In August, Lake Forest College worked with the City to determine the names and addresses of residents that shared property boundaries with the College and were along the Bloodroot and Withchazel Ravines. Lake Forest College is planning on working to preserve the ravines, and contacting the owners provided two solutions- notification of work being done near their property, and asking if the property owner would be interested in joining the College in their efforts.
Management requested that GIS create a map showing the properties and listing the owner information to aid in this project. In addition to producing a map that showed both ravines with their adjacent properties and owner contacts, more specific maps were map for each ravine. These maps included topographic lines that will help aid in determining if the ravine floor is on College or private property. If there is indication that the bottom of the ravine is mostly on a private parcel, more notification or permissions may be needed to continue with the project in these areas.
It is safe to say that many organizations do not use maps as part of the day-to-day operations simply because their nature of business does not require them to do so. For those organizations that do require maps however, the accuracy of the data displayed on these maps becomes a high priority. For what good would a map be if the information that is on it is wrong?
For local government entities, the amount of changes that happen daily makes the need for data updates all the more important. If a water line was recently installed, it won’t be long before an Engineer needs to see that information in conjunction with the existing water lines in order to help facilitate their future planning process. If a building is demolished, a Planner might not have a good base map to use because the data on the map is old. Often times these updates go unnoticed unless someone notifies the mapping department that a change has occurred.
For the Village of Morton Grove, IL, it is the job of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Mapping Department to keep these changes current for in-house mapping needs and data analysis. The GIS Department continually converses with multiple departments in the Village in order to track down changes as well as takes advantage of a sharing agreement with the county to update parcel information. One of the more interesting methods for updating data has included the use of free aerial photography resources from the internet to overlay on a current map so that new buildings, sidewalks driveways, etc. can be drawn in to their newly designed shape.
Overall, it is not easy to keep up with everything that changes in the real world but having a good centralized repository such as a GIS and fairly decent resources can help from letting your maps become obsolete.
To provide a reference for village staff and contractors alike, the Riverside Geographic Information System (GIS) has provided maps of tree planting locations. By mapping this information staff can evaluate the work conducted by the contractor and inspect the condition of the trees going forward. Similarly tree removal products have been generated to identify where stump removal and restoration activities have taken place. This information can easily be integrated into the tree inventory that is also managed using the GIS to obtain accurate assessments of village owned and managed trees.
Glencoe hosted several summer events that attracted many out-of-town visitors to the Central Business District. From the regular Friday-night movies on Wyman Green to the Glencoe Grand Prix bike race, the Village offered something for everyone to enjoy. The increased foot traffic also meant more potential customers for local businesses. To help make these connections, the assistant manager had the GIS specialist create a business directory to post in the kiosks around town. This directory showcases Glencoe’s unique businesses, ranging from art galleries to restaurants to specialty gift stores.
GIS streamlined the process of creating this directory by quickly mapping locations using the business license database over existing maps of roads, buildings and parking lots. Without the in-house GIS program, the Village would have spend significantly more time and money to vet and hire an outside vendor for the task.
After the Village of Wheeling had its scheduled review for the CRS program (A review of the Village’s flood safety infrastructure), the independent reviewer left a list of items that needed to be completed in the next month to receive credit in specific categories. One of these items pertained to storm system drainage, specifically the locations of known problem areas in the storm drainage system and which features, such as ditches and streams that the village maintains. The engineering department asked the GIS department to put something together that would meet all the requirements and could be submitted to the reviewer.
For the submission, a map was created showing the water features that the village maintains, as well as locations of drainage trouble areas designated by the village. Without GIS, the village would have had to create the map in a different program, such as AutoCAD, due to new regulations specifying that all maps submitted to the CRS review have to be done in a computer program. By using GIS, the village was able to submit a required document in the short amount of time required.
The Village of Deerfield has plans to run fiber optic line to connect Village Hall and Public Works. This will improve the speed of moving data between the locations. GIS was used to create a series of maps that showed the location of the utilities and proposed fiber optic line with hand holes. After creating this preliminary map, Public Works went out into the field to markup any changes. The final map will be used by Public Works to install the fiber optic line while knowing where the utilities are located.
Monitoring contaminated soils in right-of-ways and a major concern of local governments. The cost of disposing of contaminated soil is significantly more than dealing with non-contaminated soil. Furthermore, if contaminated soil is accidently mixed with clean soil, the entire pile of soil is considered contaminated and thus the cost of disposing of that soil becomes more expensive.
