Supporting local government decision making with business intelligence

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The Village of Skokie keeps track of a comprehensive land use
database using standards set forth by the American Planning Association.
The Land Based Classification Standards (LBCS) is a series of codes
that defines the Function, Site, Structure, Activity, and Ownership of
land. The Village has been diligently working to incorporate the land
uses into its Geographic Information System(GIS). By integrating land
use and GIS, the Village can better analyze and visualize where specific
classifications of businesses are in geographic terms.

Business Intelligence, a tool in MapOffice™ Advanced, allows internal
employees to search for specific land uses in a map interface. By
linking databases and providing a web service on the backend, the GIS
Department enables connections to any enterprise software that meets
certain requirements. Since all GIS Consortium (GISC) communities do not
use the same software, Business Intelligence uses properties to enable
multiple types of data connections (SQL Server, ODBC, Access, etc).
Since not all employees have access to the land use database, Business
Intelligence was the best option to publish this data to employees.

GIS supporting the Emergency Operations Center (EOC)

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The Village of Skokie’s state of the art Police Department houses the
Village’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC). This center is utilized as
a meeting destination for decision makers during an emergency event.
The EOC is supported by generators during power outages and serve as a
command center. Features of this center include two projectors with the
ability to project eight inputs, power/data connections in the floor,
and a partition that can split the room. Two kitchens, a supply room
with cubbies for each department, and an adjoining conference room are
just some of the additional amenities at the EOC.

In preparation for emergencies, the Geographic Information Systems
(GIS) Department has been working extensively with the Village’s Public
Safety Consortium providing maps and spatial analysis. A street map of
Skokie and the surrounding municipalities, as well as a damage
assessment grid map were provided to be laminated and used during an
emergency. The ability to connect to MapOffice and other GIS programs
has been verified and tested in preparation for an EOC activation.

GIS supporting the Emergency Operations Center (EOC)

Blog_GISsupportingtheEmergencyOperations.png

The Village of Skokie’s state of the art Police Department houses the
Village’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC). This center is utilized as
a meeting destination for decision makers during an emergency event.
The EOC is supported by generators during power outages and serve as a
command center. Features of this center include two projectors with the
ability to project eight inputs, power/data connections in the floor,
and a partition that can split the room. Two kitchens, a supply room
with cubbies for each department, and an adjoining conference room are
just some of the additional amenities at the EOC.

In preparation for emergencies, the Geographic Information Systems
(GIS) Department has been working extensively with the Village’s Public
Safety Consortium providing maps and spatial analysis. A street map of
Skokie and the surrounding municipalities, as well as a damage
assessment grid map were provided to be laminated and used during an
emergency. The ability to connect to MapOffice and other GIS programs
has been verified and tested in preparation for an EOC activation.

Emergency Planning: School evacuations

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Emergency planning is a part of life. You have probably prepared for
emergencies and not even realized it. It could be stocking up on extra
pantry items before a blizzard or filling out an emergency contact form
at your place of employment or child’s school. Though these are great
examples of emergency preparedness, municipal government needs to reach
much deeper. Preparing a home for an emergency is different than
preparing 25,000 homes, businesses and schools for an array of natural
and human disasters.

The Village of Skokie’s Fire Prevention Bureau is working with area
schools to address a student relocation plan in case of an emergency.
The Geographic Information System (GIS) department has been asked to
assist in building routes to these relocation areas. By using routing,
the Village’s Police and Fire Departments will know how both private and
public schools transit to these temporary locations. The importance of
the route is immense considering public safety could be inundated with
calls and stretched thin. This way all parties know what the school’s
plan is for an emergency.

Emergency Planning: School evacuations

Blog_EmergencyPlanningSchoolevacuations.png

Emergency planning is a part of life. You have probably prepared for
emergencies and not even realized it. It could be stocking up on extra
pantry items before a blizzard or filling out an emergency contact form
at your place of employment or child’s school. Though these are great
examples of emergency preparedness, municipal government needs to reach
much deeper. Preparing a home for an emergency is different than
preparing 25,000 homes, businesses and schools for an array of natural
and human disasters.

