Redevelopment, annexations, new construction, and even remodeling often changes the distribution of services and consequently introduces a record management workflow that needs to be coordinated between utility service providers and municipalities. Periodically villages are contacted to verify service addresses for electric and natural gas utility companies. Most recently Riverside, IL administrative staff was tasked by Nicor to review their gas service address list to verify all provided addresses are in The Village and identify addresses that Nicor may have been missing. This information is integral for the tax reimbursement processes related to the Village’s utility tax ordinance.
Riverside’s Geographic Information System (GIS) provided efficiencies in fulfilling this request because a fundamental dataset in the GIS is the address information for the entire community. There are tools within the GIS that make comparing the provided list against known addresses a relatively quick process. Those tools were used to highlight not only service location errors but also missing ones.
Without GIS the staff would have had to use a resource such as their utility billing database to manually compare service locations. Doing so would have been much more time consuming than the information system approach used.
Communities everywhere are tasked with providing water samples to the EPA to meet public health compliance standards. There are various elements the water is tested for and some are tested for more frequently than others. The Riverside, IL Water Department has utilized its Geographic Information System (GIS) to highlight the distribution of the sample sites throughout the community with the water system shown in the background. Alternative locations for each site are mapped as well to be used for additional samples or as a substitute when needed. The samples provided are tested by the EPA and reports are distributed to the public every year.
Riverside, IL has earned the moniker “Village in the Forest” thanks to its planned design along the Des Plaines River with curvilinear streets, expansive parkways, and forested areas. The beautiful landscape that is Riverside does require maintenance, specifically tree trimming, in order to maintain tree integrity, appearance, and maximize safety. The Village’s Forestry personnel are using their Geographic Information System (GIS) to manage their tree inventory and plan trimming efforts. Tracking annual maintenance and their corresponding priority areas gives staff precise records of past activities. Mapping future efforts in the GIS allows staff to modify their plans if funding varies and continue to manage the areas in most need. Maps are generated and distributed when the time comes for the maintenance service company to do the work as well. This gives Village staff confidence there will be no misunderstandings of what trimming is expected and where.
Being that Riverside, IL is located in the Chicago Metropolitan area there are many modes of transit available to the general population in addition to the traditional ones such as bike and bus routes. The Geographic Information System (GIS) staff has consolidated transit information to assist transportation planning efforts in The Village. The data is available to village staff in their interactive mapping application giving them a quick resource to review the transportation network that is available to residents and visitors including website links to the schedules and other supporting documents that the regional transit organizations have made available on the internet including train and bus schedules. A quick look at this information shows how connected or disconnected the various transit options are and may suggest initiatives to promote use of those facilities and their accessibility to businesses or even realize ways to close gaps between the transit stops.
To continue efforts to understand and help manage flooding in The Village of Riverside the history of permits for flood mitigation devices for residential properties were extracted from The Village’s permitting system. Using the Geographic Information System (GIS) the locations of the private property mitigation permits were mapped. Combining this information with other flood related data such as backyard ponding reports, improved surfaces, contours, and sewer infrastructure that The Village has been accumulating and mapping gives a more detailed picture of all factors involved in the ongoing flood mitigation efforts and provides for more effective solutions.
The Village of Riverside has been coordinating with the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) and Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) since the summer of 2010 to plan removal of the Hofmann and Fairbank Dams along the Des Plaines River in Riverside. The Village has utilized its Geographic Information System (GIS) to create maps that express their desired alignment of access roads and seeding paths to minimize the impact of construction activities on the landscape and existing infrastructure. Using GIS, The Village’s tree inventory and other important data could be shared with the ACE and IDNR to ease design efforts for regarding of Swan Pond Park, also located along the Des Plaines River in Riverside.
