The Lake Forest Parks and Forestry Departments are in negotiations to outsource their cul-de-sac and right-of-way landscaping maintenance. Previously, city staff maintained these areas but a cost-benefit analysis determined that the budget would be more efficiently spent by contracting out the maintenance responsibilities. The city was looking to develop an effective method to display maintenance areas while also providing contractors a way to confidently and accurately bid on the project.
Using GIS, all of the proposed maintenance areas were mapped. While creating the maintenance area boundaries, square footage was automatically being generated. The Parks and Forestry Department now has the ability to visually represent landscaping maintenance areas while also being able to determine the amount of total square feet of an area. This information can then be shared with contractors and in turn be used to budget time and personnel commitments.
Rather than distributing printed maps to contractors, the Parks and Forestry Department is also considering integrating the landscaping maintenance area information onto MapOffice Public.
Contractors will be directed to MapOffice Public where they would have the ability to visualize the maintenance areas as a custom overlay. By selecting a specific area, square footage information would appear in a dialog box. The bidding process for contractors can now be expedited because they no longer have to acquire any materials from city staff. The bidding reference material can now be available online.
The Village of Mundelein received a grant that provided the money for 132 trees this Spring. The new plantings will replace Ash trees and other trees that were removed last summer. The Superintendent of Streets wanted an easier to provide planting location information to a contractor. He also wanted to track the progress of plantings to ensure no locations were missed.
In previous years the planting were tracked using an Excel worksheet. This method was inefficient because even though planting locations could be sorted by address. It was difficult to review streets that were in close proximity to each other. The Superintendent of Streets enquired if the GIS Office could make a map showing the location of each tree planting. He also requested that a table of planting information for each for each tree be added to the map. The most important part of the map would be adding consecutive numbers for each tree planting location that correlated to a numbered recorded in the table. The GIS Office quickly created this map by locating all the trees using addresses. The numbers were assigned starting with the lowest numbers in the northeast and snaking back and forth so that the highest numbers ended up in the southeast corner of the Village. The table was then exported back to a table so that each tree record had a number that matched a location on the map.
By using the power of GIS the Superintendent of Streets received a project that he could send to contractor who is planting the trees. The Superintendent also has map and table to track the new planting locations.
Lincolnshire is a picturesque village in Lake County, well known for its mature trees, numerous parks, and attractively landscaped open spaces. One of the best ways to enjoy the scenery is to walk or bike around town using the wide local streets and recreational paths that connect them. To encourage non-motorized traffic in the Village, GIS was asked to update the hiking and biking trail map to highlight existing routes as well as key points of interest. In addition to showcasing area parks and retail shopping, visitors to Lincolnshire can also quickly identify free parking and public drinking fountain locations. Local schools are also marked so that parents can identify safe routes for their children to use.
The end product is provided to the public in two formats, print and interactive. The printable version is an 11-by-17 inch map that visitors and residents can print out and keep as a general reference. Anyone looking for greater detail can access the interactive version online to determine precise locations of particular attractions or the proximity of their homes to existing facilities. Both products can be viewed on the Village’s website at http://www.village.lincolnshire.il.us/village-maps.
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.
Riverside, IL has earned the moniker “Village in the Forest” thanks to its planned design along the Des Plaines River with curvilinear streets, expansive parkways, and forested areas. The beautiful landscape that is Riverside does require maintenance, specifically tree trimming, in order to maintain tree integrity, appearance, and maximize safety. The Village’s Forestry personnel are using their Geographic Information System (GIS) to manage their tree inventory and plan trimming efforts. Tracking annual maintenance and their corresponding priority areas gives staff precise records of past activities. Mapping future efforts in the GIS allows staff to modify their plans if funding varies and continue to manage the areas in most need. Maps are generated and distributed when the time comes for the maintenance service company to do the work as well. This gives Village staff confidence there will be no misunderstandings of what trimming is expected and where.
Pedal the Parks is a special event put on by the Village of Lincolnwood with the assistance of corporate sponsors from around the area. This event aims at highlighting the importance of physical activity while show casing the Village’s park system. The Village’s Geographic Information System (GIS) played an important role in planning this event which includes both a short and long route making this a family friendly event. Multiple departments coordinated and planned the routes for the enjoyment and safety of the participants. The short route contains about 2.5 miles while the long route will take you 6.3 miles while visiting 10 different parks. The event is set for May 19, 2012 from 10am to 3pm.
Spring is in the air and that means it’s once again time to dust off the ole mower. Although, like many larger municipalities, Tinley Park has decided to ditch the mower, and the yearly maintenance and higher labor costs that come along with the mower. The Village will contract out mowing responsibilities to a private landscaping company. This allows the Village to save on equipment maintenance costs, fuel and labor by paying a company who specializes in landscaping, providing a cheaper overall cost to the Village.
