The Village of Tinley Park took part in the first village wide, Map Office Advanced web map training, in June. The purpose of this training was to introduce the Map Office Advanced web mapping platform to those in the Village that had not yet seen or were not yet very familiar with the interface and tool uses. Employees from all departments took part in one hour training sessions where the GIS specialist walked the class through the interface, the tools and tasks and best practices for using the web mapping. Many members of the Village also offered up real life business processes which the specialist was then able to work through with the class, using the Map Office Advanced web mapping platform. This training will help to enable the members of the Village to have access to important information that was otherwise unavailable.
In 2011, The Village of Wheeling hired MDS Technologies to drive around the village and collect data related to the village streets and sidewalks. A few months back, the Village used Pavement Condition Index (PCI) numbers that were part of the data delivery, to determine what street sections in the village were in the most need of repair. Another part of this data delivery, which was received at a later date, was as series of images taken for each section of the Village owned road. The Capital Projects department was interested if there was a way to associate the images to their exact location and for them to be able to select each location and see the corresponding images.
MDS Technologies provided the Village of Wheeling with over 100,000 GPS points, each with a link to an image using a unique ID number. All of the points were mapped in MapOffice™ Advanced; the village’s in-house mapping software. Each of these points then had a hyperlink, that when clicked, opened up the corresponding image from the village servers. This allows the Village’s Capital Projects department, as well as others, to click on a section of Village owned road and then view the associated pavement image. Without an interactive map and GIS, the village would not be able to view the images without having to search through the system folders to find each image based off an ID system.
The Village of Oak Brook has ordinances in place that require a certain amount of area on each property designated for storm water drainage. Typically the Village requires a certain percentage of a given property to be a pervious surface in an effort to reduce overland flow of storm water. If the property is not able to meet this level of pervious surface, then they are often instructed to create detention on the property to hold excess water in the event of heavy rain. When existing or new developments want to create or expand their impervious surfaces, the Village must verify that they are doing so within the set regulations. Typically these approvals are done by reviewing the proposed building plans, or as-built. But recently there was a discrepancy brought up by a property owner over the proposed addition of new parking on his neighboring property. In order to give the complainant proof of his neighbor meeting the impervious surface regulations, GIS was brought in to analyze the total area and provide a map and statistics displaying the results of the analysis.
By using the planimetric data that the Village acquired in 2009, the GIS specialist was able to get measurements of all pervious and impervious surfaces that fall within the property. These surfaces included: parking, sidewalks, green areas, and the building itself. Once these statistics were gathered, the planned parking improvements were added to the current statistics, resulting in the total proposed impervious surface for the given property. Once these numbers were reviewed by Village engineers, it was confirmed that the property met the regulations set by the Village and construction could move forward. Without the use of GIS, valuable time would have been spent in the field gathering these measurements and analyzing them in a non-spatial format. GIS allowed for the quick and accurate gathering of all information, with the added benefit of graphic representations to support the findings.
In the wake of last year’s power outages, the Village of Skokie has been working with ComEd to solidify the communication during outage events. On June 21, 2012 the Village, ComEd and other surrounding communities participated in disaster exercise aimed at testing the communication and response in the Village and with ComEd. The exercise, a simulated tornado, called for events ranging from gas leaks and fires to overturned tankers spilling fuel into the sewer system to looters. The Village’s Geographic Information System (GIS) played a supporting role in the dissemination of information once events began to occur. Using a database to input the calls for service and MapOffice™ Advanced to display the information through Business Intelligence, the GIS Specialist was able to track events and gives decision makers more information to make better informed decisions.
We contributed an article on page five of the Illinois City/County Managers Association (ILCMA) June 2012 newsletter. The article discusses innovations in GIS systems. It also discusseses how economic challenges are changing the way GIS is being implmented. While not specifically about the GIS Consortium the article does rely heavily on trends in GIS and technology we have been working on over the past several years. The full article is available on the ILCMA website.
Managing vehicle response times is a critical component of any local or regional public safety agency. Having the drivers of each vehicle trained with an in-depth knowledge of the community’s road network and address layout is vital, as knowing the shortest or best route to a location could make the difference between a successful and a failed emergency response. To assist with helping the department’s engine and ambulance drivers to learn the city street network, the City of Des Plaines, IL Fire Department asked the city’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) department to create a series of grid maps covering the entire community, which could be used as a guide to locate a specific street or address when en route to an emergency response call.
To start the grid development process, the GIS staff provided the Fire Department with a basic street map of the city, which could be used as a template to divide the community into grids based on the department’s different response criteria (i.e. engine response area, automatic aid, etc). Once the city was divided, the map was returned to the GIS department and a series of preliminary maps of each grid were developed for the department to review, with each map containing the street names and addresses present in each grid. Through a series of reviews, the maps were steadily built into the final product, with hydrants, park names, and high risk building locations being added as supplemental features to the street names and addresses already present on the maps. Once the final gird maps were developed and approved, they were provided to the Fire Department and combined into map books that are currently available in each vehicle for reference.
