The Village of Oak Brook has ordinances in place to ensure that no significant change in land use or elevation is done without having to go through an approval and permit process. Recently there has been a discrepancy between a resident and their neighbor because of alleged land change. A resident believes that water accumulation in their backyard is the result of a neighbor increasing the slope of land where the two yards meet. As a result of the discrepancy, Village engineers had to come up with a way to determine whether or not there was a change in land by reviewing elevation data spanning from 2002 to 2011.
The Village only has 1 foot elevation data that was captured in 2011 and needed a source of similar quality dating back at least 8 years. By searching through various plat books the engineer was able to locate a survey that included 1 foot contours, dating back to 2002. In order to compare the two sets of elevation data, the GIS specialist was able to scan and trace the elevation data from the plat dating back to 2002. Once the data was converted into a GIS format, the specialist created a map displaying both the 2011 and the 2002 elevation data layered over each other. The engineer was then able to review any significant changes in elevation that would cause a drainage problem in the neighboring yard. By using GIS, the Village was able to determine and display the fact that the elevation between the two yards has not significantly changed over the past 9 year, and any further discrepancies would have to be held privately between the two neighbors.
Residential and commercial development in flood-prone areas can be a challenge to manage for many local governments. In addition to dealing with residents or businesses for permitting, inspections, etc, the federal government is also involved to ensure all construction and documentation is compliment with regulations that limit what can and cannot be built. As part of the Community Rating System (CRS), a program that allows local municipalities to show that they’ve taken efforts to mitigate potential flood damage to properties build in a floodplain in order to help reduce residents’ flood insurance rates, the Village of Winnetka Public Works department decided to map out the locations of all permits issued in areas that are susceptible to flooding to help get a better idea of the amount of construction being conducted in these areas.
To accomplish this, the Public Works department asked the Village’s Geographic Information System (GIS) department to map addresses for permit applications issued in the floodplain from 2000-2010 to determine the level of development within these areas. The permit information was provided by the Community Development department and was restricted new construction or properties where significant renovations were done. Once these addresses are mapped, the data was loaded into an internet-based mapping application available to all village employees so it could be shared and reviewed by all departments involved in the CRS program. In addition to the spatial location of each permit, information on the type of permits, and if multiple permits were issued, is also provided.
Often times a municipality may be confronted with a tough decision regarding the ownership and maintenance of their physical assets. For the City of Park Ridge these tough decisions seem to come on a weekly basis in the form of trees. A scenario might play out in the form of a resident coming in and complaining that a tree is dying in front of their house and that the city must replace it. Although the fact might certainly be that the tree is dying, speculation may still remain on whom actually owns that tree.
A lot of the times the City Forester will be able to go out to the site of the tree in question and decipher who has proper ownership either visually or with the help of a plat of survey. Other times providing an answer is not so easy; this is where the Geographic Information System (GIS) can be a valuable tool in its ability to supply the City Forester with accurate measurements right inside the office. GIS has the capability to easily measure the distance between a property’s parcel line and the edge of road to determine whether that tree is in the parkway or not. If the tree falls within the parkway then it is the responsibility of the city to take care of, whereas if the tree is located outside of the parkway, then the responsibility will lie in the hands of the property owner.
The most important part for the City Forester to understand from this point is the accuracy of the GIS data. When the parcel data comes from the county and the roads data comes from an engineering consultant, there can be a plus or minus factor on the measurements between these two datasets within the GIS. None the less, GIS supplies easy access to valuable information that can help when other means may require extra time and money for similar results.
The Village of Glenview has currently been tasked to come up with ways to more effectively and efficiently answer and fix drainage issues, and has requested assistance from the GIS department. One solution would be to set up a storm water fund, supplying that fund by applying a utility tax, and using it to perform maintenance on drainage ditches (which is currently not maintained by the Village.) GIS created data and maps that display major and minor public ditches and major and minor private ditches, and these maps will potentially be used to present to the Board of Trustees to assist with the approval of setting this storm water fund up.
Another solution is using GIS to assist with centralizing all complaint data (permits, subdivision plats, and etc.) for the inspectors to use in the field. The historical and current data is stored in Laserfiche (document management system) and MUNIS (records and work order system.) By using GIS to combine these two applications and viewing it through Map Office Advanced it will save the inspectors a lot of research time beforehand (before the inspectors go out on a complaint they have research and determine solutions and\or who is at fault.)
By using GIS it provides the Inspectors and the Village with a faster and a more cost effectively way for dealing with drainage complaints.