Previously the contractor was given an Excel table with the locations, and tractor types for each mowing area. The contractor would then estimate total mowing costs by visiting the 100+ sights. This was neither accurate nor efficient. When input into the GIS system that same table can be stored, tracked and most important displayed in a way that is more intuitive. Another very important advantage to managing the data in GIS is it can also provide an accurate estimate of the square footage, acreage or any other standard metric the contractor requires for measuring the mowing area. This allows the Village to receive a fair bid and not be over charged and ensures that the contractor has a better understanding of what exactly needs to be and does not need to be mowed.
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.
There are many different ways that a local municipality can engage their residents to take part in the community and contribute to the daily operations and occurrences. For example, there are citizen emergency response teams, volunteer crossing guards, volunteers for special events and many more.
One similar program that the Village of Morton Grove, IL is looking to institute is an Honorary Tree Planting Program. This program would allow a Village resident to purchase a tree, with supervision from the Village arborist, and have it planted in honor of someone specific. The idea of this program is to give Village residents the opportunity to honor someone special at the same time they can help out the community financially. In planning for this program, Village employees have been looking for a way to promote it as well as make it accessible to the public in an easy manner. Accessibility would mean that the end product would have to be visible on the internet so that family and friends who do not live in the Village could still see the honorary tree that was planted as well as where it is located within the Village.
For this portion of the program the Village decided to enlist the services of the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Department in order to publish these honorary trees out on the internet. This process would be handled by a Keyhole Markup Language (KML) file and would sit atop the Google maps framework. Once completed, an internet address will be placed on the Village’s website that will redirect the users to a Google map of all of the trees that have been planted in honor of others.
At this moment the mapping portion of this project is only in its beta stages but if carried out properly it could easily help the program grow as well as demonstrate a way that Village residents can help their community, family and friends.
A developing problem spread among many communities in the greater Chicago area is the rapid growth of the Emerald Ash Borer, which is an insect that adversely affects the health of ash trees. Oak Brook has recently began locating and tracking all ash trees in the village owned public parkways, and noting any trees that are currently affected by the outbreak. It is important to not only know which trees are infected, but also to know where all non-infected trees are located so that mitigation can begin immediately. The village has a plan to completely replace all ash trees within the next 10 years, beginning with the trees that are currently in the worse condition. It is important to track and maintain the ash trees because subdivisions with a high density of ash trees could face mass amounts of landscape change in a very short period of time, which could leave the esthetics of the subdivision less than pleasing.
The image shown is of the ash tree locations within the Saddle Brook neighborhood, which has a very high density of ash trees in the public parkway. An inventory of trees was done by public works employees and the results were returned in order to track and analyze the data using GIS. Currently we are tracking ash trees, infected ash trees, and ash trees that have been replaced in the past few years. By using GIS we will be able to track high priority areas, plan for future mitigation and keep track of the areas and work that has already been implemented.
In partnership with the Glenview Park District, the Village of Glenview is hosting two public events on the impact of the Emerald Ash Borer beetle. By offering these workshops, the Village hopes to help its residents learn more about how their local government is responding to this pest and what residents can do to help. These types of meetings encourage transparency in government operations and also foster a team-based approach to a problem that affects everyone.
GIS was able to assist in this project by mapping out the locations of trees infested with Emerald Ash Borer within the Village limits. Workshop attendees will see how the problem has progressed in Glenview over a short period of time. The maps provide a striking illustration of the statistics, which increased from 22 cases in 2009 to the 120 already documented in 2011. By using GIS, these educational aids were created in very quickly and at little cost to the Village. Public Works staff hopes to make further use of these maps to spatially analyze where the beetle is and how quickly it is spreading.
Lake Forest will have access to the web version of MapOffice™ beginning June 1st. The month of May was spent preparing the base data needed to get MapOffice™ up and running, which involved loading previous GIS data into the GIS Consortium standardized database.
MapOffice™ will provide staff and residents with information for each parcel and address in the city, which ranges from school districts and voting information to garbage pick up days. A link to the Lake County Assessor’s website for each individual address is also provided to gain further information regarding building and property dimensions, assessed value, and sales history. Tools will be available to the user to provide further analysis if needed, such as measuring and links to both Google Street View and Bing Maps Bird’s Eye View.
Information commonly used by staff to assist residents will now all be available in one place, increasing efficiency, as well as providing basic information to residents who may have otherwise had to call in to ask about in the past. Work continues on data creation for MapOffice™ Advanced, which is scheduled to be available on the City intranet by mid-June.
For a 7.5 mile stretch of Dundee Rd., from Milwaukee Ave. to Green Bay Rd., the only section without a bikeable sidewalk or path is a small section within Wheeling village limits from the Des Plaines River to the Interstate 294 overpass. Without a path or sidewalk, this section of Dundee Rd. can be dangerous for any biker who attempts to ride in the grass or on the street itself. The Village of Wheeling is looking to build a bike path to connect the two sections to help provide a safe passage for bicyclists.
