The Village of Oak Brook’s Police Department recently closed a case involving an armed robbery at a local McDonald’s and requested the assistance of GIS to help display some of the evidence used to convict the suspects. Following the incident the Police Department was able to identify and arrest 3 suspects in the robbery. In an effort to build the best possible case, Oak Brook Detectives acquired the cell phone records of one of the perpetrators in an effort to pinpoint him in the area of the robbery, at the time in which it occurred. The actual phone records were a key piece of evidence because they were able to identify usage of the suspect’s cell phone within about a quarter mile of the McDonald’s, both before and after the robbery took place, even though the suspect is not from the immediate area. But the Detective wanted more than just a spreadsheet with addresses and call times proving the suspect was in the area, he wanted a map displaying the location of the cell towers, the time of the phone calls, and the direction from which the calls were made.
Using the cell phone usage information provided by the detective, the GIS staff was able to locate and map the location of all the cell towers the suspect used during a period of time before and after the robbery. The next step was to use the azimuth sectors pertaining to each call made to determine the direction in which the call was coming from. As shown in the image, the McDonald’s that was robbed is located almost exactly in between the two cell towers used by the suspect’s cell phone. Additionally, the map displays that the suspect was indeed using their cell phone near the McDonald’s both before and after the robbery occurred. To coincide with the map displayed with this article, a second map was produced showing the cell towers that were used while the suspect was on their way to the Village, as well as departing to their final destination. These maps and phone records, along with other pieces evidence obtained by the detective were ultimately used to convict the three suspects of armed robbery. Without using GIS to display the information, the jury would have relied on non-graphic spreadsheets displaying the cell phone information, which doesn’t provide the direction in which the calls were made along with the overall perspective of the night’s incident.
The Village of Oak Brook and the local Butler School District have been diligently working over the past few months to determine the feasibility of adding a new school on Oak Brook Sports Core property. In order to determine whether or not it would be possible, there was a considerable amount of analysis pertaining to the amount of available property, ease of access, available detention, and determining the general layout of the actual school grounds. The majority of the preliminary analysis was done in house between Village Engineers and GIS staff in order to keep cost down before entering the actual planning phase. As a result there were multitudes of general site layout maps generated. But as the planning process moved further along, the required maps and statistics became more advanced because the property was determined feasible for development. One of the final phases of analysis that was done internally, prior to the hiring of an architecture company, was the determination of required detention for new development.
At this point in the project a general site plan had been proposed, which included the calculation for approximate impervious surface area. By taking the calculation of impervious surface area, Village Engineers and GIS staff were able to determine the amount of detention area that will be required for new development, based off of the elevation statistics from an already existing detention area. Once the approximate required detention area was determined, the GIS specialist was able to use lidar elevation data to determine an already existing area, which would require the minimum amount of earth being moved to support the required detention. As shown in the image, the blue area is the required detention area, which is surrounded by a red line representing the total amount of area including the surrounding retention burm. By using GIS we were able to complete this analysis in less than two hours at the cost of day to day staffing. Had a consultant been used, it would have required them to spend extended time in the field, which would then require additional time to process the data and development maps and statistics.
During the recent housing market collapse the Village of Oak Brook, like many municipalities, has been faced with a rising number of available properties within their corporate limit. One of the main goals for the Village is to attract and maintain tenants in both commercial and residential areas in an effort to generate revenue and promote Oak Brook as a place of success. This means tracking vacant and rental opportunities throughout the Village so that they can not only be promoted to potential buyers, but also to make sure proper maintenance and security measures are being taken. Because there is no easy way of maintaining the status of these properties, the Village has taken up the task to track vacant and rental properties to the best of their knowledge through sources such as water billing, inspections, and various other property records. Although the Village had previously been tracking all of the information through a spreadsheet, Village Trustee’s asked that maps be created in order to give better visual representation of the available properties.
Although there was not a wealth of information tied to each property, it’s considered very important just to know the location of all available properties, as well as contact and owner information. By geocoding the existing spreadsheet the GIS specialist was able to quickly produce a map and custom overlay in MapOffice™ Advanced. This allows Village Staff and Trustees to have valid sources of information available to them at their desktop and in meetings at the click of a button. By putting the data onto a map and adding spatial context, the information is much more consumable by decision makers and allows them to see any developing trends in location a types of available properties. Without GIS this data would’ve been tracked solely through a single spreadsheet or word document, but by putting the data in GIS it is now distributed throughout the Village and is maintained in a central database that is updated and distributed via MapOffice™ to all Village staff.
The Village of Oak Brook has recently contracted a design firm to come up with some ideas for a corporate sign being added to an intersection which conceals a few businesses. The design firm initially came up with a sign that was 8 ft. tall and 15 ft. wide, which was to be placed at the northwest corner of the given three way intersection. In order for the sign to be added, some preliminary research also needed to be done in order to test the feasibility of such a large sign being added. The two primary factors that came into play were the underground utilities located at the intersection and the signs visibility due to a transformer box already located at the corner of the intersection. In order to find out of the sign would be visible, Village engineers and GIS staff were tasked with researching what size the sign would need to be in order to be viewed from behind the transformer box.