The Village of Skokie’s Fire Prevention Bureau is working with area
schools to address a student relocation plan in case of an emergency.
The Geographic Information System (GIS) department has been asked to
assist in building routes to these relocation areas. By using routing,
the Village’s Police and Fire Departments will know how both private and
public schools transit to these temporary locations. The importance of
the route is immense considering public safety could be inundated with
calls and stretched thin. This way all parties know what the school’s
plan is for an emergency.

Monitoring landscaping contracts with GIS

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​Skokie is using its Geographic Information System (GIS) to aid in the
bidding process for landscaped areas in the downtown area. The Village’s
ability to create and manage data in addition to producing maps allows
them to generate products quickly and efficiently. By creating maps of
each landscaped area, the Village provides visual context to coincide
with the documented extents of the service areas for the bidding
contractors. In addition, these maps alleviate the need for Public Works
employees to drive the contractors to each location. Having the work
area limits documented both textually and visually assist both
contractor and the Village in managing the service areas.

Monitoring landscaping contracts with GIS

Blog_MonitoringlandscapingcontractswithGIS.png

​Skokie is using its Geographic Information System (GIS) to aid in the
bidding process for landscaped areas in the downtown area. The Village’s
ability to create and manage data in addition to producing maps allows
them to generate products quickly and efficiently. By creating maps of
each landscaped area, the Village provides visual context to coincide
with the documented extents of the service areas for the bidding
contractors. In addition, these maps alleviate the need for Public Works
employees to drive the contractors to each location. Having the work
area limits documented both textually and visually assist both
contractor and the Village in managing the service areas.

Reserved residential parking

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The Village of Skokie’s Human Services Department manages a program
aimed at providing reserved on-street parking for residents with special
needs. This program has certain guidelines depicting how many permits
can be issued along certain lengths of roadway. The ordinance states:

“The number of reserved disability parking spaces on any 1
residential street shall not exceed 25 percent of the available parking
spaces on each side of a block.”

The ordinance now has a geographic reference which enables the
Village’s Geographic Information System (GIS) to get involved. The Human
Services director began a dialog to see if any residential street is in
violation of the existing Village Code. By plotting the location of the
Reserved Residential Parking Program participants and grouping
addresses within close proximity, the GIS analyzed the data and found
the Village to be in compliance with the Code.

Reserved residential parking

Blog_Reservedresidentialparking.png

The Village of Skokie’s Human Services Department manages a program
aimed at providing reserved on-street parking for residents with special
needs. This program has certain guidelines depicting how many permits
can be issued along certain lengths of roadway. The ordinance states:

“The number of reserved disability parking spaces on any 1
residential street shall not exceed 25 percent of the available parking
spaces on each side of a block.”

The ordinance now has a geographic reference which enables the
Village’s Geographic Information System (GIS) to get involved. The Human
Services director began a dialog to see if any residential street is in
violation of the existing Village Code. By plotting the location of the
Reserved Residential Parking Program participants and grouping
addresses within close proximity, the GIS analyzed the data and found
the Village to be in compliance with the Code.

GIS supports the Beautification Commission

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The Village of Skokie Beautification and Improvement Commission
assists the Mayor and Trustees in landscaping and conservation issues.
Every year, the Commission seeks out properties whose owners maintain it
at an exceptional level. During this time, the commission visits each
nominated property, taking pictures and notes. The most time consuming
part of this process is driving to all of these properties. That is
where the Village’s Geographic Information System (GIS) comes in.

By using a tool called Network Analyst, the Village’s GIS Specialist
was able to map out all properties nominated for the award. In addition
to just plotting dots on a map, the Network Analyst provides turn by
turn directions to all properties. This alleviates pressure from the
Village Forrester. In the past, the Forrester would plot all addresses
by hand and manually draw a route. By creating a more efficient
workflow, the Forrester is now able concentrate on other tasks rather
than drawing these maps by hand.