Using GIS, the village planner was able to put together multiple maps to use in proposals to outside agencies for additional funding for the project. The maps show the location of the proposed extension in relation to other bike paths in the area, while also showing how the extension will help connect the existing bike path network. By using GIS, the maps were created quickly and used information from neighboring communities that might not have been available and the map had to be created by hand. No matter what the decision is on additional funding, GIS helped play a role in getting the proposal to the table.
The Village of Lincolnwood has been hard at work trying to secure grants that will help produce bicycle routes and paths throughout the Village. The grant, Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC), is administered through the Regional Transportation Authority. It is federally funded to help people of lower income travel to their places of employment. Providing assistance for this grant application has been the Village’s Geographic Information System (GIS). Throughout the process GIS has played an important part by providing maps and analysis. The Village is a member of the GIS Consortium (GISC) which is a Using the GIS Consortiums subscription to Business Analyst Online, the Village compiled necessary statistics for use in the grant. In addition to the statistics, locations of stoplights were mapped out to provide a list for use in field checks. Also, using GIS, the Village was able to verify that manhole covers and inlets along the proposed bike route corridors were of a certain type; openings were not large enough for a bicycle tire to become stuck.
The grant application process can be demanding and very competitive. With so many communities looking for free money, the more information the Village can provide, the better their chances at securing the grant. GIS has the ability to help during these processes. Map creation and analysis provided by the GIS staff have supplied necessary components of this grant.
Garbage collection is an essential service provided by municipal government that, in many communities, has become ingrained in the weekly routine of community residents. While collecting garbage seems like a straight forward process, often there are weeks or months of planning that are necessary to determine pickup locations for a given route that are efficient in both time and resources. Recently, the Village of Winnetka Public Works department decided to reallocate their garbage collection pickup locations to help maximize the efficiency of each truck driver’s route. To assist with this, the Village GIS department provided support during both the planning and implementation stages of the project.
The first step in developing new garbage collection zones was to determine how the current pickup locations related to each other spatially within the Village. Prior to integrating GIS into this project, the Village used a series of address lists to determine the truck driver’s routes. These lists often had overlapping address ranges, which could lead to confusion for new or replacement drivers. This also did not provide an option for the drivers to see how the addresses were distributed in relation to each other, which could often lead to them taking an inefficient route to pickup each address. Using these address lists, the GIS department mapped out each collection area and provided a map to the Public Works department for review. The map showed the department how the driver’s routes were distributed across the Village, which allowed them to notice several inefficiencies that were not obvious using the address lists alone. Utilizing the maps, the department was able to successfully reallocate the pickup locations within the collection areas to improve both driver time and resource efficiency.
To help implement the new routes, the GIS department developed a series of smaller maps that are used in the garbage trucks to assist the driver’s in learning the new pickup locations. The maps not only help the drivers to see where new pickup locations are in each collection area, but they also allow for the drivers to see the street layout within the collection area to help determine the best possible pickup route. By combining the reallocated collection locations determined by the department office staff with the ability to see the Village streets in the surrounding area, the maps provide a powerful tool for drivers to use in determining the best collection route.
By using GIS as a tool for visualizing its garbage pickup locations, the Village has been able to improve the efficiency of the driver’s routes while not reducing the level of service provided to its residents. While the address lists used previously can still be referenced for individual pickup locations, the maps act as a supplemental, quick reference tool to see how these locations are distributed spatially across the Village.
The Village of Lincolnwood is not within a park district, but provides its residents with an in-house parks and recreation department. Over the years, Lincolnwood has refined and added services to offer residents with a wide array of programs. Programs include summer camps, adult softball leagues, a farmers market and much more. In order to provide service in the best possible way, Lincolnwood has applied for accreditation through the Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD). This is a voluntary evaluation which provides feedback to improve the delivery of services and programs. If, at the end of the audit, the Village proves it has met specific guidelines set by the IAPD, it will have earned the Distinguished Accreditation.
Geographic Information System (GIS) played a large role in the application process. Part of the accreditation application process involved highlighting the parks in maps specific to their location in the Village. Showing the parks with a buffer around it, the Village, using GIS, was able to depict service areas for each park. Parks are put into three categories depending on size: mini, neighborhood, and community. Mini Parks are one acre or less and service an area of ¼ mile while neighborhood parks are between one and twenty-five acres and service ½ mile in all directions. The Village of Lincolnwood currently does not have a park in the Community Park category.
In the end, GIS has provided a visual reference to areas where residents have access to parks. Showing all the parks and their overlapping service areas has been a great resource in the application process. Supplying quality maps and having the ability to analyze the locations in a geographical way has proved how important GIS was in this process.