By using the Village’s lidar point elevation data, the GIS specialist was able to determine the approximate height of the transformer box and the ground elevation of the proposed location for the sign. The sign location was determined after all underground utilities were marked in the field, and measurements were taken from the curb to the closest spot free of utilities. Once the approximate heights of the transformer box and ground elevations were determined, the GIS specialist was then able to find the ground elevation of six ‘viewing’ points on the adjacent road, ranging from 135 to 710 feet away from the proposed sign location. By then making a 3.5 ft. adjustment to the ground elevation, we were able to determine the approximate elevation that a typical person would be viewing the sign at. After compiling the statistics, as shown in the image, it was determined that the proposed sign would have to be at minimum 3 ft. taller than the initial proposal. Without GIS, much, if not all, of this research would’ve needed to be done in the field through the use of expensive survey contractors or costly man hours taken away from the engineering department. GIS was able to perform this analysis within a single day, and provided multiple maps and tabular statistics supporting the results.
The Village of Oak Brook is currently looking into solutions for a problem with traffic congestion in an area of town that gets very busy during rush hour. As a result, Village engineers have been tasked to develop various ideas to provide some relief to the high volume of traffic in the area. A few ideas have included widening the road, adding traffic lights, and creating a roundabout at the affected intersection. Being that there is a bridge to the south of the intersection, the idea to widen the road is not feasible. Additionally, the Illinois Department of Transportation denied the idea of an additional streetlight at the intersection. That left the idea of a roundabout still on the table, which is somewhat unconventional in this area, but still a very effective means of controlling traffic.
In order to get a better idea of how the roundabout would look and work, the Village hired an outside consulting company to come in an provide a plan for what the roundabout would look like, how big it would be, and what it would cost. In order to facilitate their research, the GIS specialist provided them with the necessary layers for their analysis, some of which included; contour lines, property boundaries, imagery, and all utility systems. Once their engineers were able to draft a drawing in CAD it was provided to the Village in both paper and digital formats.
Once the Village received the CAD drawings they wanted to know how it would affect current property boundaries in case the Village would need to acquire new land or an easement. As a result the GIS specialist was tasked with converting the data to a compatible format and analyzing the total area affected. By intersecting the roundabout proposal and current property boundaries, they were able to determine the amount of land affected and who owned it. This information was will now be taken into consideration when ultimately determining whether or not this roundabout will be constructed. Without GIS, this type of analysis would not have been possible and the consulting company would have charged considerably more to develop the data which provided the concept plan.
In an effort to encourage municipalities to go above and beyond the minimum requirements set by FEMA for flood mitigation, NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) offers a voluntary program that provides incentives for municipalities to reduce flood risk. In order to receive the offered discounts on flood insurance premium rates, Village staff must provide proof that they are actively analyzing, managing, and mitigating flood events on a regular basis. Much of the report consists of paper work and spreadsheets proving that Village staff has been actively responding to flood complaints, planning for future events, and maintaining infrastructure that prevents flooding. Additionally, there is a series of maps and datasets that are managed in GIS, which assist Village engineers in flood mitigation. Therefore the CRS report requires specific map and datasets displaying the information that supports flood mitigation.
Since the Village has been actively managing and analyzing the floodplain, it was quite easy to merge a bunch of existing datasets into a single map in order to show the way in which GIS supports flood mitigation.
As shown in the image, the Village’s GIS maintains layers such as flood boundaries, building drip lines, parcel data, elevation data, and impervious surface data amongst many other things. All of these features allow for analysis on past flood events, which in return provides information to mitigate future flood events. For example, by referencing this data the Village engineers can quickly find out which homes are in the floodplain, what the drainage situation on their property consists of, and what the odds of a major flood event occurring on their property might be. This information is then used to plan future development and fix issues in current problem areas. Without the use of GIS, the engineers would have to rely heavily on outdate maps, manual calculations, and extended research in the field.
The Village of Oak Brook is known throughout the Chicagoland area for its many shopping centers and restaurants, the majority of which are located in a close proximity on 22nd St. As a result of these popular shopping and dining options there is a significant increase in daytime population, which unfortunately leads to more crimes and accidents in the shopping centers. The largest and most populous of these shopping centers is Oakbrook Center, a shopping mall located at the busy intersection of IL Rt. 83 and 22nd St. Oakbrook Center has a lot of shops and restaurants located throughout its grounds, as well as 5 large parking lots and 5 parking garages. The majority of incidents that the police respond to at Oakbrook Center are located in these parking areas, which are difficult to locate given that there are no specific addresses for the parking areas. As a result the police have to rely on parking lot colors, and the associated ID for each row.
The police department had traditionally relied on an old hand drawn map displaying the different parking lots, and the associated row ID. This map is now quite out dated and difficult to read. Additionally, the Police Department had to provide its new dispatch center with an accurate map that depicts which areas in the mall they will be responding too, and how the incident will be referred to in their reports. By providing the GIS staff with an old version of the map and having Community Service Officers do field checks, we were able to successfully update the mall layout. This provides a vital piece of information to all officers, dispatchers, and administration so that they know precisely which location to respond to, as well as giving the Police Department an opportunity to analyze and mitigate location based police incidents. Without using GIS, the Police Department would have to spend a significant amount of time updating the map by hand, without the opportunity to share the spatial data with its associated organizations.
