Utility Stakeholder Teams

Utility Stakeholder Teams: A Collaborative Group Committed to Raising the Bar

Cheers! Mundelein Employs Interactive Mapping to Manage Liquor Licenses

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Problem-Solving 

How can communities determine the balance between having too many and too few liquor licenses in a certain area? Many communities are faced with this challenge. If they allow too many businesses to sell alcohol, they risk stretching their policing resources too thin.  If they allow too few, they risk alienating future business. Mundelein recently tackled this concern with an innovative new way to visualize their liquor license data. 
 
A Traditional Approach 

Like many communities, Mundelein used to track businesses with liquor licenses in a spreadsheet, an excellent approach for managing information, but not for visualizing it. For instance, a spreadsheet only allows the user to view an address, but not the physical location of the property. So the user might accidently issue a liquor license to a business that is too close to a prohibited location, such as a religious building. To prevent situations like this one, the community decided to innovate their liquor license tracking process. 
 
A Better Understanding  

To improve upon the current situation, Community Development and GIS collaborated to discuss mapping the location of liquor licenses in the Village utilizing an interactive map called a custom overlay, which is available in MapOfficeInteractive maps are more visually appealing than PDF maps, are easier to understand, and are quick to update. By taking this new approach, Mundelein improved its liquor license tracking process and utilized a new way to view pertinent information. 


Continuing to Improve 
 Although the Liquor License custom overlay is a great step in visualizing this data, Mundelein desired to further improve their workflow efficiency. The community then asked about adding a search function to locate businesses by name. Community Development and GIS developed an ArcGIS Online map that shows the location of all the businesses with liquor licenses and has a search tool to locate businesses by name. This innovation gave the community a new way to search for businesses and visualize data that was previously tucked away in a spreadsheet. 

 

Benefits to the Community 

Both the custom overlay and the ArcGIS Online map improved the ability of users to see how many licenses are in a commercial district or at a specific property such as a mall. Further, the maps are only visible to community staff, so all data is secure. Mundelein progressed from viewing data in a spreadsheet to working with it in an interactive map that significantly enhances the community’s liquor license review process.  ​

Take the Lead 

Discover, innovate, and collaborate with the GIS Consortium today! Contact your community’s GIS Specialist to discuss project opportunities, Consortium services, and GIS.  


If you would like to learn more about this initiative or if you have questions, please contact agrahovac@mgpinc.com. 

 

Author: Mike Falkofske, GIS Specialist in Mundelein 

Maintaining Village Property More Efficiently

The Village of Mundelein, IL owns a number of properties that require regular maintenance. This ranges from mowing and fertilizing to plant bed care. Every two years the Village seeks bids from contractors to service these areas. 

In the bid proposal, the Village includes a list of locations with site numbers. Each record in the list includes an address or description of the location and the type of maintenance required. Maps with the location of site numbers are included to make it easier for contractors to find and evaluate sites.

The Public Works Department asked the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Office to assist with this year’s bids by creating maps for each location. Since most sites are small, one requirement was to format maps so that several would fit on one page. Using the Data Driven pages toolbar in Esri’s ArcMap software, the GIS Office set up an atlas with four maps per page. Because map layers are linked to data, they can be quickly updated with new information.

The result is a win-win for the Village and its vendors. By including maps in bid proposals, contractors can accurately bid on maintenance.  And by leveraging the power of GIS, Public Works can automate the creation and updating of maps with greater efficiency.

Building Better Communication Community-Wide

Infrastructure improvements are invaluable in keeping a community running smoothly. Unfortunately, they can turn into annoyances when a road must be closed or a car is trapped in a driveway due to road resurfacing. That is why it’s important for municipalities to communicate effectively with their residents about upcoming and ongoing construction projects.

Traditionally communities created a report with details about ongoing construction. However, this was problematic for new residents, who may not be familiar with the street network, to understand exactly where projects are occurring. While some communities use a PDF map, this can confuse residents who may not easily connect the list of projects to locations on the map.

To get around some of these issues, the Village of Mundelein, IL decided to develop interactive map to display construction locations. Residents can click on the location of a project and immediately see information in a pop-up bubble. Projects are updated each week with their current status. The interactive map is a great tool for the Village to deliver timely information, promote transparency, and minimize inconvenience for the community.

Assigning Feet on the Street for the Sub Beat

How can police analyze the number of crimes that occur and use that information to assign resources effectively? For the Village of Mundelein, IL, the answer was mapping. Because Police Sub Beats are integral to the process of assigning resources, it is important to know how many incidents occur in each. The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Office recommended mapping incidents on top of Police Sub Beats to see correlations and frequencies at a glance.

The project focused on mapping auto and structural burglaries over the past two years. Locations were overlaid on Police Sub Beats and three maps were created to display data from a variety of viewpoints. One map depicted the location of each incident; a second map showed the number of incidents in each Sub Beat; and a third map displayed the density of burglaries throughout the Village.

Now the Chief of Police can look at the number of incidents per Sub Beat and determine if Sub Beats need to be realigned or if more resources must be assigned. By combining information from dispatch record software and GIS databases, the GIS Office quickly created a trio of maps to help police visualize burglary "hot spots" in the community.

