Analyzing the community infrastructure

​The cycle of weather in the Chicagoland area results in an
instability that catches up with communities in the spring. Cleaning up
after the harsh winter that batters the roadways and underlying water
and sewer utilities can be a very demanding task. Every year streets are
resurfaced and water mains are broken and then replaced. These tasks
seem simple to the public: village crews go out, dig up the pavement,
and replace it. What the public may not realize is the planning that is
involved and the analysis which is provided by the Skokie Geographic
Information System Department (GIS).

By using GIS, the Village of Skokie’s Public Works Department now has
the ability to analyze their street, water and sewer data. Because
Skokie’s infrastructure is heavily stressed by the freeze and thaw cycle
during the winter months, maintenance of the infrastructure begins
during the spring. Data kept by the water and sewer department serves
as the base analysis carried out by the GIS department. Water main
breaks are plotted and color coded by year to allow the user to easily
identify areas containing a high density of breaks. In addition to
plotting water main breaks, the mains are categorized by year of
installation and color coded as well.

Combined and storm sewers are also found in the infrastructure
analysis. These sewers are rehabbed and are categorized by a rating
system. By using this system, public works can easily track the
locations and years in which the work was completed, eliminating the
need to use paper documents such as as-builts or other technical
drawings. This is also true for street resurfacing. Keeping data
simple and accessible provides critical information to the decision
makers of the community.

Users of GIS benefit from the technology’s ability to transform data
in table format to spatial locations plotted on a map, while keeping the
attributes of the table. GIS creates an environment that can easily
analyze geographic data and help facilitate decision making. By keeping
records of water main breaks, sewer rehabilitation, and street
resurfacing, the Village of Skokie can locate and analyze areas with
ease.

Analyzing the community infrastructure

​The cycle of weather in the Chicagoland area results in an
instability that catches up with communities in the spring. Cleaning up
after the harsh winter that batters the roadways and underlying water
and sewer utilities can be a very demanding task. Every year streets are
resurfaced and water mains are broken and then replaced. These tasks
seem simple to the public: village crews go out, dig up the pavement,
and replace it. What the public may not realize is the planning that is
involved and the analysis which is provided by the Skokie Geographic
Information System Department (GIS).

By using GIS, the Village of Skokie’s Public Works Department now has
the ability to analyze their street, water and sewer data. Because
Skokie’s infrastructure is heavily stressed by the freeze and thaw cycle
during the winter months, maintenance of the infrastructure begins
during the spring. Data kept by the water and sewer department serves
as the base analysis carried out by the GIS department. Water main
breaks are plotted and color coded by year to allow the user to easily
identify areas containing a high density of breaks. In addition to
plotting water main breaks, the mains are categorized by year of
installation and color coded as well.

Combined and storm sewers are also found in the infrastructure
analysis. These sewers are rehabbed and are categorized by a rating
system. By using this system, public works can easily track the
locations and years in which the work was completed, eliminating the
need to use paper documents such as as-builts or other technical
drawings. This is also true for street resurfacing. Keeping data
simple and accessible provides critical information to the decision
makers of the community.

Users of GIS benefit from the technology’s ability to transform data
in table format to spatial locations plotted on a map, while keeping the
attributes of the table. GIS creates an environment that can easily
analyze geographic data and help facilitate decision making. By keeping
records of water main breaks, sewer rehabilitation, and street
resurfacing, the Village of Skokie can locate and analyze areas with
ease.