Mapping Out Existing City Bike Network

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To promote healthy living and the use of alternative travel, many
local governments have started to design and implement projects related
to cycling, such as bike route signage and dedicated bike lanes along
local streets. To assist with promoting the projects they’ve worked on
to the general public, the City of Des Plaines, IL asked the their
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) department to create a series of
mapping products that display a wide-range of features from the city’s
bike network, including the existing route locations and planned
improvements.

As the result of several years of planning and design, the
city’s bike network is slowly beginning to take shape. Using maps to
convey the work that’s already been done, along with future project
locations, helps to promote these efforts to both city residents, and
those interested in biking through the city, by providing a visual tool
to see how each route connects to each other. By seeing the routes
within the context of the city, riders can plan out their trips more
effectively and decide the safest path to take. These map products make
the bike project information more accessible and transparent, which
helps to promote rider safety, and, overall, makes the city a more
bike-friendly destination.

Mapping Out Existing City Bike Network

Blog_MappingOutExistingCityBikeNetwork.jpg

To promote healthy living and the use of alternative travel, many
local governments have started to design and implement projects related
to cycling, such as bike route signage and dedicated bike lanes along
local streets. To assist with promoting the projects they’ve worked on
to the general public, the City of Des Plaines, IL asked the their
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) department to create a series of
mapping products that display a wide-range of features from the city’s
bike network, including the existing route locations and planned
improvements.

As the result of several years of planning and design, the
city’s bike network is slowly beginning to take shape. Using maps to
convey the work that’s already been done, along with future project
locations, helps to promote these efforts to both city residents, and
those interested in biking through the city, by providing a visual tool
to see how each route connects to each other. By seeing the routes
within the context of the city, riders can plan out their trips more
effectively and decide the safest path to take. These map products make
the bike project information more accessible and transparent, which
helps to promote rider safety, and, overall, makes the city a more
bike-friendly destination.

GIS Supports Honorary Tree Planting Program

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There are many different ways that a local municipality can engage
their residents to take part in the community and contribute to the
daily operations and occurrences. For example, there are citizen
emergency response teams, volunteer crossing guards, volunteers for
special events and many more.

One similar program that the Village of Morton Grove, IL is looking
to institute is an Honorary Tree Planting Program. This program would
allow a Village resident to purchase a tree, with supervision from the
Village arborist, and have it planted in honor of someone specific. The
idea of this program is to give Village residents the opportunity to
honor someone special at the same time they can help out the community
financially. In planning for this program, Village employees have been
looking for a way to promote it as well as make it accessible to the
public in an easy manner. Accessibility would mean that the end product
would have to be visible on the internet so that family and friends who
do not live in the Village could still see the honorary tree that was
planted as well as where it is located within the Village.

For this portion of the program the Village decided to enlist the
services of the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Department in
order to publish these honorary trees out on the internet. This process
would be handled by a Keyhole Markup Language (KML) file and would sit
atop the Google maps framework. Once completed, an internet address
will be placed on the Village’s website that will redirect the users to a
Google map of all of the trees that have been planted in honor of
others.

At this moment the mapping portion of this project is only in its
beta stages but if carried out properly it could easily help the program
grow as well as demonstrate a way that Village residents can help their
community, family and friends.

Tree preservation using GIS

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A developing problem spread among many communities in the greater
Chicago area is the rapid growth of the Emerald Ash Borer, which is an
insect that adversely affects the health of ash trees. Oak Brook has
recently began locating and tracking all ash trees in the village owned
public parkways, and noting any trees that are currently affected by the
outbreak. It is important to not only know which trees are infected,
but also to know where all non-infected trees are located so that
mitigation can begin immediately. The village has a plan to completely
replace all ash trees within the next 10 years, beginning with the trees
that are currently in the worse condition. It is important to track
and maintain the ash trees because subdivisions with a high density of
ash trees could face mass amounts of landscape change in a very short
period of time, which could leave the esthetics of the subdivision less
than pleasing.

The image shown is of the ash tree locations within the Saddle Brook
neighborhood, which has a very high density of ash trees in the public
parkway. An inventory of trees was done by public works employees and
the results were returned in order to track and analyze the data using
GIS. Currently we are tracking ash trees, infected ash trees, and ash
trees that have been replaced in the past few years. By using GIS we
will be able to track high priority areas, plan for future mitigation
and keep track of the areas and work that has already been implemented.

