The Village of Wheeling Police Department, like all police departments, uses Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) Machines to assist when dispatching squad cars and ambulances. These systems typically come with some sort of mapping program that shows the address of where a call is coming from and the location of all police vehicles in the village. Usually these maps are populated with generic regional data and don’t contain much detail. The Village of Wheeling Police Department requested that the base maps be updated with detailed village data currently residing in the village’s online mapping program; MapOffice™ Advanced.
By using a combination of software installed with the CAD machines and existing Village data, the GIS department was able to upload improved and more accurate information for the dispatchers. Updated information included addresses, building footprints, parking lots, streets, daycares, and much more. This allowed the dispatchers to see up-to-date information that is maintained locally, instead of free regional data that may be a few years out-of-date. This also allows them to give correct information to any officers that are dispatched to a call, such as building locations or vehicle entrances and exits. By using GIS, the Village of Wheeling is able to give their dispatchers and officers updated information that is beneficial for their needs.
For the past few years, the Village of Wheeling has been in the process of updating their village utility systems and maps. The Village has taken a proactive approach to making sure that there is a complete and updated inventory and map system of all three utility systems: Water, Sanitary, and Storm Sewer. The water and sanitary systems were the first to be completed. With those out of the way, the Village then moved on to updating the storm sewer system.
The Public Works Department has come up with a process that ensures that they get the most accurate utility locations possible with the equipment they have. First, the department sets up GPS control points for whatever neighborhood they are working in. Second, the department makes sure it captures GPS data when the weather is clear and the most satellites are available, when using handheld GPS data collection devices. These steps ensure that the point locations will be as accurate as possible. After obtaining the point locations, the Engineering Department receives the data from Public Works and begins putting together the utility line work in AutoCAD using a combination of as-builts, engineering diagrams, and aerial imagery. After the line work is completed in CAD, the information is passed along to the GIS department who then updates all the location and attribute information using the information provided by the other departments. The data is then added to the village’s in house mapping program, MapOffice™ Advanced, which allows village staff to view the most up-to-date utility information on their computers and print out sections of the utility system to bring out into the field.
By using GIS with a combination of other programs, such as AutoCAD and GPS, the Village of Wheeling can easily and accurately update its utility system records, therefore giving its staff the most up-to-date information to work with.
In the past, the Village of Wheeling has kept an informal list of all the businesses in the village using business license data. Then, using Google KML, this information was mapped out and displayed on Google Maps. However, the information displayed in Google Maps would quickly become outdated and it was difficult to update. Economic Development requested an alternate way to display village businesses online, that would be much easier to update to reflect changes in the village.
In 2012, a new feature was created for the Village’s public mapping program, MapOffice™. This feature allows for the creation of custom map data that could then be displayed online for the village residents to view. An added benefit of this feature is that the data is easily updateable, just like other GIS data that is integrated with MapOffice™. An updated list of all the village business licenses was created, and they were then sorted into three different categories: Commercial, Food & Hospitality, and Industrial. New icons were created for each category and then the data was uploaded online. Now, Village residents can view all the locations of businesses by scrolling through the map and then retrieve the information about each business by clicking the related icon. By using GIS, the Village was able to take existing village information, and then present it in a format that is easy to use by the public.
In 2011, The Village of Wheeling hired MDS Technologies to drive around the village and collect data related to the village streets and sidewalks. A few months back, the Village used Pavement Condition Index (PCI) numbers that were part of the data delivery, to determine what street sections in the village were in the most need of repair. Another part of this data delivery, which was received at a later date, was as series of images taken for each section of the Village owned road. The Capital Projects department was interested if there was a way to associate the images to their exact location and for them to be able to select each location and see the corresponding images.
MDS Technologies provided the Village of Wheeling with over 100,000 GPS points, each with a link to an image using a unique ID number. All of the points were mapped in MapOffice™ Advanced; the village’s in-house mapping software. Each of these points then had a hyperlink, that when clicked, opened up the corresponding image from the village servers. This allows the Village’s Capital Projects department, as well as others, to click on a section of Village owned road and then view the associated pavement image. Without an interactive map and GIS, the village would not be able to view the images without having to search through the system folders to find each image based off an ID system.
In 2011, The Village of Wheeling hired MDS Technologies to drive around the village and collect data related to the village streets and sidewalks. Pictures were taken of each village street using a special vehicle and each street was assigned a Pavement Condition Index (PCI) Number. The numbers range from 1, which is the lowest and correlates to the street needing a lot of work, to 100 which is the highest and means that the street is in perfect condition. The village received a report giving a PCI rating to each street, or section of street that they owned. Although the ratings are helpful to see what individual streets are in most need of resurfacing, the engineering department wanted to see which neighborhoods needed the most work.