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.
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.
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.
The Village of Oak Brook regularly experiences a large number of drainage complaints during the rainy seasons. As a result a lot of time and man power is allocated to researching and resolving the cause of drainage complaints. In an effort to stay ahead of the complaints, Village engineers and the GIS specialist came up with a method of mapping out overland flow paths on private property, along with identifying low lying areas that may potentially gather and hold water accumulation.
As shown in the image, the GIS specialist used a digital elevation model (DEM), along with 1 ft. contour lines to determine the direction in which water will potentially travel through residents’ back yards. By following the contours of the earth, the water will most often lead you to the street, a water body, or a low lying area. By pre-determining the most likely direction of travel, engineers can plan new installations of storm sewer utilities or advise a resident on possible solutions for low lying spots within their yard. This information is valuable to Village engineers because they can not only plan for future capital improvements, but can also research and resolve drainage issues much easier and sometimes without even having to go into the field.
The Village of Oak Brook is located at the junction of two major highways, with a third highway located just to the Village’s northeast boundary. As a result of the Village’s close proximity to these highways, Oak Brook’s fire department is assigned to respond to emergencies on portions of all three highways. The fire department previously used an outdated map book to determine routing and location. But due to recent construction on the highways and the Village’s switch to a new dispatch center, the fire department found it necessary to create designated highway districts for their response areas.
The first step to creating new districts was to receive updated mile marker locations from the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority. Once the mile marker points were plotted on an aerial map, the fire department was able to field check their locations and determine how to layout the districts based off of entrance and exit ramps, and the coverage areas assigned by the state. After multiple drafts were created and reviewed, the fire department was able to determine exact boundaries and assign district numbers based off of the highway name and direction of travel. It was essential to use GIS while creating these new districts not only for the visual aid that it provided, but also its unique ability to provide spatially accurate locations for all mile markers, entrance and exit ramps, emergency turnarounds, and toll booths.
The Village of Oak Brook has recently sparked interest in developing more sidewalks throughout the Village, specifically within subdivisions controlled by home owners associations. The idea is to develop a shared cost program in which the Village and the home owners association split the costs of adding new sidewalks in subdivisions where they did not previously exist. Before the proposal can even be brought to the home owners association, the Village needed to create a rough design and calculate approximate costs so that further discussions can be had. In an effort to maximize cost and time efficiencies, Village engineers requested that the GIS department create a map displaying the locations of the proposed sidewalks, along with the approximate square yardage and costs for the entire project.
Using already existing driveway, parkway, parcel, and road data, the Village’s GIS specialist was able to design the layout of the proposed sidewalks to scale. And by using various GIS tools, a calculation of the total square yardage of concrete needed, as well as the total area of driveway and turf repair or replacement was developed. Then by using the current going rate of concrete, asphalt, sod and labor, the total cost of the sidewalks were calculated for the entire subdivision. By staying in-house and using the Village’s GIS, they were able to get this project done quick and efficiently in comparison to hiring an outside engineering consultant or drafting the design by hand. This was especially important when considering the project and design are not final and face the possibility of not being approved by the home owners association.
The Village of Oak Brook handles dozens of drainage complaints annually, many of which involve multiple properties or even entire subdivisions. A few causes of these drainage problems vary from sump pump backup or failure, heavy rains, damaged storm utilities, and river or stream flood events. In order give the highest degree of service to its residents, the Village does its best to review and provide a solution for all of the drainage complaints and issues. One issue that has been affecting approximately 8 homes within single subdivision has been hot topic as of recently. The issue has to do with a pond overflowing during heavy rain events into a street and across residents’ backyards. Multiple scenarios have been brought forward as to why this pond has a tendency to overflow, but no solid solution could be found during a drainage study of the 4 contributing watersheds. Although no single solution was found, it was determined that the storm utilities were clogged or damaged and the overland flow of water was one of the results.
As shown in the image, 1 foot contours and lidar elevation points were used to determine the areas that the water crested over the road and then traveled through the backyards. Once the direction and area of flow was determined, village engineers were able to walk the path of overland flow and develop ideas as to how and where drainage swales could be added of modified. By cleaning out the storm utilities and modifying the land that the water flows over, the Village hopes to alleviate some of the excessive flooding that has been occurring in the backyards of these residents. Without GIS and lidar data the Village would have needed a land survey which would have cost into the thousands of dollars without a guaranteed solution.
In an effort to maintain and enforce a standard of quality water treatment and distribution amongst local governments, the EPA requires municipalities to provide a map displaying their water system monitoring stations. Specifically, the EPA requires a map displaying the water distribution system along with: coliform sites, booster chlorination stations, pressure zones, storage tanks, entry points, water sources, and stage 2 sampling sites. The map is not only used by the EPA to locate these sites, but it is also used by the village’s water department when determining the best areas to setup sampling sites. Because the EPA prefers samples from areas along the water system that aren’t used as much, the map gives the water department a visual aid while determining which areas of the system are least exercised.
The water department asked this map to me made with GIS because of its ability to not only create maps, but store the spatial data so that it can be referenced again in the future. Because most of the required information is already stored within the Village’s GIS data, all that was needed was to plot the new testing locations onto the map. The village was able to save a lot of time, money and resources by already tracking the water system in GIS because this map is mandatory and would have had to been created by another means which would not have been as time and cost efficient. In addition to being able to quickly create the map on short notice, the Village will also be able to quickly make any changes to this map when the information is requested again next year by the EPA.
