Bike path planning

​In 2003, the village of Wheeling created a bike map plan highlighting
the areas of the village that would be best suited for bike paths.
Although a few of the paths were created, much of the plan was never
fully implemented. In 2009, the village planner decided to create a new
village bike map that would take the best aspects of the previously
created map, but add in more logical and cost effective bike paths.

The main goals for the new bike map plan would be to create paths
that would link paths from neighboring townships, allowing a biker to
travel in and around the surrounding areas, and to make sure the created
paths would be as cost effective as possible. The village planner
contacted the surrounding communities and obtained their bike maps.
This allowed him, by using GIS, to create a map with the surrounding
community’s paths, and then connect the existing village bike paths to
them. By using GIS, the village planner could now plot where exactly
the new village bike paths should go, and then estimate the cost for a
particular section. In one proposed section, the street is wide enough
to paint a bike path on one side. By calculating the amount of round
surface area, the cost of painting the street can be estimated. This
cost can then be compared to other proposed types of routes and the most
cost effective route can be chosen.

Although the plan is not finalized, GIS allowed the village to plan a
more logical bike path system. By connecting existing paths to paths
in surrounding communities as well as existing village locations i.e.
village hall or the aquatic center, residents will be able to travel
through the village and to surrounding areas as easily and safely as
possible.

Bike path planning

​In 2003, the village of Wheeling created a bike map plan highlighting
the areas of the village that would be best suited for bike paths.
Although a few of the paths were created, much of the plan was never
fully implemented. In 2009, the village planner decided to create a new
village bike map that would take the best aspects of the previously
created map, but add in more logical and cost effective bike paths.

The main goals for the new bike map plan would be to create paths
that would link paths from neighboring townships, allowing a biker to
travel in and around the surrounding areas, and to make sure the created
paths would be as cost effective as possible. The village planner
contacted the surrounding communities and obtained their bike maps.
This allowed him, by using GIS, to create a map with the surrounding
community’s paths, and then connect the existing village bike paths to
them. By using GIS, the village planner could now plot where exactly
the new village bike paths should go, and then estimate the cost for a
particular section. In one proposed section, the street is wide enough
to paint a bike path on one side. By calculating the amount of round
surface area, the cost of painting the street can be estimated. This
cost can then be compared to other proposed types of routes and the most
cost effective route can be chosen.

Although the plan is not finalized, GIS allowed the village to plan a
more logical bike path system. By connecting existing paths to paths
in surrounding communities as well as existing village locations i.e.
village hall or the aquatic center, residents will be able to travel
through the village and to surrounding areas as easily and safely as
possible.

Displaying Wheeling restaurants in Google maps

Blog_Displaying_Wheeling_restaurants.jpg

The village of Wheeling contains numerous restaurants and eating
establishments that reflect the diversity of the area. This includes
“Restaurant Row”, a string of highly rated restaurants along Milwaukee
Ave. The village kept a list of these establishments, but never provided
this information to the public. Using the ability of a Geographic
Information System (GIS) program to create location points, which are
then placed within Google Maps. The GIS Department created a map showing
the location of each restaurant within the village as well as address
information and a link to the restaurant’s website. This interactive map
located on the village website allows the user to find restaurants
within the village based on location.

Clicking on the Restaurant Location link takes you to a Google Map
showing the Village of Wheeling. A red dot represents each restaurant
within the village. Clicking on the restaurant name in the table of
contents on the left or on the red dot on the map brings up an
information box for that location. Each information box contains the
name of the restaurant, address, phone number, and website link if
available. The interactive map is easily modified when new restaurants
open up or old restaurants close down.

Providing the information in a format that people are familiar with
allows the user to access the information without having to learn new
software. Providing the location of each restaurant on a map allows
residents or other visitors visiting the village to locate a restaurant
or eating establishment more easily.

Displaying Wheeling restaurants in Google maps

Blog_Displaying_Wheeling_restaurants.jpg

The village of Wheeling contains numerous restaurants and eating
establishments that reflect the diversity of the area. This includes
“Restaurant Row”, a string of highly rated restaurants along Milwaukee
Ave. The village kept a list of these establishments, but never provided
this information to the public. Using the ability of a Geographic
Information System (GIS) program to create location points, which are
then placed within Google Maps. The GIS Department created a map showing
the location of each restaurant within the village as well as address
information and a link to the restaurant’s website. This interactive map
located on the village website allows the user to find restaurants
within the village based on location.

Clicking on the Restaurant Location link takes you to a Google Map
showing the Village of Wheeling. A red dot represents each restaurant
within the village. Clicking on the restaurant name in the table of
contents on the left or on the red dot on the map brings up an
information box for that location. Each information box contains the
name of the restaurant, address, phone number, and website link if
available. The interactive map is easily modified when new restaurants
open up or old restaurants close down.

Providing the information in a format that people are familiar with
allows the user to access the information without having to learn new
software. Providing the location of each restaurant on a map allows
residents or other visitors visiting the village to locate a restaurant
or eating establishment more easily.