Using village subdivisions, the streets were clipped and then combined into different groups based off the subdivision boundaries. Instead of just taking the average of all the PCI ratings in each subdivision, the engineering department wanted to get a weighted average based off the area of pavement for each street within the subdivision. This would give the department a better idea of which subdivisions would have the most pavement to resurface as opposed to one small street with a very low PCI rating bringing the average down. By using GIS, the Village of Wheeling was able to compile a lot of data from an outside source and turn it into a way of determining which subdivisions in the village need the most street resurfacing.
Pozzolan is a material, when combined with calcium hydroxide, exhibits the properties of cement and is commonly used as an addition to concrete mixtures for road base. During the late 60’s and early 70’s, The Village of Wheeling used pozzolan in many of its roads that were built or reconstructed at that time. Eventually, the roads that were built with pozzolanic material started to crack and break apart due to the amount of moisture that pozzolanic material retains. Even when the roads were resurfaced, the material would cause it to crack and shift after a few years. This resulted in the roads having to be resurfaced more frequently. The Village decided that it would eventually have to rebuild the base of all roads built with pozzolanic material that haven’t been rebuilt already.
The engineering department requested that a map be created showing the locations of all roads known to still contain pozzolanic material. The department also requested that the area of each road surface be calculated so a replacement cost could be estimated for all the pozzolanic roads. Using existing base data, the roads were mapped out and then using the area of the road surface, replacement estimations were made. By using GIS, the Village of Wheeling was able to quickly map out the locations of roads built with pozzolanic material and then create an accurate cost estimate for replacing the material.
The Village of Wheeling Public Works Department is currently in the process of doing a full inventory of all the street lights in the village. This entails locating all the street light poles, assigning each light and pole a unique ID number, and then detailing all the specific information about each light such as the bulb type, bulb wattage, pole material, etc… Eventually, this information will be added into the MapOffice™ Advanced (the village’s in-house interactive map program), so that the Public Works Department can view all the street lights on a computer and then link to work orders reports in the village database.
A series of maps were created and printed out so that the field crews could travel through the village and record IDs and any other relevant information for each street light. The IDs would be then referenced in a table so that the attribute information for each light could be linked to the appropriate street light location. The data will then be brought back to the Public Works building and added to the village’s databases so that it can be viewed in MapOffice™ Advanced. Eventually, all work orders for street lights will be linked to the lights on the map (via the unique ID) so that the public works crew can view the entire history for each light just by clicking on it. By collecting all the data and then implementing it into MapOffice™ Advanced, the Public Works Department will easily be able to view all the street light information in one centralized location.
In the Village of Wheeling, each resident with gas service from NiCOR, has to pay a small tax to the village which is included in their bill. In an effort to make sure the village was receiving all possible tax money, it requested a list of the addresses that NiCOR had for Wheeling, so that a review could be done. The Finance Department requested that all addresses from NiCOR be mapped out and lists be made detailing what matched and what didn’t match. The information would be then sent back to NiCOR so that any inconsistencies could be reviewed and corrected.
The list of addresses were first geocoded (a process of assigning an address to a location on a map) to get a preliminary list of what did and didn’t match. The unmatched addresses were then reviewed to determine why they were not matching i.e. misspelling, wrong town, non-existent address, etc… Two lists were then created to be sent back to NiCOR; one that was all the reviewed addresses provided by NiCOR that did not match the address database maintained by the village and one that was a list of addresses maintained by the village, but were not in the list provided by NiCOR. These two lists, along with a map showing unmatched addresses, were the final products. After NiCOR received the data from Wheeling, they made the appropriate changes resulting in the village receiving tax money they did not receive in the past. By using GIS, the village was able to easily find missing revenue that they might not have found in the past.
When repaving village streets after maintenance or a repair, the Village of Wheeling typically has to take in account the amount of curb that has to be rebuilt or repaired. The price of the repairs depends on the length of the curb and the different types of aprons that feed into the street i.e. driveway, parking lot, sidewalk, etc… The engineering department wanted to know if there was an easier way to calculate the amount of curb length for each village owned street and get a count of the number of aprons along the roadway as well.
Using the base map data provided by Ayres Associates, all the curbs in the village were split by their respective roads. The amount of curb length split by the road boundaries was added to the road data table along with a count of any sidewalk, driveway, or parking lot that intersected the original road data. With the data all divided and organized, a map was created allowing an engineer to select a section of a road and then view a table showing the length of curb for that section and the number of aprons along the road. By using GIS, the Village of Wheeling was able to cut down the amount of time it would take to manually calculate curb length as well as provide a quick way to make estimates on the cost of repaving certain streets.
