GIS supports grant writing effort

​The Village of Lincolnwood has been hard at work trying to secure
grants that will help produce bicycle routes and paths throughout the
Village. The grant, Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC), is administered
through the Regional Transportation Authority. It is federally funded to
help people of lower income travel to their places of employment.
Providing assistance for this grant application has been the Village’s
Geographic Information System (GIS). Throughout the process GIS has
played an important part by providing maps and analysis. The Village is a
member of the GIS Consortium (GISC) which is a Using the GIS
Consortiums subscription to Business Analyst Online, the Village
compiled necessary statistics for use in the grant. In addition to the
statistics, locations of stoplights were mapped out to provide a list
for use in field checks. Also, using GIS, the Village was able to verify
that manhole covers and inlets along the proposed bike route corridors
were of a certain type; openings were not large enough for a bicycle
tire to become stuck.

The grant application process can be demanding and very competitive.
With so many communities looking for free money, the more information
the Village can provide, the better their chances at securing the grant.
GIS has the ability to help during these processes. Map creation and
analysis provided by the GIS staff have supplied necessary components of
this grant.

GIS supports grant writing effort

​The Village of Lincolnwood has been hard at work trying to secure
grants that will help produce bicycle routes and paths throughout the
Village. The grant, Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC), is administered
through the Regional Transportation Authority. It is federally funded to
help people of lower income travel to their places of employment.
Providing assistance for this grant application has been the Village’s
Geographic Information System (GIS). Throughout the process GIS has
played an important part by providing maps and analysis. The Village is a
member of the GIS Consortium (GISC) which is a Using the GIS
Consortiums subscription to Business Analyst Online, the Village
compiled necessary statistics for use in the grant. In addition to the
statistics, locations of stoplights were mapped out to provide a list
for use in field checks. Also, using GIS, the Village was able to verify
that manhole covers and inlets along the proposed bike route corridors
were of a certain type; openings were not large enough for a bicycle
tire to become stuck.

The grant application process can be demanding and very competitive.
With so many communities looking for free money, the more information
the Village can provide, the better their chances at securing the grant.
GIS has the ability to help during these processes. Map creation and
analysis provided by the GIS staff have supplied necessary components of
this grant.

Garabage collection redesign

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Garbage collection is an essential service provided by municipal
government that, in many communities, has become ingrained in the weekly
routine of community residents. While collecting garbage seems like a
straight forward process, often there are weeks or months of planning
that are necessary to determine pickup locations for a given route that
are efficient in both time and resources. Recently, the Village of
Winnetka Public Works department decided to reallocate their garbage
collection pickup locations to help maximize the efficiency of each
truck driver’s route. To assist with this, the Village GIS department
provided support during both the planning and implementation stages of
the project.

The first step in developing new garbage collection zones was to
determine how the current pickup locations related to each other
spatially within the Village. Prior to integrating GIS into this
project, the Village used a series of address lists to determine the
truck driver’s routes. These lists often had overlapping address ranges,
which could lead to confusion for new or replacement drivers. This also
did not provide an option for the drivers to see how the addresses were
distributed in relation to each other, which could often lead to them
taking an inefficient route to pickup each address. Using these address
lists, the GIS department mapped out each collection area and provided a
map to the Public Works department for review. The map showed the
department how the driver’s routes were distributed across the Village,
which allowed them to notice several inefficiencies that were not
obvious using the address lists alone. Utilizing the maps, the
department was able to successfully reallocate the pickup locations
within the collection areas to improve both driver time and resource
efficiency.

To help implement the new routes, the GIS department developed a
series of smaller maps that are used in the garbage trucks to assist the
driver’s in learning the new pickup locations. The maps not only help
the drivers to see where new pickup locations are in each collection
area, but they also allow for the drivers to see the street layout
within the collection area to help determine the best possible pickup
route. By combining the reallocated collection locations determined by
the department office staff with the ability to see the Village streets
in the surrounding area, the maps provide a powerful tool for drivers to
use in determining the best collection route.

By using GIS as a tool for visualizing its garbage pickup locations,
the Village has been able to improve the efficiency of the driver’s
routes while not reducing the level of service provided to its
residents. While the address lists used previously can still be
referenced for individual pickup locations, the maps act as a
supplemental, quick reference tool to see how these locations are
distributed spatially across the Village.

Garabage collection redesign

Blog_Garabage_collection_redesign.jpg

Garbage collection is an essential service provided by municipal
government that, in many communities, has become ingrained in the weekly
routine of community residents. While collecting garbage seems like a
straight forward process, often there are weeks or months of planning
that are necessary to determine pickup locations for a given route that
are efficient in both time and resources. Recently, the Village of
Winnetka Public Works department decided to reallocate their garbage
collection pickup locations to help maximize the efficiency of each
truck driver’s route. To assist with this, the Village GIS department
provided support during both the planning and implementation stages of
the project.