The Village of Riverside often performs landscape burns along the Des Plaines River which winds along and through its incorporated area. The Village Forester is required by law to obtain an open burn permit to perform such activities and recently took advantage of their Geographic Information System (GIS) to create a map product to accompany the permit application. Seeing that the burning locations vary from year to year, but are always in and along the same forested areas, the image highlighted all areas that could potentially be burned. Identifying in the map all of the sensitive facilities such as schools, senior care facilities, medical facilities, and even a nearby airport gives a clear picture of any potential proximity issues that may need to be considered as well. Reusing the map product will allow staff to quickly complete the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency permit process each year.
The Riverside Fire Department has been working with its Geographic Information System (GIS) staff to produce updated fire hydrant flow maps due considerably to a significant water system improvement project conducted in 2010. The new configuration of infrastructure was updated in the GIS along with the new flow information for the fire hydrants that resulted from new and larger water mains. A large wall map was produced for the fire station and smaller, double sided maps were printed and laminated for use in the field. With the capabilities of the GIS and the fact that it is a repository for all village data the maps were designed to include all addresses throughout the village as well. Combining the address and hydrant locations with flow information provides a very valuable resource for the Fire staff.
The Riverside Farmers Market is a weekly service The Village of Riverside, IL organizes for its residents. Held every Wednesday from 2:30 – 7:00 PM during the summer and fall in 2011, The Market has had many vendors and community groups participate throughout the season. The Village has tasked its Geographic Information System (GIS) to create event maps to communicate to the vendors and groups their setup locations. With growing interest and turnout the setup locations have often changed from week to week making the event map that much more useful in staging the event.
To provide a reference for village staff and contractors alike, the Riverside Geographic Information System (GIS) has provided maps of tree planting locations. By mapping this information staff can evaluate the work conducted by the contractor and inspect the condition of the trees going forward. Similarly tree removal products have been generated to identify where stump removal and restoration activities have taken place. This information can easily be integrated into the tree inventory that is also managed using the GIS to obtain accurate assessments of village owned and managed trees.
To promote public safety and awareness in the community the Village of Riverside, IL Police Department is making available a sex offender map on the web. Because it is a densely populated area the information is gathered not only for Riverside, but surrounding communities as well. The State’s Sex Offender Registry provides the offender locations and those addresses are plotted using The Village’s Geographic Information System (GIS). By law sex offenders are not allowed to reside within five hundred feet of a public school or park. The GIS is capable of producing these exclusion areas with ease making the final map product a combination of the sex offender residences and the exclusion areas.
Besides the flood issues introduced because of the proximity to the Des Plaines River through and along the Village of Riverside’s Western and Southern boundaries, some reoccurring residential drainage issues have been identified. The Village has contracted to have drainage studies performed in these areas hoping to realize some solutions through infrastructure and/or grading changes. Through existing data sharing agreements with Cook County via its Geographic Information Systems (GIS) program, Riverside was able to provide contour and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) elevation data to the engineering consultant. Using the GIS to prepare the elevation data for the areas of issue allowed the studies to advance quickly as compared to the alternative of field data collection.
The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) develops accounting standards for state and local government agencies. The financial reports that are generated are used by the public, including issuers and auditors to assess the financial status of the reporting agencies. One aspect of the accounting process is the value of assets owned by the entity. Because the Village of Riverside, IL has a Geographic Information System (GIS), calculating village owned assets such as utilities and easements can be performed regularly and quickly. Just recently the village utilized its GIS to estimate the village owned easements relative to supporting utility data. Because easement information is filed away as hard copy documents the alternative would have required much research and significantly more staff time.
One of the unique features of Riversidelinois is the design of the community centered around forestry as envisioned by Frederick Law Olmsted. Riverside is one of the first planned communities and has been a National Historic Landmark since 1970 due to the historic architecture, winding streets, gas street lights, and vegetated landscape.