Impervious surfaces are typically artificial structures, such as roads, sidewalks, driveways, etc… that are covered by in impenetrable materials like asphalt, concrete, and rooftops. These surfaces can become environmental concerns because they eliminate rainwater infiltration and groundwater recharge, resulting in a significant impact on flooding. The Village of Wheeling calculates the impervious surface area for each parcel whenever there is a plan for new construction. If any amount of new impervious surface area is planned, an equivalent amount of water retention area has to be created. Typically, the Village engineers would make these calculations by measuring the impervious surface area using engineering drawings. This process can take a significant amount of time and effort to get an accurate measurement. The Engineering department requested that something be created that would allow them to quickly get amount of impervious surface for each lot in the Village.
To create an impervious surface area, existing base data such as roads, driveways, sidewalks, and buildings were combined to form one impervious surface area feature. This feature was then clipped by the Village lot lines to separate the impervious surface area by each lot. The amount of impervious and pervious surface area was then calculated for each lot by comparing it to the overall square footage. By combining all the data and then doing one mass calculation, the engineering department does not have to spend time calculating each lot by hand. By using GIS, the engineering department can reference the calculations faster and with more accuracy.
The ambulances for the Village of Wheeling Fire Department can take patients to approximately 30 hospitals in the Chicago-land area. Because some of the hospitals are frequented less and are many miles outside the Village limits, each ambulance contains a book of maps detailing the location of each hospital. The maps are simple location maps made from data over 10 years old. The Fire Department requested that the maps be modified and updated to reflect current data.
A new map book was created with each page of the book representing a different hospital. The street data was updated and the page was divided into two separate maps: a large map showing the location of the hospital and a smaller map showing its location in relation to the surrounding communities. By having the maps in each ambulance, the paramedics are able to easily locate hospitals that they are not familiar with, and make sure they arrive at their destination.
After the Village of Wheeling had its scheduled review for the CRS program (A review of the Village’s flood safety infrastructure), the independent reviewer left a list of items that needed to be completed in the next month to receive credit in specific categories. One of these items pertained to storm system drainage, specifically the locations of known problem areas in the storm drainage system and which features, such as ditches and streams that the village maintains. The engineering department asked the GIS department to put something together that would meet all the requirements and could be submitted to the reviewer.
For the submission, a map was created showing the water features that the village maintains, as well as locations of drainage trouble areas designated by the village. Without GIS, the village would have had to create the map in a different program, such as AutoCAD, due to new regulations specifying that all maps submitted to the CRS review have to be done in a computer program. By using GIS, the village was able to submit a required document in the short amount of time required.
Every year, The Village of Wheeling finance department receives tax information from the State. This information includes the amount of money the village received from sales tax and which companies provided it. In previous years, the finance department would look over the data and try to find any discrepancies in the data and see if they were missing sales tax from companies in the Village. They would typically do this by comparing the sales tax information with the business license data by hand. This year, the Village wanted to do a more thorough check and one that wasn’t as time consuming, so they decided to compare the two tables by using GIS.
Because both the sales tax information and the business license tables contained address information, the data was easily mapped using the Village’s address database. With both tables mapped, checks were run to determine which business license records did not have a sales tax record, and which sales tax records did not match any existing business license. This process would help find any businesses that Wheeling did not receive sales tax from and additionally businesses that did not have an existing business license.
The finance department received full lists of businesses within the Village that they did not receive sales tax from and businesses that were listed in the sales tax table that did not have a business license. There are many possible reasons why both situations exist, but by having a list the finance department was able to go to the state and figure out each record discrepancy. By using GIS, the finance department was able to expand on an already existing project and save some time in the process.
The Village of Wheeling is currently preparing for the National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System (CRS) review. The review takes into account various aspects of flood prevention infrastructure in the village and ultimately decides the percentage of savings a resident receives for flood insurance. One of the important aspects of the review is a village’s maintenance of a network of surveying benchmarks. By having a system of maintained benchmarks, surveyors are able to locate them and depend on their accuracy, while the village receives a higher score.
For the village to receive credit for Benchmark Maintenance, it must meet a list of requirements: It must be in the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS) database or be a permanent monument with key data readily available to surveyors, such as the village website. There must be a note that it’s been recovered in the past 5 years and it must be a first or second order vertical control benchmark. Finally, each benchmark but have a stability rating of A or B and be within 1 mile of the community’s regulatory floodplain. In addition to the benchmarks meeting these requirements, proper documentation is needed, which includes a map showing the location of each benchmark.
By creating the map documentation for benchmark maintenance in GIS, the village was able to satisfy multiple requirements with one product. A series of small maps were created, each representing one of the benchmarks in the village. In addition, a large overview map was created showing the location of each benchmark at a large scale. The overview map was added to the village website, and when a surveyor clicks on a benchmark on the map, a PDF opens up with the smaller map representing the information for that specific benchmark. By having this map located on the village website, it meets the requirements of having it accessible to surveyors and the public as well as being a document of each benchmark’s location. By using GIS, the engineering department was able to create a product that met CRS requirements and was accessible to the public.