Tree preservation using GIS

Blog_TreepreservationusingGIS.png

A developing problem spread among many communities in the greater
Chicago area is the rapid growth of the Emerald Ash Borer, which is an
insect that adversely affects the health of ash trees. Oak Brook has
recently began locating and tracking all ash trees in the village owned
public parkways, and noting any trees that are currently affected by the
outbreak. It is important to not only know which trees are infected,
but also to know where all non-infected trees are located so that
mitigation can begin immediately. The village has a plan to completely
replace all ash trees within the next 10 years, beginning with the trees
that are currently in the worse condition. It is important to track
and maintain the ash trees because subdivisions with a high density of
ash trees could face mass amounts of landscape change in a very short
period of time, which could leave the esthetics of the subdivision less
than pleasing.

The image shown is of the ash tree locations within the Saddle Brook
neighborhood, which has a very high density of ash trees in the public
parkway. An inventory of trees was done by public works employees and
the results were returned in order to track and analyze the data using
GIS. Currently we are tracking ash trees, infected ash trees, and ash
trees that have been replaced in the past few years. By using GIS we
will be able to track high priority areas, plan for future mitigation
and keep track of the areas and work that has already been implemented.

Glenview residents learn more about Emerald Ash Borer in their community

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In partnership with the Glenview Park District, the Village of
Glenview is hosting two public events on the impact of the Emerald Ash
Borer beetle. By offering these workshops, the Village hopes to help its
residents learn more about how their local government is responding to
this pest and what residents can do to help. These types of meetings
encourage transparency in government operations and also foster a
team-based approach to a problem that affects everyone.

GIS was able to assist in this project by mapping out the locations
of trees infested with Emerald Ash Borer within the Village limits.
Workshop attendees will see how the problem has progressed in Glenview
over a short period of time. The maps provide a striking illustration of
the statistics, which increased from 22 cases in 2009 to the 120
already documented in 2011. By using GIS, these educational aids were
created in very quickly and at little cost to the Village. Public Works
staff hopes to make further use of these maps to spatially analyze where
the beetle is and how quickly it is spreading.

Glenview residents learn more about Emerald Ash Borer in their community

Blog_Glenview_residents_learn_more_about_Emerald_Ash_Borer.jpg

In partnership with the Glenview Park District, the Village of
Glenview is hosting two public events on the impact of the Emerald Ash
Borer beetle. By offering these workshops, the Village hopes to help its
residents learn more about how their local government is responding to
this pest and what residents can do to help. These types of meetings
encourage transparency in government operations and also foster a
team-based approach to a problem that affects everyone.

GIS was able to assist in this project by mapping out the locations
of trees infested with Emerald Ash Borer within the Village limits.
Workshop attendees will see how the problem has progressed in Glenview
over a short period of time. The maps provide a striking illustration of
the statistics, which increased from 22 cases in 2009 to the 120
already documented in 2011. By using GIS, these educational aids were
created in very quickly and at little cost to the Village. Public Works
staff hopes to make further use of these maps to spatially analyze where
the beetle is and how quickly it is spreading.

MapOffice public deployed to Lake Forest employees and residents

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Lake Forest will have access to the web version of MapOffice™
beginning June 1st. The month of May was spent preparing the base data
needed to get MapOffice™ up and running, which involved loading previous
GIS data into the GIS Consortium standardized database.

MapOffice™ will provide staff and residents with information for each
parcel and address in the city, which ranges from school districts and
voting information to garbage pick up days. A link to the Lake County
Assessor’s website for each individual address is also provided to gain
further information regarding building and property dimensions, assessed
value, and sales history.  Tools will be available to the user to
provide further analysis if needed, such as measuring and links to both
Google Street View and Bing Maps Bird’s Eye View.

Information commonly used by staff to assist residents will now all
be available in one place, increasing efficiency, as well as providing
basic information to residents who may have otherwise had to call in to
ask about in the past. Work continues on data creation for MapOffice™
Advanced, which is scheduled to be available on the City intranet by
mid-June.

MapOffice public deployed to Lake Forest employees and residents

Blog_MapOffice_public_deployed_to_Lake_Forest.png

Lake Forest will have access to the web version of MapOffice™
beginning June 1st. The month of May was spent preparing the base data
needed to get MapOffice™ up and running, which involved loading previous
GIS data into the GIS Consortium standardized database.

MapOffice™ will provide staff and residents with information for each
parcel and address in the city, which ranges from school districts and
voting information to garbage pick up days. A link to the Lake County
Assessor’s website for each individual address is also provided to gain
further information regarding building and property dimensions, assessed
value, and sales history.  Tools will be available to the user to
provide further analysis if needed, such as measuring and links to both
Google Street View and Bing Maps Bird’s Eye View.

Information commonly used by staff to assist residents will now all
be available in one place, increasing efficiency, as well as providing
basic information to residents who may have otherwise had to call in to
ask about in the past. Work continues on data creation for MapOffice™
Advanced, which is scheduled to be available on the City intranet by
mid-June.

Bike Route Extension Proposal

​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.