By developing the grid maps, the Fire Department was able to leverage the street network and address information, along with other critical fire response features, that are available in the city’s GIS system and use that information to enhance the department’s day-to-day operations. By making this information readily available to the department’s vehicle operators, the department has improved the ability of each driver to navigate the most efficient path to an emergency location, thereby increasing the chances that they will respond to each call successfully.
The Village of Tinley Park is responsible for the maintenance of approximately 167 miles of roadways within its municipal limits. This includes anything from plowing and pot hole filling to street sweeping and crack sealing. This makes the Village the go to source when a resident asks, “Why isn’t my street plowed” or “Who is responsible for filling a pothole?” More often than not the calls that are received by the village pertaining to road complaints are residents calling for one of the approximately 60 miles of roads that are in the village but, are owned and maintained by a different entity, such as the county or a homeowners association.
There are at least five different classifications of road ownership in the Village of Tinley Park; State, Will County, Cook County, Private and Village Owned. At some points along a road ownership may change 3 times. Having this many classification makes it impossible for anyone to know intuitively who owns and is responsible for maintaining a certain stretch of road. Many times when a resident calls into comment on a road, a clerk takes down the address and number of the citizen so they can research the road and call them back. The turnaround time for this process can be one or two days. This time lag can also make for a grumpy resident when they are told two days later the village is not responsible for fixing a problem. With the implementation of GIS and Map Office Advance in Tinley Park, the question of ownership can be determined with the resident on the phone. Using a custom overlay the clerk can find the address using the Find and Go tool and by simply checking a box display the ownership of a road. Thanks to GIS the process is reduced from a couple of days to a couple of minutes thus allowing village employees to better serve the residents.
In today’s world, every person, business, or organization wants to justify its worth and promote its favorable relationships with other people, places, or things. The public library is no exception to this idea. It recently conducted an in-house and online user survey regarding a resident’s reason for visiting the uptown business district. The majority of the responses named the library as the main reason they visited the area. The respondents were also asked to list any other Uptown businesses they visited on the same trip to the library. Once all this information was tabulated, a geographic representation was needed and GIS was the most efficient way to accomplish this.
A map of the Uptown business district was created that showed the locations of all the businesses that were mentioned in the resident’s survey. This also included a list of the businesses and their addresses. This map was then presented at a city council meeting to illustrate the economic benefit that the library has on the nearby business community. This shows that the library acts as an ‘anchor store’ for the other businesses, being that more than 1,500 people visit the library daily.
The Village of Oak Brook is currently reviewing the proposed flood insurance rate map (FIRM) for the new 100 year flood plain. The last time the FIRM was updated was in 2004 and it is necessary to review and prepare for any changes that may occur within the boundaries provided by the County. In order to get an idea of what properties and homes will be added or removed from the floodplain, it is important to do in depth analysis and comparisons of the 2004 FIRM to the proposed 2012 FIRM. It was determined by Village engineers that the best method to do so would be to use GIS to perform spatial analysis on both boundaries and their intersecting buildings and properties.
The first step to analyzing the change was to obtain both the 2004 boundary and the proposed 2012 boundary in GIS format and figure out which buildings and properties each boundary intersected. By using the County provided property identification number (PIN), we were able to compare what has changed from 2004 to 2012. We were then able to join this information to the zoning layer in order to determine the type of buildings and properties that are within each floodplain. This information has proved quite valuable to the Village when determining which areas of the proposed floodplain need to be objected to before being made official. Without GIS this type of spatial analysis would be virtually impossible, and certainly couldn’t be performed in the time frame and with the limited personnel the Village was able to commit to.
In April 2012, the Village of Norridge decided, in honor of Earth Day, to hold a village wide clean up of all village parkways. The idea was for residents to volunteer their time and pick up trash and garbage along roads in the village and then drop it off at designated locations. The Public Works department would then pick up all the trash left at each drop off. The Village asked the GIS department to put together a series of maps to inform the residents where they could drop off any trash they collected.
All of the volunteers were given a map book to be referenced in the clean up process. The map book consisted of the village streets broken down into specific zones, allowing the volunteers to work in sections rather than just wandering each street at their leisure. This would ensure that all sections of the village were cleaned. Then each previously designated drop off point was added to the maps so that the volunteers could see where they had to drop off the trash collected in their specific zone. By using GIS, the Village was able to provide better information for their volunteers.
On August 10, 2009, Governor Quinn signed into law Public Act 096-0176, which allows municipalities to arrange for the provision of electricity to residential and small commercial retail customers by alternative electric suppliers. As a result of this law ComEd is required to provide a list of service addresses to alternate electric suppliers. ComEd requested that the Village review the ComEd list of service addresses and return any updates.