Over the past decade, communities throughout the mid-west have battled with invasive species. These Invasive species in our rivers and lakes have affected the way we use these natural resources. Likewise, our trees have become a focal point of disease and invasive species including the Emerald Ash Borer and Dutch Elm Disease. Because of this, it has become necessary to manage trees.
Urban forestry has evolved with the use of technology. Nature’s Path, a forestry consulting firm servicing the Village of Lincolnwood, was brought in to create a tree inventory which would be used to manage the Village’s trees. Using Geographic Information System (GIS), Nature’s Path created an inventory encompassing the entire village. All trees were logged on village right –of –ways, medians, and other village owned property while given attributes pertaining to the health, size, and age.
Using the tree inventory in GIS has helped Public Works service the village in a more timely fashion. We can now visually see the locations of certain classifications of trees on maps and provide geographic analysis. But this is not all. GIS creates ways to perform advanced queries and provides results in multiple formats – tabular and graphical. For example, if all the ash trees need to be located as a precaution to the Emerald Ash Borer, the locations can be provided within minutes in map or table form.
Knowing the quantity of trees that require servicing as well as the health and size assist in project planning. Since the ash borer and elm disease are regional issues, it is imperative that communities have easy access to tree data in order to better plan, manage, and share information on a larger scale.
Information captured in a Geographic Information System (GIS) can be distributed in many different ways including, but not limited to, hard copy map prints, electronic image files, Google EarthTM and as an ArcReaderTM (PMF) project. Of these methods of distribution, ArcReaderTM has been found to work quite well in Elk Grove Village.
ArcReader is a free data viewing application provided by ESRI, the leading GIS software development and services provider. This software allows for the development of customized interactive maps by the community’s GIS Department that provide for map viewing, printing and querying of GIS data. ArcReaderTM can be downloaded from the ESRI website at http://www.esri.com/software/arcgis/arcreader/download.html.
So far, ArcReader Projects have been created for the 2009 Alexian Brothers Bike Race, the Public Works Department, the Clerks Office and most recently the Fire Department. Each ArcReader project contains basic community information like addresses, street names, parcels, water features and roadways as well as more specific information pertaining to the specific event or department. Some examples of how ArcReader projects have been used within Elk Grove Village are as follows:
- The Bike Race ArcReader project provides a shared resource of information for all geographical locations pertaining to the race event and will continue to evolve as more information is mapped.
- The Public Works ArcReaderTM project provides information for utilities throughout the village as well as department specific information that has been mapped such as snow plow routes and tree trimming areas.
- The Clerks ArcReaderTM project includes the zoning, subdivision and annexation layers.
- The Fire Department ArcReader project incorporates fire districts, automatic aide areas, response analysis layers, geographical information for the trails, groves, and water depths and hydrant flow information.
Deploying geographic information in this way has provided for a common location for related information and the ability to view where these events, infrastructure, services and regulations exist throughout the community. Once the data is mapped in the GIS it can continue to expand in accuracy of geographic representation and by capturing additional attribute information. Often, analysis is requested after realizing the relationships that exists between all of this information and the results can bring a significant benefit to a staff, department or the entire community.
Using the village’s Geographic Information System (GIS), tabular data can be visualized and placed into geographically correct places. The Recreation Department, in conjunction with school districts 74 and 219, has created a free service for new residents who do not use English as their primary language to familiarize themselves with the community and its resources. This service includes a bus tour of important places in and around Lincolnwood.
The GIS department was asked to assist the Recreation Department by creating a map. Using GIS, the village was able to create a map for this event depicting useful resource centers as well as other important places such as the Post Office and grocery stores throughout the village. While GIS can be used for detailed geographic analysis, its roots as a mapping application can also be very beneficial. By placing and labeling points on a street map of Lincolnwood, residents can easily navigate and return to places of interest located on the map. Also, using this map can give the residents and village staff an overview of the sites not included on the bus tour just as much as the ones the ones that are. Included in the margin of this map was a list of sites outside of Lincolnwood’s boundary that are beneficial to new residents, thus providing one more additional and valuable resource.
By working together it is easy to note that GIS Department in conjunction with the Recreation Department have come together to help the residents of Lincolnwood find their way to resource centers located both inside and outside of the village.
The recent collection of planimetric data or improved features such as buildings, roadways, parking lots, driveways, etc. in Elk Grove Village has provided for some new analysis possibilities through its GIS (Geographic Information System). One of the evaluations conducted was the distance between primary building structures and also a count of the number of addresses that exist within each building structure.
The results of this assessment will be shared with the village’s Fire Department and used to update such information in their database that inventories the businesses throughout the community. There is additional potential for use in dispatch to residential buildings for example that are not currently tracked to understand the number of families affected in a multiunit event or to realize the close proximity of adjacent homes on all sides of a building in the event of a house fire.