The first step in developing new garbage collection zones was to
determine how the current pickup locations related to each other
spatially within the Village. Prior to integrating GIS into this
project, the Village used a series of address lists to determine the
truck driver’s routes. These lists often had overlapping address ranges,
which could lead to confusion for new or replacement drivers. This also
did not provide an option for the drivers to see how the addresses were
distributed in relation to each other, which could often lead to them
taking an inefficient route to pickup each address. Using these address
lists, the GIS department mapped out each collection area and provided a
map to the Public Works department for review. The map showed the
department how the driver’s routes were distributed across the Village,
which allowed them to notice several inefficiencies that were not
obvious using the address lists alone. Utilizing the maps, the
department was able to successfully reallocate the pickup locations
within the collection areas to improve both driver time and resource
efficiency.

To help implement the new routes, the GIS department developed a
series of smaller maps that are used in the garbage trucks to assist the
driver’s in learning the new pickup locations. The maps not only help
the drivers to see where new pickup locations are in each collection
area, but they also allow for the drivers to see the street layout
within the collection area to help determine the best possible pickup
route. By combining the reallocated collection locations determined by
the department office staff with the ability to see the Village streets
in the surrounding area, the maps provide a powerful tool for drivers to
use in determining the best collection route.

By using GIS as a tool for visualizing its garbage pickup locations,
the Village has been able to improve the efficiency of the driver’s
routes while not reducing the level of service provided to its
residents. While the address lists used previously can still be
referenced for individual pickup locations, the maps act as a
supplemental, quick reference tool to see how these locations are
distributed spatially across the Village.

GIS assists in park accreditation application process

​The Village of Lincolnwood is not within a park district, but
provides its residents with an in-house parks and recreation department.
Over the years, Lincolnwood has refined and added services to offer
residents with a wide array of programs. Programs include summer camps,
adult softball leagues, a farmers market and much more. In order to
provide service in the best possible way, Lincolnwood has applied for
accreditation through the Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD).
This is a voluntary evaluation which provides feedback to improve the
delivery of services and programs. If, at the end of the audit, the
Village proves it has met specific guidelines set by the IAPD, it will
have earned the Distinguished Accreditation.

Geographic Information System (GIS) played a large role in the
application process. Part of the accreditation application process
involved highlighting the parks in maps specific to their location in
the Village. Showing the parks with a buffer around it, the Village,
using GIS, was able to depict service areas for each park. Parks are put
into three categories depending on size: mini, neighborhood, and
community. Mini Parks are one acre or less and service an area of ¼ mile
while neighborhood parks are between one and twenty-five acres and
service ½ mile in all directions. The Village of Lincolnwood currently
does not have a park in the Community Park category.

In the end, GIS has provided a visual reference to areas where
residents have access to parks. Showing all the parks and their
overlapping service areas has been a great resource in the application
process. Supplying quality maps and having the ability to analyze the
locations in a geographical way has proved how important GIS was in this
process.

GIS assists in park accreditation application process

​The Village of Lincolnwood is not within a park district, but
provides its residents with an in-house parks and recreation department.
Over the years, Lincolnwood has refined and added services to offer
residents with a wide array of programs. Programs include summer camps,
adult softball leagues, a farmers market and much more. In order to
provide service in the best possible way, Lincolnwood has applied for
accreditation through the Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD).
This is a voluntary evaluation which provides feedback to improve the
delivery of services and programs. If, at the end of the audit, the
Village proves it has met specific guidelines set by the IAPD, it will
have earned the Distinguished Accreditation.

Geographic Information System (GIS) played a large role in the
application process. Part of the accreditation application process
involved highlighting the parks in maps specific to their location in
the Village. Showing the parks with a buffer around it, the Village,
using GIS, was able to depict service areas for each park. Parks are put
into three categories depending on size: mini, neighborhood, and
community. Mini Parks are one acre or less and service an area of ¼ mile
while neighborhood parks are between one and twenty-five acres and
service ½ mile in all directions. The Village of Lincolnwood currently
does not have a park in the Community Park category.

In the end, GIS has provided a visual reference to areas where
residents have access to parks. Showing all the parks and their
overlapping service areas has been a great resource in the application
process. Supplying quality maps and having the ability to analyze the
locations in a geographical way has proved how important GIS was in this
process.

Using GIS to monitor tree stock

​Over the past decade, communities throughout the mid-west have
battled with invasive species. These Invasive species in our rivers and
lakes have affected the way we use these natural resources. Likewise,
our trees have become a focal point of disease and invasive species
including the Emerald Ash Borer and Dutch Elm Disease. Because of this,
it has become necessary to manage trees.

Urban forestry has evolved with the use of technology. Nature’s
Path, a forestry consulting firm servicing the Village of Lincolnwood,
was brought in to create a tree inventory which would be used to manage
the Village’s trees. Using Geographic Information System (GIS),
Nature’s Path created an inventory encompassing the entire village. All
trees were logged on village right –of –ways, medians, and other
village owned property while given attributes pertaining to the health,
size, and age.