The Village of Norridge has begun putting together a village parking inventory for all public and private parking lots. The inventory will allow the village to determine whether each parking lot meets all regulations for such things as size and number of handicapped spaces. The inventory will also allow economic development to help sell properties by providing the prospective buyer with the amount of parking spaces available for customers.
By using the aerial imagery that the Village of Norridge acquired, every space in every parking lot is accounted for. The spaces are then linked to their respective parking lots. By linking the spaces, the village has the opportunity to easily and quickly sort through categories such as handicapped and paid parking spaces. Using GIS has allowed the Village of Norridge to put together a village wide parking inventory to help police village regulations and help spur economic development.
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.
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.
Every year the Village of Norridge requires its resident’s to purchase a sticker (permit) for each owned vehicle. This sticker allows the resident to park on village streets without receiving a fine. The village keeps track of each sticker purchased each year and requested that the GIS department map out each address and find which households had not purchased a sticker for 2009.
Using GIS, each address corresponding to a vehicle sticker was mapped out showing which households had not purchased a sticker. The data was then filtered by displaying which households had purchased a sticker the previous year but had failed to purchase any stickers for 2009. This gave the village a potential list of residents who had either gotten rid of their vehicle or had failed to purchase a new sticker. Using the address list created by GIS, the village was then able to create a mailing list to send a letter to each resident informing them that the village had no record of them purchasing a village sticker.
Using GIS, the village was able to determine who had failed to purchase a vehicle sticker for 2009. By sending each resident a letter, the village would be able to save the offenders from needless parking violations and make sure they recoup a majority of their cost in printing the stickers.
More often than not a local community has a need to notify their residents when a large event is about to occur. Whether it is a fourth of July fireworks display or a street closing for a street festival, residents deserve to know when something is going to affect them and the neighborhood around them. For the Village of Morton Grove the act of notifying residents has been practiced in many ways but it was not until the implementation of the Geographic Information System (GIS) that a simpler method came to fruition.
By using the tools located within the GIS, notifications that normally took a few hours could now be completed in only a few minutes. With the ability of the GIS to house all addresses within the village as well as the proper tools to apply a buffer from the location of the event, the old methods of manual measurements could now be retired.
A typical situation may involve the Police Department who is concerned with the flow of traffic around such a large event as well as keeping the streets free and clear within a specific distance of the event. From there the request is made to the GIS Department to select all addresses within a one hundred foot buffer of the streets that have been assigned to be closed during the event. Buffering the closed streets by one hundred feet will ensure that all residents on both sides of the street are aware of the “no parking restriction” and thus forth, keep the streets clear during the event. Once the GIS has applied the one hundred foot buffer and then selects all of the addresses within the buffered area, these addresses are then exported to a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. In addition, this excel spreadsheet can eventually be used in a mail merge in order to create printed address labels that will be applied to the notification letters.
Although the processes of dropping fliers in a mailbox or knocking on the doors of residents still works to notify them of something important, it is rather time consuming and may be difficult to handle. Moreover, manual measurements on a map to retrieve all addresses within a certain distance can be highly inaccurate. But by using the tools within the GIS, much of the time consuming hard work and error possibilities can be avoided. Thus, displaying a simple solution to a fairly complex operation.
Village employees continually review their current parking layouts within active business districts so they are confident that they are providing their residents with the best services possible. If the village does not provide ample parking within shopping sectors of town, it can easily fall victim to decreasing consumerism and complaints from business employees who need a long-term location to park while they are at work.
The Geographic Information System (GIS) Department of the Village of Glencoe has began to utilize its valuable resources to map out the current parking lot and space layouts in order to create a base for analyzing future parking plans. By using the aerial photography that the village purchased in the past and other resources, the GIS Specialist was able to make out most of the street parking spaces and parking lot layouts. The ability to quickly access accurate aerial photography and use it in-house is allowing for the majority of the parking inventory model to be done without going to the field. From there, all of discernable spaces were then drawn into a geographic database. Once all of the data for the parking model is created, field survey maps will be generated to depict the current parking layout. These maps will be used to identify parking lot, space, and street parking designations. Once completed, this will allow village officials to activity review, plan, and make proposed parking improvements within the village based on highly accurate data. The completed model will also allow staff to review statistical data including total number of permit spaces, handicapped spaces, and other regulated lots and spaces.
GIS will be able to provide new maps that detailed the alternate parking layout proposals. These proposals can be used by the village to make decisions demonstrating how GIS can be utilized within local government. The ultimate goal of this program is to use GIS technology to help answer valuable questions related to the services that the village provides for its residents and visitors.