The Village’s Forester, Landscape Advisory Committee, and other village staff have teamed up to initiate a landscape maintenance program that allows residents an opportunity to exercise their pride in the community by caring for green spaces in the village parks, parkways, and landscape beds. The location, size, and availability of identified areas is being tracked in the Village’s GIS (Geographic Information System). A map and spreadsheet of the adopted areas is constantly updated to reflect the program status. Also a history of forest workdays is tracked over time such as a weekend Boy Scout event to clear Buckthorn, an invasive species. Combining all of these activities gives village staff an excellent understanding of the maintenance status of each area enabling them to sustain the beautiful landscape for generations to come.
Riversidelinois has the benefit of being centered on a commuter train stop that serves areas west of the city of Chicago. Accompanied by dense development in the city center, a high demand for parking facilities is present. The village has chosen to utilize it’s Geographic Information Stystem (GIS) to inventory and evaluate its parking scenario.
The location of the parking lots have been created in the GIS as well as the parking spaces within those lots. From that information a simple parking lot map was producted showing where all of the lots are. Statistics can then be generated, taking things a step further, by tallying the quantity of spaces in each lot and within all lots combined. The next piece to the parking evaluation will be to integrate permit types, parking restrictions, and fees to this model to obtain a thourough assessment for spaces not only at the lots, but for on-street metered spaces as well. And this will be covered in a bulletin at a later date.
Usually unseasonably warm temperatures are welcome during the winter months in the Chicago area. But a forecast including above freezing temperatures was met with some concern due to the historical snowfall event that took place just two weeks prior. Riverside Public Works personnel were aware of the potential for roadway flooding if rain and excessive snowmelt was in store. In preparation for this possible situation the Village’s GIS was leveraged to provide maps so that sewer inlets could be located and cleared off. Without GIS these inlets would be time consuming to locate given they were still covered by snow from plowing efforts.
The warmer temperatures did arrive but without rain, so the snow had time to melt. Staff was prepared to mitigate the runoff issues, but this time, thankfully, their plan did not have to be put into action.
In order to determine the effectiveness of their current snow removal strategy Riverside Public Works mapped their snow removal routes. Doing so provided a map of the priority streets, parking lots, and sidewalks as well as lengths of roadway included in each route.
An evaluation of the roadway lengths provided staff a better idea of the distribution of efforts. They realized there was not an even distribution of the total length of priority streets for each route, but the differences were not drastic enough to change the current strategy. They were, however, able to identify areas where staff can share portions of the routes to complete removal on all major roadways before continuing on to secondary ones.
Riverside forestry management includes a tree inventory, tree management, and a tree planting program. The village’s GIS (Geographic Information System) supports all of these efforts as a medium for displaying and analyzing that information. The village forester identified an additional management strategy that is of interest to the local Landscape Advisory Commission and that is delineation of no planting zones.
These areas were provided to the GIS staff and created in the system making it easy for village personnel to view the existing tree inventory against the planned open spaces. Without a doubt, having a geographic representation of this plan will expedite future planting efforts and the open spaces will accentuate the unique landscape of Riverside.
Recently the Riverside Public Works Department was assisted by a Scout project to repair dilapidated benches throughout the village. With the blessing of the Public Works Director resident Ben Cox located and assessed all of the benches within the village. The data collected was provided to the GIS (Geographic Information System) staff to plot the bench locations and incorporate the condition information and photos taken.
Mapping the benches provides staff an inventory for future reference and a map product made it simple to identify how many and which benches would receive maintenance. The village now knows where to target continued efforts for bench maintenance in the future if desired.
Recently the Riverside Historical Commission became aware that the Village’s GIS program could provide them assistance gaining property history information, particularly property images. Part of the Cook County Assessor’s workflow includes capturing an image of the front of every property in its database. Those images are available to the Village of Riverside through an existing data sharing agreement due to the Village’s GIS initiatives.
GIS staff was able to obtain images for the entire community and also managed the files so they could be located at the Village Museum and accessed easily by the Historical Commission volunteers. Realizing these additional resources were available saved the Commission a great deal of time and energy compared to the alternative of walking or driving the community to take their own photos.
