Every November the Village of Lincolnwood, IL Parks and Recreation Department hosts a Turkey Trot 5K and 10K race for residents. This year the village’s normal route needed to be recertified, which provided an opportunity for staff to re-evaluate their options and look into changing the route from previous years. To do so, the village’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) department was contacted to help in this process to try and find viable alternative options for routes that maintained the same start and end points, but avoided certain roads to try and reduce the amount of traffic congestion caused by closures.
Using desktop GIS software, as well as an internet based mapping application called MapOffice™ Web Access, GIS was able to provide multiple examples of available routes that were clear and easily consumable, giving the Parks and Recreation staff a simple way of making this decision leading up to race day. After the route decision was made, GIS was then able to aid in creating updated route maps that included the new logo for the current year that was used to help plan and promote the event. These maps were also made available on the village website leading up to Thanksgiving as a resource for participants to view the route, as well as location of water stations, and the start and finish line.
The Village of Northbrook has recently launched the MapOffice Web Access tool called Business Intelligence. Business Intelligence is a tool that allows users to filter and display live data from community or custom databases.
Three attributes of Business Intelligence, filtering, visualization, and live data, make it a very powerful tool. Business Intelligence allows users to visualize data on a map by plotting that data by address or XY coordinates. Many times, community databases or software do not have great ways to display the wealth of data they hold. Business Intelligence helps solve this problem by connecting to those databases and displaying the data on MapOffice so users can gain further incite about the data or look for trends.
When looking for trends it is sometimes necessary to manipulate how you view the data. Business Intelligence permits the user to filter the data by date and/or a field within the data. For example, Northbrook has set up a connection to a custom home foreclosure database that allows users to filter foreclosures by date and the foreclosure status. Now the user can narrow the data that is displayed to show only what they are interested in.
Finally, Business Intelligence offers live connections to the databases. This can be extremely powerful as users can view and analyze data held in the database as it is updated without having to wait for data to be uploaded to MapOffice.
The Village of Northbrook looks forward to taking advantage of this useful and powerful tool by connecting to community databases and software such as FireHouse, an ERP system, and many others to come.