Addresses play an important role in the daily activities of Village of Riverside staff whether it is for water billing information, permits, or locating a resident in case of an emergency. In addition, a physical address can serve as a link for answering such questions as what school district do I belong to or what zoning district am I in? However, obtaining this information for a specific address often requires searching through multiple spreadsheets, databases, and paper documents.
In order to create a centralized location for the address information in Riverside a master address database was created in the Geographic Information System (GIS). This database was generated from several sources including water billing, permits, fire inspections, and business licenses. It was necessary to utilize all address resources to ensure the existing databases and spreadsheets could relate to this new address resource. Because these independent sources were each developed with a specific focus, which limited them from including all addresses within the community, it is also important to obtain all address records from these independents sources. For example, one address database may have only included business addresses, another contained residential addresses, and a third identified suite and apartment information.
Each address in the master database follows the United States Postal standard with a prefix direction, address number, street, street type (such as boulevard or avenue) and a suffix direction. This information is captured in separate fields that allows for combining all of those values or just a select few. An example is 1190 Arlington Heights or 1190 S Arlington Heights Rd.
The GIS allows for all of the addresses in the database to be represented by a point feature referencing an x and y coordinate that places it in a known location on the earth. This point is linked to a table containing additional information about that particular address including a Property Identification Number or PIN number and assessor information. The address point is typically placed in the center of the corresponding parcel, but can be placed at a more descriptive location such as the main entrance by using aerial imagery and building footprint information. Moreover, this address is stored as a primary address point. Often times additional buildings and parking lots that have the same address as the main building are located on another parcel. These structures are given a secondary address point to differentiate them from the primary address location.
By design, the GIS allows for quick and simple retrieval of data at a particular location. An address point can be identified and overlaid with additional data layers including utilities, subdivisions, school districts, and a road network to quickly determine the location of the nearest fire hydrant to a property or the number of homes within a particular school district. This eliminates the need for village staff to check multiple sources of information which can save time, money, and in the case of emergency services, lives. Overall, it is safe to say that the enhancements a village receives by having an accurate address database will become known as the GIS programs continue to evolve
The Village of Skokie trustees recently voted to decrease landscape waste pickup service for the entire village. While not eliminating the service all together, the village decided that residents must call or sign up via the village website to receive brush pickup. In addition, the village would no longer pick up landscape waste. The village is now promoting the mulching of grass since it no longer accepts grass during curbside pick up.
Leading up to this decision, the Village Manager’s Office was in contact with the Geographic Information System (GIS) Specialist who recommended a few different options for producing maps of addresses that will be serviced. During these conversations, it was concluded that creating a route for each service zone would be most beneficial.
First, the village was cut into service zones – areas that offered opportunity for continuous movement and areas where no major street needed to be crossed. The Refuse Superintendent, Paul Brzozowski with help from the GIS Specialist, created the zones. After the zones were completed, it was necessary to determine if the final product would be a map, a spreadsheet with addresses or both. It was concluded that a map for each zone and a document containing each address with its associated zone would be best.
The Village of Skokie GIS Specialist then worked to automate the workflow used in creating final product. This was completed by using a model with parameters (addresses and zones). The GIS Specialist, with the help of Jan Teisinger, GIS Analyst for MGP Inc, was able to create a model that performed over an hour’s worth of manual work in about ten minutes by automating the process. In addition to automating the bulk of the data work, exporting the maps to PDF was automated. A map book was created to export all maps in series, thus eliminating time needed to do this task manually. Both of these automations decreased the time needed for the Brush Routing project by over 50%.
In the end, the Brush Routing process has become easier and faster as time goes by. Over 600 service addresses can now be loaded into the GIS and a final product can be rendered in 30-45 minutes. This process keeps evolving and continues to produce quality products for the end user. Using GIS, the village has kept its Brush Pickup service while eliminating extra driving costs associated with areas that do not require service.
Riverside has a central business district that includes a train station for the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway. The railway services communities from Aurora to Chicago and is convienent for the residents of Riverside and adjacent cities and villages such as Lyons and North Riverside.
Like many communities in the Chicago Metropolitan area, having a relatively dense population near this type of public transportation creates an interesting demand and use of parking facilities. Individuals travel to the village center to work, take the train elsewhere,and or to take advantage of the local amenities. Realizing the dynamics of parking needs desired by those visitors and residents living in the town center is necessary to promote the village and these services being provided.