Rear yard drainage is a notable topic in Riverside these days as the village is preparing to have some drainage studies performed. The village has been using its GIS (Geographic Information System) program to track drainage complaints over the past two years to realize where, away from the Des Plaines River, residents are experiencing flooding or drainage problems.
Imagery, elevation, and structural improvements data will be provided by the GIS for the drainage study locations and potential solutions will be provided by the contracted consultants. Hopefully some economically feasible solutions will be realized and the storm drainage for these residents will become more predictable than the weather.
An annual process for the Riverside GIS (Geographic Information System) program is to obtain parcel data and ownership information from the county as they are the custodians of that data. As a part of the 2010 data exchange the village was provided LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data.
LiDAR is a remote sensing technique where laser pulses are directed toward the earth and the time it takes for the impulse to return provides elevation information as well as some characteristics of the surface below. The village is currently using this information as an elevation resource as it provides a sample point every few feet. LiDAR can also be used to obtain a three dimensional view of an area and potentially derive additional GIS data. This data is made available from the county at no charge. This information is especially helpful given that the Village does not have a previous source of elevation information. This type of information comes into play when planning for flooding or other elevation sensitive projects.
The village of Riverside GIS (Geographic Information System) program mapped crosswalk locations in an area of town due to an event that occurred near a school. As a result of initiating this data creation, the remaining village crosswalks and some additional roadway striping information were mapped to have a complete inventory of their locations in the GIS system. Various village departments can now benefit from this information.
The Public Works Department can track where and when crosswalks are restriped and even give priority to crosswalks near schools and other stripping such as at police and fire stations. The Police Department or essentially any village department could evaluate and create a safe routes to school system which was eligible for infrastructure improvements funding at one time by the Illinois Department of Transportation. The GIS system is using this currently as support information for development of a sign inventory and can potentially reuse this information for future projects such as creating an on-street parking model.
As a member of the GIS Consortium the Village of Riverside participates in an annual data collection process which allows them to obtain remotely sensed information, or data collected from a distance. An advantage for the community is that they receive cost savings being a part of such a large group contracting these services. Data collection from the past two years has provided planimetric data such as buildings, driveways, roadways, etc. This spring the village collected a new orthophoto. This orthophoto is a series of aerial photos that have been geometrically corrected and referenced to remove distortions and properly represent the location of features in the image.
A quality control procedure was conducted to check for issues with image color, distortion, quality, shadow, and seam lines. When the final product is provided the village will have access to a 3 inch resolution orthophoto that will support planning and preliminary design, map presentation, utility mapping, infrastructure alignment, provide a historical record of development, and much more. This product is quite improved from the other imagery available, being a 1 foot resolution orthophoto from 2005.
Although Geographic Information System (GIS) are used to store and retrieve data often times in a highly complex fashion, they also provide a medium for map simple production. A special event map is a regular request of GIS professionals and can be generated in a relatively short time frame with good communication between the event coordinators and the map maker.
Because the Village of Riverside has invested in a GIS program, they are able to create many graphic products to support their day-to-day business and community events such as the Riverside Arts Fair, Farmer’s Market, and race events. These products provide a shared perspective and help organize efforts for event staff and attendees alike.
A recent development in the Riverside Geographic Information System (GIS) has been the creation of a street inventory. Information captured includes the type of surface material, road base material, cross section type, curb and gutter information, last improved dates, planned improvement dates, and other statistics that can be derived from the GIS such as the length of roadway and even surface area could be calculated quickly.
The street inventory is available to all staff at any time through the Server technology that the village has invested in as well as through the GIS. This data will provide an excellent resource for obtaining improvement estimates and to plan resurface programs in the long term.
In early 2010 a multi-year planimetric data collection project was completed and the data incorporated into the Village of Riverside GIS (Geographic Information System) database. Information collected in this process included features such as roadways, sidewalks, driveways, recreation areas, curbs, retention walls, among many other things.