When a major traffic accident occurs within DuPage County, an accident task force called MCRT (Major Accident Reconstruction Team) comprised of officers from many different departments throughout the area is sent to the scene of the accident to do an investigation and write an accident report. The final report consists of different criteria including a written portion which describes the events that took place during the accident. And a visual portion which is a drawing at a scale of 1 to 10 feet that displays things such as: distance traveled, impact zones, and the final resting spot, among other things.
Given the odd nature of this accident, which involved a vehicle traveling off the road at high rate of speed, and going thru a creek and into a tree. A detective from the Oak Brook Police Department requested the assistance of GIS in displaying the vehicles final resting position. His goal was to take the image drawn by the MCRT team and lay it over high resolution aerial imagery in an effort to display the actual location of the final resting spot. Using GIS was a perfect solution for the final product they were seeking because of GIS’ ability to georeference images to a chosen scale. By taking known geographic points within their initial accident sketch, the GIS specialist was able to match the sketch to real locations found in the imagery. The image shown displays the final resting position of the vehicle, drawn by MCRT staff, laid over aerial imagery while maintaining the scale of 1 inch equals 10 feet. This new image can now be used in court while describing the events that took place during the accident.
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.
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.
The Village of Oak Brook has recently begun receiving noise complaints from a couple of apartment complexes northeast of the Oak Brook promenade. The complainants allege that the noise is the result of music being played from a bar facing in their direction. As a result the village must do analysis to figure out where the noise is actually coming from, and whether or not they are not complying with the noise ordinance set by the Village.
In an effort to make this process quick and easy, community development decided to use GIS to gather distances from the origin of the noise to various buildings around the area, including the apartment complexes filing the noise complaints. By using GIS, community development was able to get distances to each of the chosen buildings, along with a map displaying all of the data. Rather than going into the field and manually doing the measurements, GIS was able to produce the map in much less time, with less man power and a high percentage of accuracy. Additionally the maps and data will be stored for future analysis that may occur, involving decibel levels at the complainant’s residence in comparison to closer buildings and residences. The image displayed is the map that was initially made for the first step of the analysis.
The Village of Oak Brook’s fire department keeps a comprehensive map of the village which incorporates all features they deem necessary for fire emergency response and planning. Included in this map are things such as fire hydrants, high pressure gas lines, highway mile markers, and many other features that assist them while responding to emergency situations. The most recent feature that they have requested is a full layout of all three golf courses in the village. This is a necessary element on the map because while responding to calls on a golf course people often refer to which hole they are on, or the fire department may need to know where the nearest high pressure water source is in the event of a fire. Having set layouts and plans for possible emergencies is what allows the fire department to do their job quickly and effectively.
The image displayed is of Butterfield Country Club, which is not incorporated in the village. Because of their overall lack of knowledge and layout of the course, the fire department requested that all features, especially hole locations and high pressure water sources be mapped. By using aerial photography and having a couple of meetings with the golf course superintendent, I was able to create all of the features seen in the image from scratch. The fire department is now able to quickly reference where every hole is located, what obstacles may be in their way, and where to connect their hoses in the event of a fire. This is all being done with the goal of eventually incorporating this data into our interactive mapping service, MapOffice™ Advanced, so that they will have interactive access to this data while in their rigs on location.
The Village of Oak Brook’s community development department handles a variety of matters, one of which includes permitting for pyrotechnics. For this particular project, community development had a resident come in and request a permit for a private fireworks display on his property. In order for the permit to be granted, community development needed to figure out whether or not this resident’s property met the requirements set by the ordinance dealing with pyrotechnics. The ordinance states that no pyrotechnics can be set off within a distance of 21 feet of a building or neighboring property line, for every 1/5 inch of projectile barrel size. For this particular display, the required perimeter was 105’ from all buildings.
The image displayed shows the resident’s property, along with all restricted and unrestricted areas on his property. The analysis had to include 105’ perimeters around the main building, which was his house, around the free-standing shed on the northwest portion of the property, and inside of his entire property line. By applying a 105’ buffer around both of these buildings and inside the property line, it was determined that there was a small portion of land on the central north end of his property that met all requirements set by the ordinance. This map and analysis helped community development by giving an accurate location for the fireworks display, while adhering to the requirements set forth by the ordinance.
The Oak Brook Fire Department, like most other fire departments, regularly trains their staff in a variety of categories aside from EMS and fighting fires. One area that they test on a regular basis is every firefighter’s ability to remember every street name and location within each of the 13 fire districts. Prior to GIS assisting them in the test creation, they had used hand drawn maps that were not easy to read, and were not always spatially accurate. As a result the training officer asked the GIS specialist to create a series of maps to test the firefighters with.
The image displayed is an example page from the map book that was created for the test. The map book is made up of 13 pages, one page for each district. There was a master copy made which displays every street and street name within the district. And then the test was created by substituting the street name with a numeric value. Each firefighter will have a document listing all of the numbers in each district, and they will need to reference the map with numeric street names to complete the test. The test is then graded based off of the master copy which displays all actual street names. Although this project did not involve intensive analysis, it allows the fire department to maximize its effectiveness by completing an essential and easy to read test.