Using the tree inventory in GIS has helped Public Works service the
village in a more timely fashion. We can now visually see the locations
of certain classifications of trees on maps and provide geographic
analysis. But this is not all. GIS creates ways to perform advanced
queries and provides results in multiple formats – tabular and
graphical. For example, if all the ash trees need to be located as a
precaution to the Emerald Ash Borer, the locations can be provided
within minutes in map or table form.

Knowing the quantity of trees that require servicing as well as the
health and size assist in project planning. Since the ash borer and elm
disease are regional issues, it is imperative that communities have easy
access to tree data in order to better plan, manage, and share
information on a larger scale.

Using GIS to monitor tree stock

​Over the past decade, communities throughout the mid-west have
battled with invasive species. These Invasive species in our rivers and
lakes have affected the way we use these natural resources. Likewise,
our trees have become a focal point of disease and invasive species
including the Emerald Ash Borer and Dutch Elm Disease. Because of this,
it has become necessary to manage trees.

Urban forestry has evolved with the use of technology. Nature’s
Path, a forestry consulting firm servicing the Village of Lincolnwood,
was brought in to create a tree inventory which would be used to manage
the Village’s trees. Using Geographic Information System (GIS),
Nature’s Path created an inventory encompassing the entire village. All
trees were logged on village right –of –ways, medians, and other
village owned property while given attributes pertaining to the health,
size, and age.

Using the tree inventory in GIS has helped Public Works service the
village in a more timely fashion. We can now visually see the locations
of certain classifications of trees on maps and provide geographic
analysis. But this is not all. GIS creates ways to perform advanced
queries and provides results in multiple formats – tabular and
graphical. For example, if all the ash trees need to be located as a
precaution to the Emerald Ash Borer, the locations can be provided
within minutes in map or table form.

Knowing the quantity of trees that require servicing as well as the
health and size assist in project planning. Since the ash borer and elm
disease are regional issues, it is imperative that communities have easy
access to tree data in order to better plan, manage, and share
information on a larger scale.

Using free GIS technology to aide local government staff

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Information captured in a Geographic Information System (GIS) can be
distributed in many different ways including, but not limited to, hard
copy map prints, electronic image files, Google EarthTM and as an
ArcReaderTM (PMF) project. Of these methods of distribution, ArcReaderTM
has been found to work quite well in Elk Grove Village.

ArcReader is a free data viewing application provided by ESRI, the
leading GIS software development and services provider. This software
allows for the development of customized interactive maps by the
community’s GIS Department that provide for map viewing, printing and
querying of GIS data. ArcReaderTM can be downloaded from the ESRI
website at http://www.esri.com/software/arcgis/arcreader/download.html.

So far, ArcReader Projects have been created for the 2009 Alexian
Brothers Bike Race, the Public Works Department, the Clerks Office and
most recently the Fire Department. Each ArcReader project contains basic
community information like addresses, street names, parcels, water
features and roadways as well as more specific information pertaining to
the specific event or department. Some examples of how ArcReader
projects have been used within Elk Grove Village are as follows:

  • The Bike Race ArcReader project provides a shared resource of
    information for all geographical locations pertaining to the race event
    and will continue to evolve as more information is mapped.
  • The Public Works ArcReaderTM project provides information for
    utilities throughout the village as well as department specific
    information that has been mapped such as snow plow routes and tree
    trimming areas.
  • The Clerks ArcReaderTM project includes the zoning, subdivision and annexation layers.
  • The Fire Department ArcReader project incorporates fire districts,
    automatic aide areas, response analysis layers, geographical information
    for the trails, groves, and water depths and hydrant flow information.

Deploying geographic information in this way has provided for a
common location for related information and the ability to view where
these events, infrastructure, services and regulations exist throughout
the community. Once the data is mapped in the GIS it can continue to
expand in accuracy of geographic representation and by capturing
additional attribute information. Often, analysis is requested after
realizing the relationships that exists between all of this information
and the results can bring a significant benefit to a staff, department
or the entire community.

English Language Learners

Using the village’s Geographic Information System (GIS), tabular data
can be visualized and placed into geographically correct places. The
Recreation Department, in conjunction with school districts 74 and 219,
has created a free service for new residents who do not use English as
their primary language to familiarize themselves with the community and
its resources. This service includes a bus tour of important places in
and around Lincolnwood.

The GIS department was asked to assist the Recreation Department by
creating a map. Using GIS, the village was able to create a map for
this event depicting useful resource centers as well as other important
places such as the Post Office and grocery stores throughout the
village. While GIS can be used for detailed geographic analysis, its
roots as a mapping application can also be very beneficial. By placing
and labeling points on a street map of Lincolnwood, residents can easily
navigate and return to places of interest located on the map. Also,
using this map can give the residents and village staff an overview of
the sites not included on the bus tour just as much as the ones the ones
that are. Included in the margin of this map was a list of sites
outside of Lincolnwood’s boundary that are beneficial to new residents,
thus providing one more additional and valuable resource.

By working together it is easy to note that GIS Department in
conjunction with the Recreation Department have come together to help
the residents of Lincolnwood find their way to resource centers located
both inside and outside of the village.