Promoting Mundelein as a Bicycle Friendly Village

The Village of Mundelein, IL is located in the center of Lake County, which put it at the crossroads of several important bike paths including the Millennium Trail and the North Shore Bike Trail.  Mundelein also has network of multi-use trails that provide access to parks and other amenities throughout the Village. As a result, the Village was interested in promoting the bike path information to visitors hoping that it would encourage cyclists to bike to Mundelein.  To do so, the village asked the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Office about what type of map products could be created for distribution on the village website and through other mediums. 

After a discussion of what was needed, it was decided to add the bike route information as layer that can be turned on and off in the village’s online mapping application, MapOffice™.  There were several elements that made the layer useful for public consumption. The first was adding recommended on-street route information to show how the street network connects the various paths.  The second included adding hyper-linked points at the entry points of major trails that link to larger PDF maps of the trail so that visitors would see where Mundelein was located in relation to other major trials.

By using MapOffice™ to display bike trail information the Village of Mundelein has a powerful tool that makes it easier for bicyclists to plan their trips through Mundelein.  It is also a great way to promote all the cycling opportunities in the village.

Village of Mundelein Launches Community Portal

The Village of Mundelein, IL recently added a Property Search function to the main page of their community website that allows residents to type in an address and get directed to a property information application called Community Portal. Community Portal makes looking up property information quick and easy. When an address is entered into the Property Search window, Community Portal launches and redirects to that property’s "Property Summary" page, which contains information regarding zoning, voting precinct information, and much more. In addition to "Property Summary", there are other tabs that can be added to the Community Portal interface, which is completely customizable based on the community’s needs.  What makes Community Portal so different from traditional, map-based address search applications is that, while the information returned for a property is being served up from a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) database, it’s being displayed in a text based environment without the necessity of a map.  While the option exists within Community Portal to display a property on a map, often times it’s the information associated with an address that is most important to whoever is initiating the search.  Simplifying how this information is displayed, and the ease of use of the search function, is what makes Community Portal so beneficial to Mundelein.

As Mundelein begins to understand what information the public is looking for, Community Portal will continue to develop and grow.  As stated earlier, it is completely customizable based on the community’s needs, which is how the village will continue to move forward with its goal of being more transparent with the information that it provides to the public.  There is more to come with Community Portal in Mundelein, so stay tuned!

GIS Supports Hydrant Flushing Efforts

The Village of Mundelein, IL conducts annual hydrant maintenance in which the Public Works Department’s Water Division flushes each hydrant and creates a list of hydrants that need repair.  After the flushing and maintenance is complete, the Water Division submits a report describing which hydrants where flushed and which hydrants were repaired.  Previously, to track progress through the village, the Water Division would print out paper map pages created in CAD and highlight the streets with a maker as a way to indicate the areas they have worked on.  In 2014, they asked the village’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) office to create a simple map book, with a page created for each area that they were planning to work in, to make it easier for them to locate hydrants and track progress.

Using Esri’s ArcGIS Desktop software, the GIS office staff created this book, with each flushing area shown on 1-3 pages, with only the hydrants for each specific flushing area shown.  A unique ID for each hydrant was also displayed on the individual map pages to allow staff to match a hydrant in the field to hydrant records in a corresponding Excel worksheet being updated with the information for each hydrant that was gathered during the flushing process.  These cleaner looking and functional maps made locating the hydrants much easier than in the past.  In addition to creating products to help locate the hydrants, the Director of Public Works requested that the GIS office also create a map once all work was completed showing which hydrants were flushed and repaired based on the final reports submitted by the Water Division flushing crews.  This map was easily created using the existing map pages created for the hydrant locating map book and can be used moving forward to assist with planning future hydrant flushing work.

Using GIS, the Water Division now has a good visual tool for tracking hydrant flushing progress.  They are also able to enhance their hydrant flushing reporting process by adding a graphic component that shows where the work was done and where they may need to focus their maintenance efforts in future years.

Adopt-A-Roadway Management

​The Village of Mundelein is the process of implementing an Adopt-A-Road program.  These programs provide opportunities for groups to adopt a section of roadway and get involved in helping to maintain it by picking up litter and trash.  This program is part of a bigger effort to make the Village look more attractive to both residents and visitors alike and a critical component of the program is tracking which sections of road are available and which sections are already adopted by groups.