This new information provides a great resource of real world features to incorporate into existing and future map products. Another advantage of having this much new GIS data is the ability to perform analysis. And one of the first analysis projects was to determine impervious surfaces throughout the village. The evaluation consisted of comparing all impervious surfaces such as driveways, buildings, etc. against the existing parcel information and then calculating the percentage of each property that was improved. Looking at the final map output one can quickly understand where the most improved areas are in the village and this information can support decisions such as evaluating who would be most affected by initiation of a storm water fee.
The largest objective for initiating Geographic Information System (GIS) services in the Village of Riverside was to create a digital representation of the utility systems. This objective was realized when a Sewer and Water System Map Books were constructed at the turn of the new year. The books display the culmination of many projects that were necessary to produce such a resource. The first step was to convert GPS point data of the system structures such as fire hydrants, water valves, sewer manholes, etc. into the GIS system. Next the data needed to be connected with water and sewer main features. Additional structures were added as suggested by existing hard copy resources including as-builds and the former map books. Hydrant flow, manufacturer, identifiers, pipe material, and size information about the system was also entered as noted on plans, in other community databases such as FireHouse, and as provided by staff through their knowledge about the systems. The map books incorporate a page grid that was developed and the map design was generated utilizing the repository of other data layers that the GIS houses.
The Village took advantage of a printing agreement with FedEx Kinkos provided through their membership in the GIS Consortium. These products will be a resource for Public Works staff when out in the field and can be updated as a whole or one page at a time as needed when the utility system is updated in the GIS as a result of capital improvement projects.
The Village of Riverside Finance Department recently took advantage of GIS (Geographic Information System) in an effort to assess were village stickers had not been purchased nor renewed. Village stickers are required for all vehicles that are registered to a Riverside address and a new sticker is required every year. Sticker fees range from $65 to $95 depending on the type of vehicle.
Initially a review of purchases in the previous year was performed in the Finance office to identify businesses that did not renew their stickers. Next GIS was utilized to compare all residential addresses against those that did purchase a 2009 sticker. This allowed for creation of a map of addresses where stickers were not purchased as well as a spreadsheet of those locations from which a mailing could be sent to remind those individuals and potentially to focus ticketing efforts at those locations. Significant penalties are enforced upon individuals who do not purchase a sticker after which they may purchase a current year sticker. The village web page concerning village stickers is available here or under the ‘For Residents’ tab on the www.riverside.il.us home page.
Considering penalty fees and potential new applicants a modest estimate of generated revenue to the village resulting from these efforts would be thousands of dollars. This use of GIS is a prime example of the decision support capabilities of the technology as it directs the efforts and attention of this village program.
A sign inventory allows for the quick identification of signs for replacement based on criteria such as age and condition or high vandalism areas. It can be used to manage personnel and maximize productivity if combined with work orders and maintenance activities as well as provide for supplemental information in map products as was done recently in a pedestrian safety assessment near Ames Elementary School in Riverside.
Presently the Riverside sign inventory consists only of traffic control signs including stop signs, yield signs, one way signs and the like. The system Geographic Information System (GIS) is setup, however, to include any kind of sign such as parking restriction signs and road name signs as well. Inclusion of these additional signs would create a more complete inventory.
Each sign is additionally provided a relationship to the post or structure that supports it. That way multiple signs can be added to existing support structures and if a support structure is damaged or missing the inventory will provide the information to identify what signs were on that structure. Potential lies in the fact that other infrastructure may be related to a post as well. For example a street light post may not only support the street light, but also signs.
Recently the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) revised the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) standards to promote increased safety on the nation’s streets and highways. As of January 22, 2008 there is a minimum sign retroreflectivity mandate meant to improve the visibility of traffic signs at night. Due to these changes state and local entities will be required over time to assess their signage, develop a replacement plan, replace non-conforming warning and regulatory signs, and eventually replace street name signs. Aware of these new regulations the GIS inventory can be utilized to prepare for and manage these phases of sign improvements.