On average, the Village of Wheeling has 120 reported traffic accidents per month. These accidents range from simple fender benders, to ones that result in major property damage. The village police department maintains a record database detailing each reported accident with such data as its location and the time the accident was reported. By maintaining this database, the police department is able to track the amount of accidents by time and day of the week. In addition to the data that they were tracking in their database, the police department wanted a series of maps showing the location of each accident so the officers would get a visual representation of the database.
A series of maps were created showing the traffic accidents for each month broken down by the type of accident. By seeing the location of all the accidents on each map, the officers get a good idea where all the accidents are occurring and can take measures to prevent accidents in those areas with the help of other village departments. By having a visual representation of their accident data, the police can make better decisions on where their officers should investigate.
The Village of Wheeling is currently preparing for the National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System (CRS) review. The review takes into account various aspects of flood prevention infrastructure in the village and ultimately decides the percentage of savings a resident receives for flood insurance. One of the important aspects of the review is a village’s preservation of open space within the floodplain. By having the floodplain clear of structures and impervious surface area, the village receives a higher score due to the lower possibility of damage occurring.
For the village to receive credit for open space preservation, it had to create a list of village owned properties that had areas in the flood plain. Then, the square footage of each area within the floodplain had to be calculated subtracting out any impervious surface area such as roads, sidewalks, parking lots, etc… which was then compared to the entire area of floodplain within the village. The final ratio of open space to flood plain is then used to determine the overall score for open space preservation.
By using GIS, the village was able to save a significant amount of time by using base map data that already existed and floodplain areas provided by FEMA. By using GIS to calculate the areas of open space and impervious surface area for each property, the village did not have to spend time going through building plans and calculating everything by hand. The CRS review is not until later in the year, but by tackling the Open Space Preservation section now, there will be time later to make adjustments to the data.
In the Village of Wheeling, like any community, various companies and organizations have to apply for permits when doing any type of construction work. Attached with these permits are maps showing the location of the work that is to be completed. Typically, a company or a subcontractor will provide the location maps to the village themselves, but in some instances the Village of Wheeling will provide the company with either data, so a more accurate map can be created, or a location map created by the village so that the company can accurately draw on a map where all construction will take place.
Recently, the village provided small maps showing aerial imagery and utility locations for a subcontractor replacing underground residential cable segments due to multiple cable faults. By providing the subcontractor with a map with aerial imagery and utilities, the village was able to see exactly where the cable segments would be replaced in relation to the houses and the utilities in the area because the subcontractor was able to draw the exact locations on the provided map. Processes like this allow the village to make a more informed decision on whether to approve a permit or have the subcontractor resubmit with more information. By using GIS, the village was able to see the exact location of construction based on the aerial imagery, and not with hand drawn maps they may not be to scale.
The National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP requirements. As a result flood insurance premium rates are discounted to reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from the communities’ actions. Each community is assigned a rating based off credit points earned in 18 creditable activities. This rating determines the percentage of discount the community would receive based on 5% increments. A Class 1 community, the highest class, would receive a 45% discount while a Class 9 community would receive a %5 discount. The Village of Wheeling is currently a Class 7 community receiving a 15% discount on flood insurance for its residents. The village has a review set for spring 2011 and is looking to solidify its Class 7 rating and possibly move into up into a Class 6.
The Village of Wheeling’s Engineering Department and GIS Specialist are currently working on ways to improve the village’s class rating by going through the 18 different activities and completing projects that the village did not receive full, or sometimes any, points during its last review. Some of the current projects include calculating flood plain and open space acreage, creating elevation benchmarks, determining impervious surface area, and creating an online flood plain map accessible to village residents. Before the village acquired a GIS program, many of these projects would have been too time consuming or not even possible to do. By using GIS, the village hopes to gain a significant amount of credit points that will translate into the residents seeing a reduction in their flood insurance rates and therefore paying less money.
The Village of Wheeling is currently putting together information to create a safe crossing zone in accordance with the Safe Routes to School Program. The village is looking into creating an improved cross walk at the intersection of Anthony Rd. and Schoenbeck Rd. due to its proximity to both Booth Tarkington Elementary School and Jack London Middle School. This would allow students who are walking to school to cross a major intersection more safely. One important aspect needed to determine if this would be an ideal location where an improved cross walk should be placed is a map showing the attendance boundaries for each school in the study. By knowing where the students are coming from, the village can determine if this intersection is appropriate for an improvement.
To help in the process, a map was created showing the attendance boundaries for the elementary and middle schools in each village. The attendance boundaries were merged together so that the elementary school districts fit into their respective middle school districts. This allows the map to show that, in the target study area, students from both Booth Tarkington Elementary and Jack London Middle School have to cross the intersection of Anthony Rd. and Schoenbeck Rd. to be able to walk to school. Without GIS, the planning department would have to spend time combining hand drawn maps to figure out the exact attendance boundaries for each school. By using GIS, the planning department was able to quickly determine the attendance boundaries, saving them a considerable amount of time.