Federal urban aid systems

​In 1916, the United States created the Federal-aid Highway Program
with the primary objective being the improvement of rural roads. This
changed with the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1944, which authorized the
first specific funds for urban highways, specifically the creation of a
formula for the distribution of federal-aid funds among the primary,
secondary, and urban systems. Today, there are three federal-aid
systems: The Interstate Highway System, the Federal-aid Primary highway
system (FAP), and the Federal-aid Secondary highway system. The
Federal-aid Secondary highway system is broken into secondary non-urban
(FAS) and secondary urban (FAU). The interstate system consists of
routes connecting and running through and around major urban centers.
The FAP consists of a system of connected main highways, while the FAS
are composed of principal secondary and feeder routes. Both aid systems
are chosen by state highway departments and local officials, but are
subject to approval by the Bureau of Public Roads. Having roads
designated as federal-aid means that the federal and state governments
provide funds and take care of repairs instead of the community in which
the road is located. This allows the local government to spend money in
other areas.

The Village of Wheeling currently has 12 routes designated as either
FAP or FAU. These consist of major roads throughout the village such as
Palatine Road, Wolf Rd, and Milwaukee Ave. The village submitted a
proposal to add 6 more roads to the Federal-Aid Urban System. These
include: Anthony Road, Equestrian Drive, Lexington Drive, Manchester
Drive, Northgate Parkway, and Strong Avenue. The village’s capital
projects department requested that the Geographic Information System
(GIS) department create a large map showing all current and proposed FAP
and FAU routes as well as small 8.5” x 11” maps detailing the starting
and ends of each routes with all existing traffic signals and stop
signs, to be submitted for approval. This saved the department the time
and effort previously required to create detailed maps by hand or using
an inefficient, program.

As of May 2009, a decision has not been reached on the approval of
the six routes as Federal-aid routes, but GIS provided the capital
projects department an easy way to submit their proposal without
spending a significant amount of time creating the maps needed for the
proposal.

Federal urban aid systems

​In 1916, the United States created the Federal-aid Highway Program
with the primary objective being the improvement of rural roads. This
changed with the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1944, which authorized the
first specific funds for urban highways, specifically the creation of a
formula for the distribution of federal-aid funds among the primary,
secondary, and urban systems. Today, there are three federal-aid
systems: The Interstate Highway System, the Federal-aid Primary highway
system (FAP), and the Federal-aid Secondary highway system. The
Federal-aid Secondary highway system is broken into secondary non-urban
(FAS) and secondary urban (FAU). The interstate system consists of
routes connecting and running through and around major urban centers.
The FAP consists of a system of connected main highways, while the FAS
are composed of principal secondary and feeder routes. Both aid systems
are chosen by state highway departments and local officials, but are
subject to approval by the Bureau of Public Roads. Having roads
designated as federal-aid means that the federal and state governments
provide funds and take care of repairs instead of the community in which
the road is located. This allows the local government to spend money in
other areas.

The Village of Wheeling currently has 12 routes designated as either
FAP or FAU. These consist of major roads throughout the village such as
Palatine Road, Wolf Rd, and Milwaukee Ave. The village submitted a
proposal to add 6 more roads to the Federal-Aid Urban System. These
include: Anthony Road, Equestrian Drive, Lexington Drive, Manchester
Drive, Northgate Parkway, and Strong Avenue. The village’s capital
projects department requested that the Geographic Information System
(GIS) department create a large map showing all current and proposed FAP
and FAU routes as well as small 8.5” x 11” maps detailing the starting
and ends of each routes with all existing traffic signals and stop
signs, to be submitted for approval. This saved the department the time
and effort previously required to create detailed maps by hand or using
an inefficient, program.

As of May 2009, a decision has not been reached on the approval of
the six routes as Federal-aid routes, but GIS provided the capital
projects department an easy way to submit their proposal without
spending a significant amount of time creating the maps needed for the
proposal.

Fire district map books

Blog_Fire_district_map.jpg

The Village of Wheeling fire department created fire districts for
the purpose of sectioning off the village so that village firefighters
would have a better idea where an incident was located and what station
would be the closest for response. The districts were sectioned off by
neighborhood and each one was given a four digit reference code. The
fire department then created maps of each district showing the streets
that were located within each one. While the maps were effective at
first, they eventually became outdated due to changes in the village.
The fire department asked the GIS Specialist to create an updated Fire
District Map Book that would also include features not available in the
previous version.

Using GIS, a new map book was created to meet the fire departments
specifications. The two new items requested to be added to the map book
were fire hydrant locations and village addresses. The fire department
went out and marked the location of each hydrant within the village so
that the exact locations could be added. With the fire hydrant
locations known, the firefighters would not have to waste time locating a
hydrant when responding to an incident. With the addresses displayed,
the fire department can easily locate the location of an incident,
especially in the case of an apartment complex where the addresses are
now broken down by building allowing the fire department to respond to
the correct building. In addition to the hydrant locations and the
addresses, the street names and the parcels were updated reflecting the
changes to the village since the last map book was created. Each map
book consists of individual pages that can be replaced individually in
case of an update or if a page is lost or destroyed.