With a growing effort towards cost savings and infrastructure improvement, Oak Brook has decided to look into improving all of their street light utilities in the village. A private company has made a proposal to swap some of the components within the street lights to more energy and cost efficient materials. Rather than paying a lump sum to the company for the improvements, they will pay the company over the course of a few years the difference in cost savings they receive from the energy efficient materials. This provides no immediate difference in cost to the village, and when the cost of the upgrade is fully paid off in a few years, the village will see a decrease in the money spent on powering streetlights.
In order for the company to come in and perform the upgrade, they need to know some basic things about the street lights such as: bulb type, wattage, voltage, and location. As a result, a series of maps was requested displaying all street light locations in the village, along with a spreadsheet containing attribution for each light. The image provided with this article is an example page of the map book that was given to the company for use while performing the upgrade.
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.
The village of Oak Brook has had requests from multiple organizations to bring new restaurants into the village. As a result the village has to plan and approve the locations requested by the organization. A part of the planning process required having maps made, which display the proposed location (with dimensions), wetland areas, and detention areas that will need to be relocated.
The image displayed with this article is a portion of one of the maps created for a planning meeting involving village staff and representatives of a restaurant. It was designed to give a good view of the area and dimensions in which they have to work with, along with possible conflicts with local wetlands. The map allowed village staff to compare similar sized sites with the new proposed site, in order to get an idea of where they can place entrances and exits, as well as parking and water detention areas.
The Village of Oak Brook uses data collection units from a company called Aclara to monitor water meters throughout the Village’s service area. The data collection units are strategically placed throughout the village to read water meters and relay the data back to Village IT. The units were installed several years ago, and it is now time for Aclara to come back to the village and service all of the units. Some of the units are currently functioning up to standards, while other are either malfunctioning or are located in areas that are no longer serviced.
The image displayed with this article is a portion of the map that was created for Aclara staff to locate the units throughout the village. The map includes unit number and location, water mains, water towers, and basic features in the Village. It was designed to assist Aclara staff in locating the units, as well as a record of location that will be saved by the Village. GIS has streamlined made the process of replacement more efficient.
The Village of Oak Brook has numerous private roads that are not maintained by the village. As a result, if a certain neighborhood wants a road to be converted to a public road they must adhere to village zoning code.
Two small, adjacent subdivisions in Oak Brook have put in a request to have their private roads converted to public roads in order to save money in maintenance fees. The first step that is required is for the village is to evaluate whether or not these private roads follow village zoning codes, and if they don’t, then the village must create a plan to convert these roads to village zoning standards.
In working with the engineering department I was able to create layers that display the minimum requirements for right of way and setback sizes. The map displays where the current road is, and the area that would be required to be converted to village property in order to adhere to village code.
This map assisted the village by providing them a visual reference to present these neighborhoods when the meeting occurs. By referencing the map alone, it is clear that these neighborhoods will not qualify for a road conversion because the required setbacks run into the houses on multiple lots.
Using GIS for this analysis saved the village time and money by not requiring engineers to go out in the field and manually measure the required distances and then map them by hand in the office.
In order increase development, the Village decided to update its current storm water ordinance. This updated storm water ordinance would allow land to be developed if it is at least 80 percent impervious.
In order to see determine if enough properties would meet this criteria, the Village enlisted the help of the GIS department. Through the use of 2010 aerial imagery, parking, sidewalk and paved areas, the total area of impervious surface was calculated for parcels in the commercial corridor. Without the use of GIS, Village staff would have to rely on old imagery from Google maps to estimate the impervious percentage for each property in the commercial corridor which would take a considerable amount of time.
Parcels that had an impervious surface greater than 80 percent were color coded and identified on a map. This information was also combined with the age of the building on each property. Properties with buildings older than 30 years and an impervious surface greater than 80 percent were identified as areas for redevelopment. The Village will use this information in order to plan and attract new businesses in the area. Recently, Gibson’s restaurant opened up on Spring Rd.
Every year the Village of Oak Brook performs improvements on roads, water main and infrastructure as a part of their capital improvement program. Prior to the improvements starting, the village is required to notify all residents that are directly and indirectly impacted by the improvements.
In the past, the village scanned and copied a paper village address map to highlight the addresses affected by the improvements. This proved to be a tedious task as maps had to be created for each address. In order to make this process run more smoothly, the Village asked for the help of the GIS department.
Through the use of GIS, maps highlighting the addresses impacted by the improvements were created. Residents that were primarily and secondarily affected by the improvements were shown in different colors with their address number and the latest aerial imagery. Residents that were primarily affected were those address located adjacent to the improvement site. Residents that lived in the general area of the improvement site were classified as secondary. For 2010, residential mailings have been sent for the paving, water main and crack sealing projects.
The Village of Oak Brook hosts the “Taste of Oak Brook” annually during the fourth of July weekend. The event features fireworks, live entertainment and food from local vendors. Since the event draws in a large number of people, the Village wanted to make sure that there was adequate parking so they enlisted the help of GIS. In GIS, parking areas were designated using aerial photography and existing parking lot information. Parking spaces were drawn for field parking based on the village parking regulations and the number of spaces in these areas was determined. Parking spaces were also determined for paved parking lots.