Planimetric data are geographic features captured during a photogrammetric (airplane fight) mapping process that are flat and without elevation information to depict the terrain. Such features include bridges, roadways, building footprints, bodies of water, and railroad lines. Photogrammetry is the most cost-effective method for producing this type of mapping information for large areas and these features typically represent the base data in a map. As a member of the GIS Consortium the Village of Riverside participates in an annual data collection process which allows them to obtain such planimetric data. An advantage for the community is that they receive cost savings being a part of such a large group contracting these services. The current service provider for photogrammetric mapping is Ayres and Associates of Madison, WI.
There is a processing and review procedure for the data to be sure it meets the accuracy standards that have been established by the GIS Consortium. Generally, all planimetric features will be within 1.67’ of their actual field location if collected under the traditional Consortium standards. On occasion the data collection has had to deviate from those standards due to circumstances outside of a village’s control such as experienced by Elk Grove Village due to its proximity to O’Hare International Airport and the flight restrictions they have over and around the village. The data collection in Riverside has not been affected by any circumstances and therefore meets the GIS Consortium standards.
In the spring of 2008 and 2009 data was collected for the Village of Riverside. Planimetric features for the South half of the community were delivered, reviewed, and integrated into the GIS (Geographic Information System) in the fall of 2008 and the North half of the community in the fall of 2009. You may have noticed this data in the MapOffice™ interactive mapping application http://www.mgpinc.com/MapOffice™/.
As mentioned above, this data is usually used to compose a map presentation, but also provides for impervious surface estimations, GASB34 statistics, routing, cost estimates for replacement or removal of infrastructure, and preliminary design or planning.
As was described in the August 2009 article, a Village of Riverside 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. Each address follows the United States Postal standard format and is represented geographically by a point at the location of the addressed structure or property.
Another standard used in GIS is an address range. Address ranges are represented by line features usually along the centerline of a roadway and store the sequence of addresses on the left and right side of the line (traditionally odd versus even addresses or vice versa). These ranges are designed to match the addressed buildings as well as provide for an estimate location of theoretical addresses between actual ones.
An address range can assist in address numbering in cases where undeveloped land is subdivided and addresses need to be created. But most often this resource is used for emergency support in which services are dispatched to a location that is provided by an individual making an emergency call. Emergency response could be delayed if dispatch relied only on actual addresses because there can be miscommunication between the call center personnel and those making the call. If the address provided does not match an actual address the address range can be referenced and provide the estimated location of that emergency to ensure a timely response.
The standard that has been applied in Riverside is to break these address lines at all intersections. This provides for yet another locating option - to search for an intersection of two roadways rather than an address. A block, intersection to intersection, ideally consists of one hundred addresses but this type of address ranging usually exists only in grid structured city centers. Therefore address ranges are very useful for areas that do not follow a grid.
Locating by address, address range, or intersection introduces many options by which to search for a place and each has their use or support for one another. A user of this information simply needs to understand how they benefit from each of these tools and apply them.
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
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.
Being situated along a river has many advantages, but can also create many issues that have a direct impact on the residents adjacent to these natural features. Riverside has most of its southern boundary defined by the Des Plaines River and there are significant natural areas throughout the community that surround the river which provide for activities such as fishing and scenic walking. These landscapes usually act as a buffer from flooding that can occur during major rain events, but do not always absorb the impact of these events.
The Geographic Information System (GIS) provides the community a resource to consume Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood information. This data is updated every year and helps determine insurance rates and flood hazards in developed areas. The FEMA data can be combined with property and other geographic information and features in the GIS that allows for recognition of trends and provides a superior decision making resource when compared to previous methods.
This information is currently being provided to village staff as a map image and through a mapping application called MapOffice™ Advanced. MapOffice™ Advanced provides an interactive resource where staff can quickly view properties, addresses, roadways, waterways, and FEMA flood zones. The map image provides similar viewing capability, but has also incorporated other flood and drainage information that has been captured in the GIS such as the extent of the flooding from the September 2008 storm event and yard drainage issues that have been reported throughout the community.