Making Community Events More Interactive

The Village of Mundelein, IL holds a variety of activities throughout the year, which are promoted through traditional outlets, such as newsletters and online calendars.   While these outlets work to inform residents, the village sought a better way to increase public awareness and civic engagement. 

The village’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) department recommended an interactive, online map to showcase all the events.  This type of environment offers many benefits and is also very customizable to specific requirements and easy to update.  Most importantly, the map lists all the events so viewers can click on any one and instantly see more information.  As a viewer zooms into an area of Mundelein, the list shrinks to only include events which occur in that part of the map. The map can tell the whole story or a very specific story for a neighborhood.

By creating an interactive map, Mundelein gives residents and visitors an online tool to explore events. It represents the village’s continuing commitment to provide the community with easy access to timely information and increase public awareness and engagement.

Shedding Light on Data Collection in the Field

The Village of Mundelein, IL sought more cost-effective ways to gather utility information in the field. In the past, the village paid an outside engineering firm to collect GPS points for water, storm, and wastewater systems. These inventories were expensive and, as a result, conducted every three years.

With the recent purchase of enhanced mobile tablets and improved access to low-cost or free data collection applications, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) recommended a new approach.  After researching options, they encouraged the village to run a pilot project using a mobile data collection application, called Collector, on a tablet.  The Director of Public Works selected street light control cabinets for the test because they are limited in number and easy to locate. 

GIS set up the pilot using Collector, which enables data to be easily synchronized back to the master GIS data. Recently-collected points were made available to all village employees through the GIS Consortium’s interactive, browser-based application, MapOffice™. 

The application was field tested with three control cabinet locations. The Engineering staff were impressed by how easy it was to collect points and populate information and decided to complete the project by collecting the remaining cabinets. Based on the success of the pilot, Mundelein is looking at future uses for Collector, such as creating an inventory of street lights and signs.

Adopt a Hydrant Seeks A Flood of Interest

Like many municipalities, the Village of Mundelein, IL Fire Department operates an "adopt a hydrant" program. This creative community concept lets residents select a hydrant of their choice and fill out a form to formally adopt it. By adopting the hydrant, the resident agrees to clear snow and shrubbery away from it – improving visibility and enhancing the safety of the neighborhood during a fire event.

The Mundelein fire department wanted to make it easy for residents to locate hydrants near their homes. They hoped that as hydrants are displayed online, more residents will be encouraged to adopt them. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) created a layer of hydrants that were added as a custom display layer in the village’s browser-based, interactive mapping application, MapOffice™.  The layer delineated which hydrants were adopted and which were available.  All residents had to do was click on a hydrant to see its address, and then click on a link to access the adoption form.

The interactive map dramatically improved access and status of village hydrants. Now residents simply type an address, see the available hydrant closest to their house, and fill out an adoption form online. With dozens of hydrants seeking a "residential caretaker", the Village of Mundelein is hoping for a flood of interest this year.

Using GIS to Manage Sewer Utility Maintenance

The Village of Mundelein, IL Public Works waste water division uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in three ways to track sewer maintenance progress.  The first method involves using a series of map atlases created using the Esri ArcGIS Desktop software. These atlases show sections of sewer that routinely need roots cleared or that need to be regularly degreased.  One advantage of this approach is that these atlases can be quickly changed as old issues are resolved and new issues develop.

The second method is using the Utility Editing tool that available in the village’s browser-based mapping application, MapOffice™ Web Access.  Through this tool, an employee selects lines and updates the dated flushed after each segment of pipe is flushed.  This information is then added to a map showing where recent backups have occurred.  This way the waste water division can monitor their progress to ensure they are fixing sewers that caused issues in the past.

The final way waste water monitors sewer conditions is by mapping comments collected during sewer televising effort directly in MapOffice™ Web Access.  This allows them to quickly see where clusters of sewers issues are located.  Then they can review to determine if additional areas need to be added to the root cutting and grease atlases.

Using GIS in a variety of ways allows the waste water division to monitor the condition of sewer pipes.  This information is used to ensure work crews know what type of maintenance is required.  It also allows them to track where sewers have been flushed and to plan for future sewer flushing schedules.

Visualizing an Improved Streetscape

The Village of Mundelein, IL is planning streetscape improvements for Hawley between Morris Ave and James Ave.  The improvements will include removing existing trees and planting trees in new locations, as well as adding decorative signs, benches, and flower pots along that will improve the aesthetics of the street corridor. 

One of the biggest challenges with promoting streetscape improvements is visualizing how the improvements will look.  The village Streets department had attempted to markup an aerial image with a marker to get an idea of what it might look like, but the markups were difficult to see.  Therefore, the Streets Department decided to contact the village Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Office about creating a map that would show the proposed changes in a visually appealing and easy to understand way.

 The primary objective was to create symbols that would stand out on an aerial map.  The GIS Office chose 3D symbols and bright colors to make the improvements stand out.  They symbols made it easy to distinguish new tree locations from the trees that were being removed.  It also made the locations of new garbage cans, benches, and decorative signs stand out. 

By using the tools available in GIS the Village was able to quickly create a map that used an aerial to show how the streetscape currently looks.  Proposed improvements were clearly overlaid on the aerial to show how the streetscape could look in the future. The final map is a powerful tool for telling the story of how the Village plans to improve this important business corridor.