Village countless hours on researching foreclosure information and those potential adverse affects that come from properties being foreclosed.
Managing community assets is an important function of any local municipality. Often included in those assets are detention and retention basins, which are critical for storm water regulation and erosion control for local waterways. In order to effectively manage these local assets, an inventory of each basin’s location, ownership, and status is needed for maintenance and development planning. As part of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), the City of Des Plaines conducted a full survey of all city basins using Geographic Information System (GIS) as the primary tool for storing and analyzing the inventory data.
Developing a basin inventory was a multi-step process and involved the city’s Engineering, Public Works, and GIS departments. Field checks by the city Engineers were required to gather the required attributes, but the preliminary process of locating each basin was done using contour data and aerial imagery to identify depressions, which were then traced and added to the GIS system for mapping. As part of the field checks, pictures of the basins, along with the location of the utility structures that flow in or out of each, were captured and integrated into the GIS data. Recently, this inventory was completed and is now available to assist the city with the NPDES required 5 year basin maintenance cycle.
The Village of Glenview currently has an ordinance that states the max allowable impervious coverage for each lot in the Village, which is based off a lot(s) square footage. For example, lots that are less than 10,000 sq. ft. are allowed 4,500 sq. ft. or .40 of impervious coverage and the larger the lot, the smaller the percentage of impervious surface(s.) Recently, the Village’s Development Department was tasked with determining what percentage of lots fell outside of their allowable amount and if this amount turned out to be relatively high, then there are thoughts of tighten up (changing the ordinance) the allowable space.
By using GIS (Geographic Information System) the Development Department was able to determine percentages for each lot category and for the Village as a whole, which now gives them the capability for future impervious lot coverage decision making.
Downtown Highland Park is partnership of organizations; including the Downtown Property Owners Association, Highland Park Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Highland Park. The goal of the Downtown Highland Park is to promote existing businesses and to improve the overall economic vitality of downtown Highland Park.
The GIS Office assists the City with supporting the Downtown Highland by providing mapping services. The most often created maps are ones of special events promoted by Downtown Highland Park. The most recent examples of these event maps are the Public Art Installation which showed the proposed location of temporary art displays along Central Ave, and the Holiday 2010 Event Locations which showed two proposed locations for Ice Carving events at Port Clinton Square
GIS also create maps for analysis of current situations in the downtown. Last Spring the GIS Office mapped the responses from a survey of business in the downtown in regards to their satisfaction of the Downtown Highland in supporting it’s goal. Mapping the location of the responses allowed the Downtown Highland Park organization to evaluate if it was adequately serving businesses in all areas of the downtown. The GIS Office also mapped the location of service orientated, retail and vacant units in the downtown. This allowed the city and Downtown Highland Park to understand where different types of businesses were clustered.
The City of Highland Park depends on the GIS Office to create maps to support the various needs of Downtown Highland Park. These maps assist Downtown Highland Park with it’s goals of promoting existing businesses and improving the economic vitality of the downtown.