The Village of Wheeling currently participates in the Community Rating System (CRS) program which is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP requirements. One of the requirements of the program is to detail which areas are deemed “Repetitive Loss”, meaning the property has had two or more insurance claims over $1000 in a 10 year period. A secondary requirement of the program is to inform all residents that live within the repetitive loss area about their situation and provide them with flood insurance information. By using GIS, the village was able to create a list of addresses for all properties within the repetitive loss area so that letters could be sent to each resident.
Because the village already had an existing address database using a point as each address, creating a list of addresses just required selecting the points that fell within the repetitive address areas. The addresses were then exported into Microsoft Excel to be used in various mail merge applications. If not for GIS, the addresses would have had to be typed in manually by looking at the various repetitive loss maps created in another mapping type program. By using GIS, the village was able to quickly create a product that would have taken a longer time using previous methods.
The Village of Wheeling is in the process of acquiring a remote water meter reading system that will allow village staff to read water meter information through a computer rather than having to check the meter manually. Each water meter wirelessly connects to one of the main towers within the village and then the information is relayed to village staff. The location of the towers within the coverage area affects each individual meters signal and its ability to send information back to the tower.
A map was put together for the bidding process showing the properties that are owned by the village, which in turn allow the building of a tower. Each company bidding on the job, was provided a copy of the map allowing them to pick out where they felt the towers should be placed to give the maximum amount of meter coverage. By using GIS, public works was quickly able to provide maps to all interested parties to help create a remote water meter reading system that would provide the best meter reading capabilities.
As stated in Illinois Public Act 093-0687: “No license shall be issued for the sale at retail of any alcoholic liquor within 100 feet of any church, school other than an institution of higher learning, hospital, home for aged or indigent persons or for veterans… ” and “nor to the renewal of a license for the sale at retail of alcoholic liquor on premises within 100 feet of any church or school where the church or school has been established within such 100 feet since the issuance of the original license. In the case of a church, the distance of 100 feet shall be measured to the nearest part of any building used for worship services or educational programs and not to property boundaries.” The Village of Wheeling takes this law a step further and restricts liquor licenses within 100 ft of the property boundary and not the building.
The Village of Wheeling put together a map showing 100 ft boundaries around all schools in churches in the village to give them an idea of where there might be conflicts for any business looking to purchase a liquor license. Instead of taking the time to measure out distances by hand, the map displays what areas could be included in the restricted area. Although not the final determination of whether a liquor license meets the village requirements, the map allows village staff to get an idea where the restricted areas exist.
FEMA defines an area of repetitive loss as: "a property for which two or more claims of more than $1,000 have been paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) within any 10 – year period since 1978." The properties only represent 1% of all of NFIP’s insurance policies, but have accounted for nearly one-third of the claim payments. FEMA provides all repetitive loss information to every community each year and if a community wishes to participate in the Community Rating System (CRS) program, then they must map out each area and property and submit the maps to FEMA.
The Village of Wheeling participates in the CRS program and has a number of repetitive loss properties. Because of this, the GIS department was asked to put together maps showing the locations of all repetitive loss properties in the village. Each map shows the location of the repetitive loss area with repetitive loss properties highlighted. Each affected property lists the dates for each flood insurance claim. By mapping out the locations of each property, the village meets the requirements set by FEMA for documenting repetitive loss areas and for participating in the CRS insurance program, therefore allowing it’s resident’s to obtain a better price for flood insurance.
With the building of a new village hall and an updated police station, the Village of Wheeling took the opportunity to put in a new sprinkler system for the outdoor areas of both buildings. The sprinkler system consists of roughly 600 sprinkler heads varying in size, flow, and type tied into a computer system. The Village of Wheeling requested that a map be created showing the location of all the features within the system overlaid on aerial imagery.
To get accurate locations of all the sprinkler heads, a village engineer went out and used a GPS unit to collect all the location information. The points were then loaded into GIS and mapped out on top of the village’s aerial imagery. Using engineering drawings, attributes and line work were added to the map to complete the entire system. Finally, sprinkler zones were added using notes provided by public works and building maintenance crews.
The final product displays the entire sprinkler system on top of the aerial imagery so that maintenance crews can locate any part of the system. By adding the map into the village’s online mapping program, maintenance crews can select a sprinkler and see all the attributes for that specific feature. This allows them to easily make repairs and replacements. Because the computer tied into the system references errors by zone, the zone numbers were added to the system allowing maintenance crews to see exactly where a specific error is located and what other parts of the system are going to be affected. By adding the sprinkler system into GIS, the maintenance crews are able to get a clear look at the system and then make quick and informative decisions on any maintenance or issues.