The Village used this information to determine the total number of parking spaces for the event. This included standard and disabled persons parking. By establishing set parking spaces in field areas the village can now accommodate more vehicles and have more people attend the event.
The Village of Oak Brook Public Works department performs a wide variety of services to the village including snowplowing and street sweeping. They also maintain various street lights within the village. Prior to the implementation of GIS, Public Works referenced a hand drawn street light atlas of the village. This contained the location of the street lights as well as their id number and the location of fiber optic lines within the village. While this atlas was useful, it did not contain information on each street light for bulb type, ballast, wattage, etc. If a street light needed repair, village staff would have to reference a separate table.
The creation of a street light atlas in GIS allows Public Works staff to locate a particular street light, its wattage and bulb type and ballast using one source in a matter of minutes. This atlas divides the village into areas based on a grid system which allows street lights to be quickly identified and any corrections or changes noted on the atlas sheets. A street light layer is also available in the Consortium's Map Office application which allows access real time street light data.
The Village of Oak Brook police department deals with crime and burglary incidents on a daily basis. With the Oak Brook center mall and extensive business district multiple incidents can occur in a short period of time. Prior to the implementation of GIS, the police department would manually enter each incident into a database by shift, date, location and type of incident. In order to review the crimes for the month, staff would have to sort through the database to determine how many burglaries, residential theft, forgery, etc. occurred. In order to visualize where the crimes occurred, staff would use push pins on a village map.
Using GIS, incidents were able to be visually depicted on a map through a process called geocoding. Geocoding allows addresses to be brought into GIS and placed in the correct location. Once all crimes and burglaries were brought into GIS, analysis was performed to highlight areas of high crime/burglaries. Maps where then created based on crime type (forgery, residential burglary, theft to motor vehicle, retail theft) that highlighted high areas for that particular incident. Summary statistics were then used to show how many incidents occurred per month and beat for each incident type.
The maps allowed police personnel to determine trends in crime and burglaries over the year and determine where additional police personnel would be needed. The police currently update their maps on a quarterly basis and look to do an analysis of crime by shift in the future.
The Village of Oak Brook contains a wide variety of restaurants. The village posts the list of restaurants and local attractions on their website along with the address and phone number for public use. However, this list is lengthy and contains outdated information. In order to create a more visually appealing and up to date listing, Oak Brook enlisted the help of GIS to create location points, which are then placed in Google Maps. The GIS Department created a map showing the location of each restaurant within the village as well as address information and a link to the restaurant’s website. This interactive map located on the village website allows the user to find restaurants within the village based on location.
Clicking on the Restaurant Location link takes you to a Google Map showing the Village of Oak Brook. A red dot represents each restaurant within the village. Clicking on the restaurant name in the table of contents on the left or on the red dot on the map brings up an information box for that location. Each information box contains the name of the restaurant, address, phone number, and website link if available. Unlike the previous list, the interactive map is easily modified when new restaurants open up or old restaurants close down.
Providing the information in a format that people are familiar with allows the user to access the information without having to learn new software. Providing the location of each restaurant on a map allows residents or other visitors visiting the village to locate a restaurant or eating establishment more easily.
The Village of Oak Brook contains a number paths and trails including multi-use paths in Fullersburg Woods. The paths run through Central Park and many of the residential subdivisions. They provide residents and visitors the opportunity to stay fit and explore the village. In order to assist residents and visitors the Village hired an outside vendor to create a bike path map showing the location of the various paths throughout the village as well as important places of interest such as the Drake Hotel and Historic Graue Mill.
While this map was useful for a general overview of the bike paths across the village did not include detailed information such as ownership and bridge locations. In order to create a more detailed and accurate map, the GIS department was contacted to revise and update the bike path map.
The new bike path map included additional bike paths that had been added since the publication of the old map. Since the old map had not been updated since 2005, some bike paths were missing and some places of interest were added and removed. Bridge locations were also added to inform the public of crossings.
In order to improve the maintenance of the bike paths, the paths were broken into categories based on ownership/maintenance. All village owned paths on the street were color coded as blue, park district paths were color coded as purple, all other village owned properties were color coded as red and all other paths including forest preserve paths were color coded as orange. These categories allow village staff to quickly identify who was responsible for each path in order to quickly make repairs should they arise. The on road and off road classifications also proved to be a useful resource for the public as they could easily identify the surface type of the paths.
One of the latest Geographic Information System (GIS) developments in Oak Brook has been the creation of two maps showing the capital improvement road projects from 2010-2014 and from 2015-2019. Prior to the creation of these maps, all of the road capital improvement projects were stored in a pavement management system or PMS. This contains information on the portion of the road to be resurfaced, the type of resurfacing to occur (overlay, microsurfacing, etc.) and the year in which each is going to occur. For example, a road that is microsurfaced in 2009 could have an overlay in 2010.
The Pavement management system while extensive, is not practical. Previously, when residents had a question as to when a road was going to be resurfaced, the engineering department would have to search through the PMS to locate that particular street. This proved to be time consuming and a waste of staff time and resources.