The village Managers Office requested the GIS Office to compare the ComEd Service Address List against address list in the GIS database. The GIS office reviewed the ComEd Service Address List using GIS tools. Because the GIS address list is considered the master address list the review could be done against one address table.
The review uncovered issues with street names, address numbers, and units. It was also discovered the ComEd Service address list was missing some addresses that were recorded by the Village. All issues and updates were returned to ComEd so their service records could be updated. Without a master address list in the GIS database the review would have required a manual review against several address lists. By using GIS tools to review the ComEd Service Address List, the Village efficiently completed the request for ComEd. The Village is now confident that all residents of the Village will be notified of their options to switch electricity providers.
The Public Works Division is undergoing accreditation over the summer and felt that a tour of the City would be beneficial to the group of people reviewing the Department. The City covers 12 square miles and it would be difficult to people unfamiliar with the community to relate locations to the appropriate part of the City. The tour would include proposed projects and well known locations throughout Highland Park. The tour would start at Public Works, loop around the City and end at Public Works.
The Public Works Department asked the GIS create a map of the stops on the tour as well as the planned route of the tour. GIS quickly created a map showing all 14 stops as well as the proposed route between stops. This map was reviewed several times and the order of the stops were revised to make the stops more efficient.
By using GIS the Public Works Division could quickly create a map that could be easily revised to make the tour more efficient. They also had a nice graphic to assist the review team with understanding where the stops were located throughout the community. Without GIS the City would have created hand drawn maps that would have been difficult to read.
The City of Lake Forest Park Recreation Department is considering installing a new football field and or new soccer fields at Deerpath Park. The flood way and flood plain for the Skokie River run through Deerpath Park. It was important that any new facilities were not placed in the flood plain. Another concern was how the new facilities would fit into the existing park.
The City asked the GIS Office to assist with the analysis of the best location to place new facilities. The City provided the GIS with a PDF of a plan for an As Built for an existing football field and soccer field. This image was scaled and overlaid on a base map and imagery. Several maps showing the proposed football placed in different locations were also produced.
It was finally decided that running the software live would allow the images to be dragged and rotated to different locations. This allowed the participants to visualize how different configurations would look in the existing park and how close the new facilities would be to the existing flood plain and flood way.
By using GIS software the City has a powerful visual tool for finding the best location for a new football field and soccer field. They could instantly see how the new facilities would look in the existing park. Without GIS the city would have spent a tremendous amount of time doing field surveys and measurements of the existing Park.
All eyes were focused on the city of Chicago in mid-May when world leaders converged for the 2012 NATO Summit. Because of the importance of this organization on the world stage, many people plan demonstrations to call attention to their causes and concerns. Unfortunately, past demonstrations at NATO meetings have turned violent, putting lives and property at risk. While the heart of security concerns rested on McCormick Place in Chicago, many of the nearby suburbs made preparations in case the activity spilled over the city’s boundaries, as has happened in previous years at other world locations.
Recognizing the value in collaboration and mutual support, the Village of Glencoe’s Public Safety department joined with a group of north shore communities to create a regional incident command center. While most of the advanced preparations and planning was kept confidential for security reasons, GIS was able to support the cause by providing the command center with a map of the Glencoe area. Recent aerial photography provided the base map, and GIS added in labels for every street, major thoroughfares, and significant locations within the Village. Copies of this map were also distributed to key personnel in the Village, and will be used for reference in future disaster management planning as well as emergency response. GIS provided Glencoe an efficient and cost effective way to share information with its neighbors, as well as create an end product for long-term use.
For years Elk Grove Village has been maintaining a database to track roadway pavement history and ratings. With their Geographic Information System (GIS) they have been able to integrate the database information into a geographic representation on their roadways which allows for maps to be generated showing the results of a query for specific surface material, base material, maintenance frequency, etc. Using the flexibility of their interactive mapping program the GIS staff has made the pavement history available to all staff. Simply clicking on any road segment will list the years in which maintenance was performed and specifics about each maintenance activity saving staff time to gather the desired information.
In 1858 the Deerfield Cemetery was opened on the northwest corner of Waukegan Road and Central Avenue. The Cemetery has a lot of history, with at least 15 Civil War soldiers buried there. The Village of Deerfield has recently acquired this property and they have started to look for ways to track burials.
The Village asked GIS to find a way that they could track the plots, graves, and burials. Using MapOffice™ Advanced, GIS set up each grave with a unique id so that it would be easy to link persons buried there to each one. This grave also included birth and death dates, important information about the person, and a link to a picture of the gravestone on FindAGrave.com. By adding this information on MapOffice™ Advanced, the Village of Deerfield can interactively find the layout of each grave, who is buried there, and if there are any vacant spaces.