To assist with tracking this information in a way that is easily consumable by those answering questions about the program, the Assistant Director of Public Works asked the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) office to create a map to hang on the wall in Public Works showing all potential Adopt-A-Roadway sections in the Village.  The sections were color coded red to show sections that were adopted and green for available sections.  This map provides a quick view for staff of which segments are available so they can contact organizations near those areas to determine if any of them are interested in adopting the roadway. 

A future is step in the project is creating a custom layer showing potential roadway sections for display in the village’s interactive web-based mapping application, MapOffice™, which is accessible by anyone from the village website.  Exposing this information on the village website will allow interested organizations to find their own available road segments and place a request to adopt them by referencing a hyperlink to the road adoption form that will be associated with each road segment in the map.  By using GIS the village is leveraging a powerful tool to better manage and promote the Adopt a Roadway program and ensure that future programs like it have a model of success to follow.    

Regulating Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

In compliance with the Illinois Medical Cannabis Act (MCA) that was passed in August 2013, the Village of Mundelein wanted to identify areas where marijuana dispensaries might be allowed by law.  The village Chief of Police contacted the village Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Office about creating visual aids that could be used in a series of PowerPoint slides to show the restricted areas in the village defined by the law.

The first aid that was created was related to restrictions around residential areas, which showed that only 25 percent of the Village met the requirements for a possible dispensary location.  The next aid that was created related to schools, places of worship, and day care centers, all with a 1,000 foot buffer area displayed around them representing areas where dispensary locations are restricted under the law.  After combining these two types of regulations together, the only remaining areas where a dispensary could be opened were in the northwest and southeast corners of the Village.  This was the expected result, as these parts of the community contain large industrial and retail lots.

By creating these PowerPoint slides, the Police Department now has a tool to show residents, and others inquiring about that law, that there are not many areas where dispensaries are allowed.  The village Planning department also has a tool for identifying zoning districts where they might make changes to the ordnances to further limit where dispensaries can be built.  By using GIS to assist with this analysis,  the Police and Planning departments have a tool for combining complex information into a spatial environment for mapping, making it easier to identify all areas where dispensaries can and cannot be built.

Street Condition and Repair History Map

​The Village of Mundelein, IL plans annual street improvements as part of the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for the village.   Part of this planning process is identifying what level of work certain streets need, from a full surface grind to reconstruction or upgrading.  In the past, this process was done using an Excel table of potential road projects and referencing those projects on an outdated map showing generic street improvements.  To help generate a more effective project planning tool, the Director of Public Works requested that the village Geographic Information Systems (GIS) department create a map showing the last type of maintenance performed on a specific road so the department could determine the most appropriate type of work to perform on the road in future years.

When planning CIP project work, it is important to know maintenance history information about a road, such as was it recently reconstructed or just repaved.  A road that was reconstructed in the last 30 years may only need to be repaved, whereas a road that has repeatedly been resurfaced might need to be reconstructed. To assist with identifying this maintenance history, the GIS department grouped the known construction projects, provided by the Public Works department, by years, such as before 1980, the 1990s, and so on.   The construction was also grouped into three categories which are, 1) Original Construction, which are roads that have never been reconditioned 2) Reconstruction, which are roads that have been rebuilt or improved and 3) Resurfacing, which are roads that were surfaced ground and replaced.  Once this information was grouped accordingly, a map product showing road work history was created and provided to the Public Works Department for use.

By creating a map showing how a street was repaired, and the age of that repair, the GIS Office created a quick reference guide for reviewing the village’s CIP project history.  Now, when the village is planning which roads should be included in the Capital Improvement Plan for the current year, they have an easy-to-use, visual tool to see what type of action is most appropriate for that road. 

Automating Field Atlas Creation

The Village of Mundelein, IL, like many municipalities, requires a variety of map book products, or atlases, to help keep asset maintenance projects organized.  In the past, the work areas for smaller projects were hand drawn on printed maps or aerial photos.  Larger projects, such community wide utility reviews or asset checks, required the time intensive development of map grids that would then be used to create individual maps, one at a time, until the entire village was represented.  To help improve the process of developing these asset atlases, the village’s Public Works department contacted the Geographic Information System (GIS) department and requested a redesign of the village’s current atlas products. 