In order to visualize the road projects over the next 10 years, the existing road centerline was broken into segments based on the limits of resurfacing. Information such as the resurface type and year were added to the roads. Using this information, two maps color coding the road segments by year of resurfacing were created. The first map color coded the roads from 2010-2014 and the second map showed all road resurfacing projects from 2015-2019. The two maps were published to the village website as a reference for village residents.
The Second annual Oak Brook Half Marathon was held on Monday, September 7th. It began at 7:00 am and consisted of a 13 mile course starting and ending at Kensington Court. The course took participants through Fullersburg Woods and around the McDonald's campus. In previous years, the Village had used an outside vendor to produce maps of the course. The maps while informative, did not contain information on the path's condition or registration information.
In order to better inform runners of the course, the Village asked the GIS department to create maps to support the race. For the Half Marathon three maps were created. The first map which was designed for the race participants contained information on the various types of running surfaces throughout the course including crushed limestone, brick, and asphalt. It also showed the location of bridges throughout the village as well as registration information and parking locations. This large 36 x 48 map was used at the start of the race to provide runners with all of the necessary information.
The second map was created for the police and fire department. It contained the same information as the first map, although instead of showing the running surfaces, the course was broken into three sections including the first mile, mid-course and the last mile. Police and Fire posts locations were also included as well as the central command post location. This map was used in the fire trucks and as a reference for the police in their vehicles.
The third map was created to provide a close up view of the registration area. It included parking information and the location of volunteer check-in, race reward area and surrounding buildings such as the Recreation and Aquatic center. The maps were passed out to participants at the race.
The Taste of Oak Brook is held annually during the Fourth of July weekend in the Village of Oak Brook. It is sponsored by McDonald’s and features cuisine from area restaurants such as Maggiano’s and Ditka’s. For The Taste of Oak Brook event, attendees are given a pamphlet listing each restaurant and the food that they will be serving. This pamphlet does not provide information on the location of the restaurants at The Taste of Oak Brook or parking information. In order to address this issue, the village enlisted the help of the GIS department.
Using vendor location overlaid on an aerial imagery background, a map was created showing the location of each restaurant at The Taste of Oak Brook as well as locations of restrooms/hand washing stations and ticket booths. A second map was also created to assist police and attendees in identifying handicapped parking and primary parking lots. This map also provided information in the location of the barricades and entrances to the various parking lots.
The village published these maps to the village website along with admission information and the menu for each restaurant at the Taste. With this information, attendees can easily navigate through The Taste of Oak Brook and park in the correct location. This allows police to direct traffic more efficiently.
Whether it is to take a shower or fill up a glass of water, people use water everyday. Although the process seems to happen without much exposure, it is definitely noticed when the water stops running. The procedures that a local community conducts in order to provide their residents with clean and useable water are something that they take seriously. In order maintain the water system, the Village of Oak Brook decided to investigate the strength of the water utility system.
When a water main break occurs in the water system, it is reported to Public Works Department, who service the break. The location and description of water main repaired is recorded on a break report sheet and the address or intersection of the break is entered into a spreadsheet. The water main breaks are then hand drawn on a map by the village engineer based off of the spreadsheet. This is a time consuming and inefficient process as information on the water main break, year, pipe material, etc. are not transferred onto the map. In order to more efficiently track the water main breaks, the village enlisted the resources of the Geographic Information System (GIS) department.
By using the tools located within the GIS, the addresses recorded for each water main break could easily be given a geographic location through a process called geocoding. Geocoding is an operation that searches a street centerline data layer and locates where an address falls on a particular street within a specific block. Once these addresses are located, they are then placed on a map in order to analyze where the most breaks occur.
Using this information, the village was able to plot the water main breaks in five year increments from 1978 to 2009. Further analysis was performed to create a map classifying the number of water main breaks per pipe segment. Soil information from the Illinois Geological Survey was overlaid onto the water main break data to determine if the soil type contributed to the water main breaks. These maps allowed Engineering and Public Works to locate the problematic areas and decide which water mains needed to be replaced.
The maps created from this project are studied and eventually brought before the budget committee when considering how much money should be allocated for fixing these problems and what areas are given higher priority. All in all, it is easy to see how taking data from a simple spreadsheet and using it within GIS has converted a simple recording project into an analysis tool that the village can ultimately use in order to provide their residents with the valuable resource of water.
Since 2004, the gypsy moth has plagued northern Illinois, destroying oak trees in parks and recreation areas. These moths have been migrating slowly from the northern United States to the southern United States. In order to manage the gypsy moth population, the Village of Oak Brook performs aerial sprays in areas where oak trees are present. The treatment consists of a naturally occuring bacterium called Kacillus Thuringiensis (BTK). BTK is highly effective in controlling gypsy moth populations, but is not harmful to people, pets, livestock, or the environment.
The village first needed to define the boundary for each spray area using a combination of aerial imagery and parcel boundaries in Geographic Information System (GIS). Each spray area was then classified as either ”Village” or ”Forest Preserve” to determine who was responsible for the spraying. The amount of BTK required for each aerial spray was then calculated using the total acreage for each spray area. Maps were created for each individual spray area as well as a map showing the location of all the spray areas throughout the village. The maps were sent to residents in the spray areas to provide information on the location and extent of the sprays.