Starting in 2009, the Village of Wheeling began using a survey grade GPS system to collect utility information in the field. The village started with the sanitary system, moved on to the water system, and is then planning to collect information for the storm system last. Collecting this information using a survey grade system provides a level of accuracy not normally seen in field collection GPS and allows the data to be integrated into GIS and CAD with minimal effort.
By using a combination of the GPS system, satellite mission planning, and survey equipment, the village engineers were able to accurately collect utility locations. When each system is completed, the points collected in the field will then be loaded into the GIS system and its utility models. By having more accurate data that is verified in the field, the data can be used in a number of GIS projects such as water main break analysis, outfall tracing, and inclusion in MapOffice™ Advanced. Without the most up to date utility data, the analyses could result in incorrect data and conclusions.
For a 7.5 mile stretch of Dundee Rd., from Milwaukee Ave. to Green Bay Rd., the only section without a bikeable sidewalk or path is a small section within Wheeling village limits from the Des Plaines River to the Interstate 294 overpass. Without a path or sidewalk, this section of Dundee Rd. can be dangerous for any biker who attempts to ride in the grass or on the street itself. The Village of Wheeling is looking to build a bike path to connect the two sections to help provide a safe passage for bicyclists.
Using GIS, the village planner was able to put together multiple maps to use in proposals to outside agencies for additional funding for the project. The maps show the location of the proposed extension in relation to other bike paths in the area, while also showing how the extension will help connect the existing bike path network. By using GIS, the maps were created quickly and used information from neighboring communities that might not have been available and the map had to be created by hand. No matter what the decision is on additional funding, GIS helped play a role in getting the proposal to the table.
Back in the fall of 2009, a village trustee was trying to inform a resident of the businesses available in the village of Wheeling. The trustee was unable to find anything on the internet or the village website in regards to the business. The trustee asked the economic development department to put together an updated business inventory for the new village website. In turn, economic development asked the GIS department to create a series of maps that would accurately display the inventory information.
Keyhole Markup Language (KML) was developed by Google for an easy way to express geographic elements on internet-based maps such as Google Maps and Google Earth. It was determined the best way to map out all the businesses in Wheeling, was to use Google KML to map out each location as a point with the familiar Google Maps as a background. Close to 900 businesses in the village were categorized as either, Industrial, Commercial & Retail, or Food & Hospitality. By breaking the businesses down into categories, it relieved the issue of congestion when opening a map with close to 900 points. Each category would get its own map so that the user would not be overwhelmed. After the businesses were categorized, attributes such as phone number, address, and website were added to each location allowing the user to click on a point and see all contact information. The businesses were then mapped out and tested before being added to the village website.
By having an updated business inventory on the village website, the village provides information that is important to its residents. With having each business mapped out, a resident or someone visiting the village can find a specific business and then get all related information by interacting with the point on the map. Business locations maps could be created without using GIS, but it would be very difficult. The sheer number of locations ensures that to correctly find a location, a map would have to zoom in and out so as not to appear as just a big collection of dots. By using GIS and Google KML, the village was able to create an interactive map that could provide all relevant information and be accessed by anybody who visits the village website.
The Village of Wheeling is responsible for the landscaping and upkeep for various public areas throughout the village limits. There are roughly 160 different areas ranging from village owned property such as village hall, to areas along streets such as right-of-ways and cul-de-sacs. Each year the village bids out the job and provides a large map for reference. This map contains numbers that represent locations detailed in an accompanying document. The document provides basic location information, a description, and the type of services needed in that area i.e. mowing or landscaping. The village asked the GIS department to simplify the process and provide an updated product to be given to any company bidding on the project.
For this particular project, a map book was created to provide the best combination of location and attribute information. Each map page corresponds to a section of the village that needs to be maintained referenced in the document that is given out. Every page contains an aerial image with the specific area outlined as well as a smaller map to show where the specific area is in relation to the rest of the village. The pages also contain the attribute information for each location such as the class, location ID, address or relative location, and a brief description. The pages are provided in standard PDF format for ease of use.
By converting the project from a large map and an accompanying document to a map book, the entire process has been simplified. The workers in the field no longer have to cross-reference a document to a large map to determine what needs to be done in a specific location, all the information is provided directly on the map book page. Because the maps are standard letter size, they can be easily transported in a binder or reprinted if there is a change or a page is lost. By using GIS, the village is able to provide more accurate and legible information to any company that provides landscaping and mowing services for all village owned properties.
JULIE (Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators) is a not-for-profit corporation that provides homeowners and professional excavators with a place to call when planning to dig. Before any ground breaking occurs, the homeowner or excavator has to call JULIE and answer questions about the excavation. JULIE will then notify its members with underground utilities in that area to be marked. Because the Village of Wheeling is a member of JULIE and owns a majority of the sewer and water lines in the village, they are responsible for going out and marking utility locations.