The Village of Riverside has used its Geographic Information System (GIS) resources to gain a unique perspective of the parking status in relation to licenses and parking permits on record. Mapping active licenses in the community allowed village staff to see where vehicles are owned and where concentrations demand more parking. The parking permit map allowed for visualization of the concentration of vehicles as well as the the type of permits being used. Furthermore, it suggests lengths of time or periods of the day those parking spaces are being utilized. Additionally, an analysis of the disparty between these two sets of information could possibly identify some violations taking place such as residents that have a license but are not obtaining a permit.
The next step in the parking evaluation will include a parking model where parking lots, spaces, and restrictions will be added to the GIS. This will assist in managing the parking facilities and regulations as well as providing insight that may highlight potential for additional parking areas and ways to make the current areas more efficient.
City employees continually review their current parking layouts within active business districts so they are confident that they are providing their residents with the best services possible. If the city does not provide ample parking within busy shopping sectors of town, it can easily fall victim to decreasing consumerism and complaints from business employees who need a long-term location to park while they are at work.
The Geographic Information System (GIS) Department of the City of Park Ridge utilized its valuable resources to map out the current uptown parking layout in order to create a base for analyzing future parking plans.
By using the aerial photography that the city paid for in 2006, the GIS Specialist was able to make out most of the street parking spaces and parking lot layouts. The ability to quickly access accurate aerial photography and use it in-house allowed ninety percent of the parking inventory model to be done without going to the field; the remaining ten percent was done via field checks. From there, all of discernable spaces were then drawn into a geographic database and assigned a parking designation (i.e. three hour, handicap, etc.). Once all of the data for the parking model was created, maps were then generated to depict the current parking layout. Moreover, statistics on the number of spots that existed per parking category were summarized and added to each map, which allowed for easy revenue calculations during a parking committee meeting.
As the parking committee continued to meet on a regular basis GIS provided new maps that detailed the alternate parking layout proposals. These proposals were then submitted to the city council on behalf of the decisions made at the committee level, thus demonstrating how GIS can be utilized across multiple platforms of local government.
The parking committee’s review process, in conjunction with the help of GIS technology, answered valuable questions related to the services that the city provides. In the end, the city was successful at altering their uptown parking layout design in order to better address the needs of its residents and businesses.
The City of Highland Park Manager’s office has recently required the need to visually display each city owned parking lot in a map format and publish these maps to the city’s website. Although their original methodology of publishing PDF maps of these parking lots would initially work, the city believed that the organization of these maps could become confusing when combined with all of the other content on the city’s webpage. After multiple meetings with the Geographic Information System (GIS) Department the city decided the best way to organize the information was to create a Google Map containing a point location for each city owned parking lot. From there, the parking lot data points would then contain all of the necessary space designation counts for each parking lot as well as a link to a corresponding PDF maps. The benefit of doing it this way was to keep all parking lot information centrally located and easy to find.
The first phase of the project involved the creation of PDF maps for each parking lot using existing parking data that was created within the GIS. The maps were then field checked and marked for errors by the local city staff. Once all of field checks were completed the data within the GIS was then edited to reflect what was current in the field and PDF maps of each parking lot were created.
After the PDF maps were finalized, the next step was to create a KML (Key Markup Language) file that could be used to integrate with Google Maps or Google Earth products. The creation of this KML file involved building a model in ESRI’s Arc Catalog application which took existing GIS data and converted it to a usable KML file format. The most important function of this conversion was to ensure that the labels that were used to display the parking lot information in Google Maps were readable in a clear and concise manner.
The first KML point file that was created was tested for functionality within the Google Earth application. Users of this product could click on a desired point and gather information about the total amount of parking spaces in a selected parking lot and what designation was assigned for each parking space. In addition, the Google Earth application allowed for an accessible link to a PDF map for the specific parking lot that was selected as well as the ability to print these PDFs for individual purposes or meeting presentations.
Because Google Earth required each city employee to download an application to their computer it was decided that Google Maps was a better alternative since it worked from any internet browser and allowed the same functionality. The last step was then performed that entailed placing the Google Map link for the parking lots on the city’s web server in order to make it easily accessible to all city employees and residents.
In conclusion, the end result of this project created a more centralized approach to representing the city’s parking structure on the internet allowing it to be an important decision making tool for the Intra-City Parking Commission and the residents of the City of Highland Park. It can also be noted that interdepartmental collaboration between city departments and GIS allowed this project to be a success.
Link: Highland Park Public Parking Map