The map below shows each spray area along with its classification. Village spray areas include Heritage Oaks, Timber Trails, and the Bath and Tennis Club. Forest Preserve spray areas include portions of Fullersburg Woods and Yorkshire Woods. Also defined were elective spray areas or areas that contain a small number of oak trees. These areas, which are the responsibility of the village, include: Trinity Lakes, Chateaux Woods, and select locations throughout the village.
Through GIS, gypsy moth spray areas can be quickly defined, classified, and their total acreage can be calculated in minutes. Public Works staff can determine how much spray is needed and who is responsible for each spray area. Maps of the spray areas allow village residents to easily visualize the location and extent of the spray areas. This information can be used as a reference when determining spray areas for future years as well.
The Village of Oak Brook relies on accurate utility information in order to assist the community staff with their day to day activities just like any other local government does. For example, the Engineering Department utilizes storm sewer information to assess and resolve drainage issues as well as general pipe replacement. The Public Works Department needs accurate utility information in order to indentify water main size, type and location in order to respond to water main breaks. In addition, the Fire Department needs to have access to fire hydrant information for flow rate testing and to locate the nearest hydrant in the event of a fire. This information has been stored in multiple locations including engineering plans and permit applications but ultimately should reside in one centralized location.
As far as holding this information in one centralized location a Geographic Information System (GIS) is most certainly one of the better options on the market today. Storing utility information from resources like as-builts, hand drawn maps and other sources can easily be filed into two specific databases based on whether it is a sewer or water utility system. These individual databases contain information on the type, size and location of features including some basics as pipes manholes for the sewer system as well as hydrants and valves for the water system. Not only are these databases excellent locations for storing data they also have the ability to link to external databases as long as the proper structure and attributes are maintained (i.e.using a number identification system in order to link to the Water Billing Department so that water billing records can be easily linked and retrieved).
In order to easily update and modify changes in the storm and water databases, field note map books are created. A field note map book is usually an atlas of pages sized as 17x22 where a full community is broken down into multiple pages by a grid in order to present the map at a 1’=100’ scale. Moreover, by using a grid based on the Professional Land Survey township system the community can be subdivided into equalized quarter-sections (northeast, southwest). Once the community is properly split up into quarter-sections the grid number is placed on its respective field note map book page.
In addition to the grid information each field note map book shows the utility system and aerial photography for that particular location at a 1" =100' scale. At this scale, structures can be easily distinguished and field crews can easily markup the pages for edits that need to be made to the utility system by the GIS Department. The notes section on the right of the field note map book page provides an area where field crews and engineering staff can provide comments on discrepancies between what is in the GIS and what is said to be true in the field. The image below shows an example field note map book page for the water distribution system. Hydrants and valves are labeled with their location as well as the length of the water main. Also included on each page is a site map of the village. This allows field crews and engineering staff to quickly determine the location of the water main relative to the village.
Addresses play an important role in the day to day activities of the Village of Oak Brook 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 to answering such questions what school district do I belong to or what zoning district am I in? However, obtaining 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 Oak Brook, a master address database was created in the Geographic Information System (GIS). This database contains address information from several sources including water billing, community development and the official address map produced by the village. In the database, each address follows the United States Postal standard with a pre direction, address number, street, pre modifier (such as street or avenue) and a post direction. The database also stores the status of each address. This can be set to active if the address currently exists or retired if the address in no longer valid.
Every address in the database is represented by a point feature known as an address pin point. This point has specific x and y coordinates that allow it to be placed in a known location on the earth. This point is linked to a table containing information about that particular address including a PIN number, parcel information and assessor information.
The address pin point is typically placed in the center of the corresponding parcel. Using aerial imagery and building information, this point can be placed at the entrance of the main building to better depict the location of the address. Moreover, this address is stored as a primary address pin point. A secondary pin point is established for buildings and parking lots that have the same address as the main building, but are located on another parcel.
Address pin points allow for quick and simple retrieval of data at a particular location. Additional data layers including utilities, subdivisions and library districts can be overlaid onto the address pin point to quickly determine the location of the nearest fire hydrant to a property or the number of homes within a particular library district. This eliminates the need for village staff to check multiple sources for information which essentially can save both time and money.
Since the address pin points are directly tied to a database, any additions or deletions can be quickly made and stored as a saved edit. Addresses can also be labeled and set to a defined scale. Prior to the creation of the database the village had to manually update every address on a paper map annually with any changes to the community boundary, parcels and streets. This took a significant amount of time depending on the amount of changes in a particular year. Also due to the large scale of the map, reading addresses in highly dense areas such as apartment complexes or townhomes proved to be difficult. In GIS, these addresses can be viewed electronically and maps can be created at any scale in order to easily view and locate addresses.
Overall, it is easy to see how the creation of a centralized address database will assist every department throughout the village. For example, the Community Development Department can quickly locate an address and determine which zoning district it is apart of without having to search a zoning map or permits. The Public Works Department will be able to identify and notify all of the residents that will be impacted when a water main break occurs and the Police and Fire Departments will be able to locate and respond to an emergency call at a particular address. All in all it is safe to say that the enhancements a village will receive by having an accurate address database will become known as the GIS programs continues to evolve and relationships with other departments continue to strengthen.