Previously, municipalities indicated to JULIE the location of utility lines according to quarter-section numbers from large plat maps. If a community had just one utility feature in a quarter section, any excavation in that quarter section would require notification to the municipality and field verification of the location. This has lead to many erroneous calls and locates to areas where no actual municipal underground utility existed, even in neighboring communities.
JULIE is now allowing municipalities to submit boundaries, using GIS, based on their utility systems to be used in JULIE's notification system in place of the quarter section method used in the past. This submission can potentially cut down the number of JULIE related service calls a community will receive and perform, saving the community in JULIE costs per notification and time for conducting unneeded locates.
The Village of Wheeling has taken advantage of this opportunity and submitted a new boundary that solely encompasses the utilities in the village. This will result in the village not having to respond to JULIE locates outside of the village limits saving time and money. Without GIS, the village would have had to keep the current boundary and potentially waste even more money and time with any future JULIE locates.
A control point is a location on the ground whose horizontal and vertical location is known. This allows a potential developer to determine the elevation of the area and make sure they are in the correct geographic datum. The village of Wheeling provides this information to developers, through multiple maps and documents. Every time a developer would request control point information, village staff would have to hunt through multiple locations to find the appropriate information. The village decided to organize their control point information to better serve potential developers and to ease the burden on office staff. They asked the GIS department to come up with a solution.
A map book was created for the village control points using GIS. Each page corresponds to a specific control point, showing an aerial photo of the location as well as elevation and coordinate system information. Overall, 29 map book pages were created. The pages were then turned into PDF format and placed on the village website. A map on the village website allows a developer to click on a specific control point and have a printable 8.5” x 11” PDF of that location appear.
By using GIS, the village was able to eliminate the need for village staff to take time out of their day to find control point information. By placing the maps on the village website, potential developers can print off the locations and descriptions of each control point at their own leisure.
In 2003, the village of Wheeling created a bike map plan highlighting the areas of the village that would be best suited for bike paths. Although a few of the paths were created, much of the plan was never fully implemented. In 2009, the village planner decided to create a new village bike map that would take the best aspects of the previously created map, but add in more logical and cost effective bike paths.
The main goals for the new bike map plan would be to create paths that would link paths from neighboring townships, allowing a biker to travel in and around the surrounding areas, and to make sure the created paths would be as cost effective as possible. The village planner contacted the surrounding communities and obtained their bike maps. This allowed him, by using GIS, to create a map with the surrounding community’s paths, and then connect the existing village bike paths to them. By using GIS, the village planner could now plot where exactly the new village bike paths should go, and then estimate the cost for a particular section. In one proposed section, the street is wide enough to paint a bike path on one side. By calculating the amount of round surface area, the cost of painting the street can be estimated. This cost can then be compared to other proposed types of routes and the most cost effective route can be chosen.
Although the plan is not finalized, GIS allowed the village to plan a more logical bike path system. By connecting existing paths to paths in surrounding communities as well as existing village locations i.e. village hall or the aquatic center, residents will be able to travel through the village and to surrounding areas as easily and safely as possible.
The village of Wheeling contains numerous restaurants and eating establishments that reflect the diversity of the area. This includes “Restaurant Row”, a string of highly rated restaurants along Milwaukee Ave. The village kept a list of these establishments, but never provided this information to the public. Using the ability of a Geographic Information System (GIS) program to create location points, which are then placed within 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 Wheeling. 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. 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.
In 1916, the United States created the Federal-aid Highway Program with the primary objective being the improvement of rural roads. This changed with the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1944, which authorized the first specific funds for urban highways, specifically the creation of a formula for the distribution of federal-aid funds among the primary, secondary, and urban systems. Today, there are three federal-aid systems: The Interstate Highway System, the Federal-aid Primary highway system (FAP), and the Federal-aid Secondary highway system. The Federal-aid Secondary highway system is broken into secondary non-urban (FAS) and secondary urban (FAU). The interstate system consists of routes connecting and running through and around major urban centers. The FAP consists of a system of connected main highways, while the FAS are composed of principal secondary and feeder routes. Both aid systems are chosen by state highway departments and local officials, but are subject to approval by the Bureau of Public Roads. Having roads designated as federal-aid means that the federal and state governments provide funds and take care of repairs instead of the community in which the road is located. This allows the local government to spend money in other areas.
The Village of Wheeling currently has 12 routes designated as either FAP or FAU. These consist of major roads throughout the village such as Palatine Road, Wolf Rd, and Milwaukee Ave. The village submitted a proposal to add 6 more roads to the Federal-Aid Urban System. These include: Anthony Road, Equestrian Drive, Lexington Drive, Manchester Drive, Northgate Parkway, and Strong Avenue. The village’s capital projects department requested that the Geographic Information System (GIS) department create a large map showing all current and proposed FAP and FAU routes as well as small 8.5” x 11” maps detailing the starting and ends of each routes with all existing traffic signals and stop signs, to be submitted for approval. This saved the department the time and effort previously required to create detailed maps by hand or using an inefficient, program.