Using a function called the data driven pages, available as part of ESRI’s desktop application, ArcMap, the GIS office was able to quickly create customized atlases for each requested work project.  For seasonal operations, such as snow removal and street sweeping, it was as easy as using existing work zones already created in the village’s GIS environment to create the extent of each atlas page.  For other operational processes, such as root cutting and degreasing, custom map areas were created.  Using custom extents for atlas products is valuable because each map area can be scaled as needed based on the content being displayed.

Although electronic access to data in the field is becoming more common, there is still the need for paper atlases.  The ability to quickly create atlases using the data driven page process, customized to specific project extents, has resulted in a tremendous time savings to the workflow of these projects, both for the GIS staff creating the maps and the Public Works staff using the end product.

Updating GIS information with Sewer Televising Software

The Village of Mundelein, IL recently updated their sewer televising equipment to software called Granite XP.  This software is designed to integrate with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) so that updates can be transferred from Granite XP to the GIS database and vice versa.  This allows data to be simultaneously updated in the field and the office and then synchronized so both sets of changes can be integrated together.

Granite XP uses GIS information to track where a pipe is currently being televised as the camera moves along.   The camera operator logs the location of service laterals, cracks, roots and other types of events that are discovered in the pipe, using the pipe length and diameter information from GIS to determine where within the pipe these events occur.   The village GIS department can use the event information collected in the field using Granite XP, such as the location of service connections, to add missing information to the GIS data.  Conversely, the operators can use Granite XP to update existing GIS data based on their observations in the field.  For example, they can update pipe diameter, material or even add missing pipes and structure.

Granite XP is a great example of how an application can tie into GIS to enhance existing data and provide a more robust resource for making infrastructure decisions.  By accessing existing data in the field, an operator can quickly and accurately locate the project area that needs to be televised and update the project area utilities as needed without the need for printed maps or other supplemental resources.

More information for better decision making

The Lake County, IL Assessors Office has a database of information about properties that is a useful resource for numerous local municipal operations.   This information includes details about the structures on a property, assessment values, and other general information.  Having access to this type of information would be of tremendous value to a local government.  Therefore The Village of Mundelein, IL requested this database from Lake County and then asked the county Geographic Information System (GIS) Office to create a useful way to view this information natively in the village’s GIS environment. 

The county GIS Office created a layer of information from the Assessor database and provided it to the village GIS staff for use.  This layer was then added it to the village’s web-based mapping application, MapOffice™ Web Access, as a custom layer for display.  The intent of the overlay is to expose this information to village staff to give them the opportunity to brainstorm additional ways that it can be used moving forward.   One current idea is to push this information into the village’s CityView application during the next software upgrade.  This will provide inspectors with quick access to information about structures, as well as other useful structural information.    Another idea is to create maps showing the Equalized Assessed Values (EAV) of properties and the age of structures within the Village.

By using GIS, the Village developed an easy way to view rich detail of each property.  This is a more efficient way to access the data other than clicking on each property and waiting to link to a report from the Assessor’s office.   By creating a custom overlay to view in the village mapping environment, village users can interact with the data more directly and better visualize potential future products.

Water main Repair Frequency

​Since the late 1970s The Village of Mundelein, IL has aggressively replaced older ductile iron water main with PVC watermain.  This has resulted in a safer water supply and a lower maintenance cost water system.  There are still a few areas of the Village with older ductile iron water mains and these areas also tend to have the highest frequency of breaks. 

The Mundelein Public Works Department desired an effective way to show the Village Board that they need to dedicate funding to replace the older pipes in these few remaining areas.   They contracted the Geographic Information System (GIS) Office about creating a map the shows the locations of breaks and the age of the pipes.  The GIS Office created a map showing the density of water main repairs, which displayed breaks grouped in a few specific areas.  Next they symbolized the water mains by year and material to show which ones are new or have been replaced and which water mains are still original.

When the water main repair density information, which showed which pipes where new or replaced, was visually compared to the general water main data, it was immediately clear that all the repair issues were located in areas that still contained original water mains.  Now the Department of Public Works had a visual display that clearly showed that the primary problem areas are those that contain most of the older water mains.   Public Works intends to use this map as a visual resource during future council meetings, where they plan to request funding from the Village Board for replacing these problem mains.