Other geographic analysis is being considered to further impower village staff and support their efforts to mitigate these events and issues. In the meantime, combining and overlaying this various but related information will continue to provide a valuable resource for the village.
One of the latest Geographic Information System (GIS) developments in Riverside has been the creation of a community Zoning Map and Street Map. It was requested that the existing village Zoning Map be created within the GIS Department as a color map depicting the zoning boundaries as well as the proper zoning classification. While the zonig map is driven by the local community the street map is more of a GIS Consortium (GISC) standard map product that is suggested as soon as a community joins the consortium. The street map provides a good basis for future mapping products in that much of the fundamental community information is present. These maps have been completed by incorporating many layers of information that have been formulated since the inception of the program.
As mentioned previously, the zoning map requires the creation of zoning boundaries with their respective zoning types displayed according to a proper color scheme. The former zoning map was referenced to be sure that all of the previous map elements were incorporated such as the district requirements, revision list, legend and effective date. The street map incorporates important places, recreation areas and trails throughout the community. A street name index was also created which can be very useful for an individual who is not familiar with the village as it provides a gird number of where to find a given street in the map.
Other than the layout of the map itself, the data used in both maps helps to give them a consistant look and includes the street names, roadways, neighboring communities and address grid. Rather than having these maps made at separate times during the fiscal year these two maps are created at a similar time making it easier to consider what message each map communicates as well as the similarities that would persist between the maps.
There have been a number of map reviews resulting in the final products. These maps are currently being distributed throughout the village and can be provided as either a hard copy that is printed at almost any size desired, depending on printing resources, or electronically in an image format such as a PDF that is viewable with Adobe Reader. All data layers within the map have been stored in geographic databases that allow for continued use, modification and additions. The map layout has also been saved so that it is available for future map production which allows for the underlying data features within the existing map to be updated while the layout remains the same.
In conclusion, it is important to note that wondering where you are in town or what zoning district a property falls under are questions that are asked everyday. Moreover, by having the essential tools such as accurate maps to answer these questions the efficiency of the village staff’s daily workflow can be enhanced greatly.
A recent addition to the Village of Riverside has been the Geographic Information System (GIS) services. Although GIS is being used in the village to inventory multiple data items the tree inventory has gained popularity. A few years ago the village used Davey Consultants to locate the trees in the village parks using GPS equipment. They also identified trees existing in the parkways and associated that information to the nearest address. This information was incorporated into the GIS by downloading the GPS data which was already in a geographic data format because of the original collection tools that were utilized. The tabular data was then matched to an address in the GIS system and from there it was incorporated into a geographic database with location context.
Village Forester, Mike Collins, had also maintained records of new tree plantings and removals since the initial data collection. These records were considered as valuable information to be updated to the inventory as well as many other attributes such as tree widths, trimming schedules and overall tree condition. Moreover, the versatility of the database was made so that it can be expanded at any time to capture more related information that may assist in making more informative decisions when needed. The GIS was recently leveraged to determine the overall distribution of trees in the community with a specialized interest in clusters of specific tree types, particularly the Ash and Elm tree species that have potential to be affected by invasive diseases such as the Emerald Ash Borer or Dutch Elm Disease. This kind of geographic analysis allows for a much faster response to reports of these invasive species and targets the efforts necessary to contain their spread not only within the Village of Riverside, but from traversing to other neighboring communities.
Specific interest was given to Ash trees within the community and a series of maps were created to identify where these trees were located in Riverside. Together the maps were then used to form an index of the entire community where each page displayed information at a legible extent. Thus communicating the scope of the analysis in a more effective manner by combining the Ash tree data in both the parks and parkways. Lastly, the Public Works Assistant Director, Nathan Thiel, posted these maps on the village website making it available to all village residents. Its format allows a resident to choose an area on a village map and quickly analyze the distribution of Ash Trees in a specific area. The link to this resource is available at http://riverside.il.us/ under the Village Quick Links and is titled “Public Ash Tree Inventory.”