In the State of Illinois, contaminated areas within right-of-ways are tracked through Highway Authority Agreements. (HAA) These agreements are site plans showing the business that caused the contamination and the location of the area included in the Highway Authority Agreement. The document provides a lot of information, but the document is not referenced with other spatial information. Thus there is no obvious association between the HAA areas and things such as city owned utilities. Therefore, it might be possible for the city to accidently dig up soil in an HAA area without realizing it until after the fact.
Public Works requested that the HAA be added to the existing GIS layers. This way if the City was planning to excavate an area, they could quickly determine if there was HAA area in the planned area of excavation. The GIS Office also added the layer to MapOffice Advanced to provide a quick reference layer. Now, when the City is planning to excavate an area, they no longer have to hunt for an HAA document. They can quickly reference MapOffice Advance or the GIS database to determine of if there is a risk of contaminated soil where they are planning to dig
The Village of Norridge has a reverse 911 system called Blackboard Connect, that’s purpose is to send out a mass phone call, text or email as long as the village resident is registered. The Village was noticing that not all residents were receiving notifications and wanted to make sure every resident knew about the program and its benefits. The Village determined it wanted to send out a mass letter to any resident not registered in the program and asked the GIS Department for help.
First, a list of all the village addresses currently in the Blackboard Connect system was gathered and then geocoded (a process in which addresses are mapped using an existing address database). This created a list of residents and businesses that had not subscribed to the service. This then allows the village to send letters to the unsubscribed detailing the program and why it is beneficial to be part of the program. The initial plan is to track the unsubscribed addresses whenever a small notification (e.g. water main break) is sent out and then send letters based on a smaller service area. By using GIS, the Village was able to start tracking residents and businesses not part of their Blackboard Connect system, which means that they would no longer be missing out on important village notifications if they elected to be part of the program.
To promote healthy living and the use of alternative travel, many local governments have started to design and implement projects related to cycling, such as bike route signage and dedicated bike lanes along local streets. To assist with promoting the projects they’ve worked on to the general public, the City of Des Plaines, IL asked the their Geographic Information Systems (GIS) department to create a series of mapping products that display a wide-range of features from the city’s bike network, including the existing route locations and planned improvements.
As the result of several years of planning and design, the city’s bike network is slowly beginning to take shape. Using maps to convey the work that’s already been done, along with future project locations, helps to promote these efforts to both city residents, and those interested in biking through the city, by providing a visual tool to see how each route connects to each other. By seeing the routes within the context of the city, riders can plan out their trips more effectively and decide the safest path to take. These map products make the bike project information more accessible and transparent, which helps to promote rider safety, and, overall, makes the city a more bike-friendly destination.
In 2009 Elk Grove Village Police Department began an evaluation of police beats and staffing by mapping and calculating statistics of calls for service using it’s Geographic Information System (GIS). To continue the assessment in 2010 the GIS was used to map all roadways in town and produce an estimated time for a unit to patrol each police beat. The single lane mileage together with speed limit along each roadway was enough information to calculate the patrol times. Combining the 2009 and 2010 evaluations the Police Department has a much clearer picture of the demands for each beat and the amount of staffing that is needed to meet various levels of service for the residents.
OakBrook Center is a large outdoor mall located in the northern part of Oak Brook. It is a very popular shopping destination throughout the greater Chicago land area and contains almost 150 unique addresses. Because of the high amount of activity and visitors to this particular area, it more susceptible to emergencies such as; crime, traffic accidents and medical related issues. The high density of addresses in such a small area makes it even more important for emergency responders know exactly which address to go to and which entrance provides the quickest route. It is also important to be able to communicate which general parking area and building they may be responding to. All of this information is provided in the fire pre-plans, but the pre plan does not contain a single map displaying every address in the area. Rather they must locate the address from an address list and refer to a separate individual building site map. This process takes time, which often times means the difference between seconds or minutes to respond to an emergency.
In a constant effort to improve emergency response, the fire department requested that an address map be created for OakBrook Center’s pre-plan. By using existing address data and updating it to the specifics of the fire department, we were able to create a clear address map for the fire pre-plan. Included with the addresses is parking lot names, buildings ID’s, major stores and entrance locations. By using GIS to create this map, not only were we able to make the map very quickly and accurately, but it is now permanently stored in a database that can be quickly updated as addresses and stores change.