As of May 2009, a decision has not been reached on the approval of the six routes as Federal-aid routes, but GIS provided the capital projects department an easy way to submit their proposal without spending a significant amount of time creating the maps needed for the proposal.
The Village of Wheeling fire department created fire districts for the purpose of sectioning off the village so that village firefighters would have a better idea where an incident was located and what station would be the closest for response. The districts were sectioned off by neighborhood and each one was given a four digit reference code. The fire department then created maps of each district showing the streets that were located within each one. While the maps were effective at first, they eventually became outdated due to changes in the village. The fire department asked the GIS Specialist to create an updated Fire District Map Book that would also include features not available in the previous version.
Using GIS, a new map book was created to meet the fire departments specifications. The two new items requested to be added to the map book were fire hydrant locations and village addresses. The fire department went out and marked the location of each hydrant within the village so that the exact locations could be added. With the fire hydrant locations known, the firefighters would not have to waste time locating a hydrant when responding to an incident. With the addresses displayed, the fire department can easily locate the location of an incident, especially in the case of an apartment complex where the addresses are now broken down by building allowing the fire department to respond to the correct building. In addition to the hydrant locations and the addresses, the street names and the parcels were updated reflecting the changes to the village since the last map book was created. Each map book consists of individual pages that can be replaced individually in case of an update or if a page is lost or destroyed.
With the completion of the updated fire district map books and the placement of them within their vehicles, the fire department can now respond more efficiently and more effectively to an incident within the village.
Every month, the Crime Analyst for the Village of Wheeling Police Department provides a report detailing all criminal incidents within the village for the preceding month. These reports typically include charts displaying each incident as well as the different crime type frequencies from one month to the next. In addition, the reports also include maps showing the location, type and shift of each incident. With no mapping software available, the crime analyst created these reports using a combination of free programs and software. The result of these methods was very labor intensive resulting in increased time consumption as well as limitations on the amount of the other work that could be completed on any given day.
The Village of Wheeling Police Department requested that a process be instituted that would allow the Crime Analyst to create the report maps more efficient and timely manner. It was requested that the maps be in PDF format and that they could accommodate all possible crimes and incidents. Moreover, the maps were to be maintained by the Police Department with support from the GIS Department when needed.
With this criterion in place, the GIS Department decided to create a database that would allow for the Crime Analyst to load in crime incident data each month so that the report maps could be continuously updated. The database included the details and location of each incident as well as a four digit Illinois Uniform Crime Report Offense Code. A set of symbols was then created with each symbol referencing the four digit crime code allowing for each incident to have its own unique symbol.
It was also decided that the final map product would allow for the Crime Analyst to load the most recent crime data into a database and then map all the incidents at once using the GIS’ ability to map locations based on an address. In addition, when each location is mapped out it will automatically be assigned a symbol based off the four digit crime code and the shift. This eliminated the need for the Crime Analyst to map each incident individually by hand thus transforming the old methods into a less time consuming process. From there, map templates representing each police beat were created that allowed the Crime Analyst to export each map to a PDF format as soon as the incident data is loaded into the program. This in turn eliminated the need for the Crime Analyst to zoom in and out to create legible maps once again saving time as well as eliminating the chance of error.
Although the preceding non-GIS method of creating maps for the police report was effective, it is easy to see that with the use of GIS technology the Crime Analyst was able to create the monthly reports in less than a day compared to the four days required using the previous methods.
Every year FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) provides communities with updated maps and flood information to be used to help determine insurance rates and resident location flood hazards. Included in this delivery is Geographic Information System (GIS) specific information that can be integrated into existing community maps. This combination of information allows the user to recognize trends that may not be noticeable when looking at separate sources.
In previous FEMA deliveries to the Village of Wheeling, flood maps were provided showing the different flood zones and the floodway along the Des Plaines River and the various creeks and streams that flowed into it. When a resident called to find out if a property was within a specific flood zone to determine if flood insurance needed to be purchased, a village employee would have to compare the flood map with a map displaying addresses and lot lines. By combining the flood map with the address map with GIS, you get a map clearly showing where the flood zones overlap lots lines with the respective address. This process saves time and can provide a more accurate estimate of a resident’s location to a flood zone.
The flood information provided by FEMA could also be combined with other data accessible by the village’s GIS. Combining the flood data with village Zoning and TIF district information can help a prospective builder make a more informed decision on a building location.
Although all data provided by FEMA and the village of Wheeling existed prior to GIS, it was never combined in such a way to provide more accurate information and a map that is easier to use.