With the completion of the updated fire district map books and the
placement of them within their vehicles, the fire department can now
respond more efficiently and more effectively to an incident within the
village.

Fire district map books

Blog_Fire_district_map.jpg

The Village of Wheeling fire department created fire districts for
the purpose of sectioning off the village so that village firefighters
would have a better idea where an incident was located and what station
would be the closest for response. The districts were sectioned off by
neighborhood and each one was given a four digit reference code. The
fire department then created maps of each district showing the streets
that were located within each one. While the maps were effective at
first, they eventually became outdated due to changes in the village.
The fire department asked the GIS Specialist to create an updated Fire
District Map Book that would also include features not available in the
previous version.

Using GIS, a new map book was created to meet the fire departments
specifications. The two new items requested to be added to the map book
were fire hydrant locations and village addresses. The fire department
went out and marked the location of each hydrant within the village so
that the exact locations could be added. With the fire hydrant
locations known, the firefighters would not have to waste time locating a
hydrant when responding to an incident. With the addresses displayed,
the fire department can easily locate the location of an incident,
especially in the case of an apartment complex where the addresses are
now broken down by building allowing the fire department to respond to
the correct building. In addition to the hydrant locations and the
addresses, the street names and the parcels were updated reflecting the
changes to the village since the last map book was created. Each map
book consists of individual pages that can be replaced individually in
case of an update or if a page is lost or destroyed.

With the completion of the updated fire district map books and the
placement of them within their vehicles, the fire department can now
respond more efficiently and more effectively to an incident within the
village.

GIS aids Police Department in mapping out crime

Blog_GIS_aids_Police_Department.jpg

Every month, the Crime Analyst for the Village of Wheeling Police
Department provides a report detailing all criminal incidents within the
village for the preceding month. These reports typically include
charts displaying each incident as well as the different crime type
frequencies from one month to the next. In addition, the reports also
include maps showing the location, type and shift of each incident.
With no mapping software available, the crime analyst created these
reports using a combination of free programs and software. The result
of these methods was very labor intensive resulting in increased time
consumption as well as limitations on the amount of the other work that
could be completed on any given day.

The Village of Wheeling Police Department requested that a process be
instituted that would allow the Crime Analyst to create the report maps
more efficient and timely manner. It was requested that the maps be in
PDF format and that they could accommodate all possible crimes and
incidents. Moreover, the maps were to be maintained by the Police
Department with support from the GIS Department when needed.

With this criterion in place, the GIS Department decided to create a
database that would allow for the Crime Analyst to load in crime
incident data each month so that the report maps could be continuously
updated. The database included the details and location of each
incident as well as a four digit Illinois Uniform Crime Report Offense
Code. A set of symbols was then created with each symbol referencing
the four digit crime code allowing for each incident to have its own
unique symbol.

It was also decided that the final map product would allow for the
Crime Analyst to load the most recent crime data into a database and
then map all the incidents at once using the GIS’ ability to map
locations based on an address. In addition, when each location is
mapped out it will automatically be assigned a symbol based off the four
digit crime code and the shift. This eliminated the need for the Crime
Analyst to map each incident individually by hand thus transforming the
old methods into a less time consuming process. From there, map
templates representing each police beat were created that allowed the
Crime Analyst to export each map to a PDF format as soon as the incident
data is loaded into the program. This in turn eliminated the need for
the Crime Analyst to zoom in and out to create legible maps once again
saving time as well as eliminating the chance of error.

Although the preceding non-GIS method of creating maps for the police
report was effective, it is easy to see that with the use of GIS
technology the Crime Analyst was able to create the monthly reports in
less than a day compared to the four days required using the previous
methods.

Integration of FEMA flood data into community maps

Every year FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) provides
communities with updated maps and flood information to be used to help
determine insurance rates and resident location flood hazards. Included
in this delivery is Geographic Information System (GIS) specific
information that can be integrated into existing community maps. This
combination of information allows the user to recognize trends that may
not be noticeable when looking at separate sources.

In previous FEMA deliveries to the Village of Wheeling, flood maps
were provided showing the different flood zones and the floodway along
the Des Plaines River and the various creeks and streams that flowed
into it. When a resident called to find out if a property was within a
specific flood zone to determine if flood insurance needed to be
purchased, a village employee would have to compare the flood map with a
map displaying addresses and lot lines. By combining the flood map
with the address map with GIS, you get a map clearly showing where the
flood zones overlap lots lines with the respective address. This
process saves time and can provide a more accurate estimate of a
resident’s location to a flood zone.

The flood information provided by FEMA could also be combined with
other data accessible by the village’s GIS. Combining the flood data
with village Zoning and TIF district information can help a prospective
builder make a more informed decision on a building location.

Although all data provided by FEMA and the village of Wheeling
existed prior to GIS, it was never combined in such a way to provide
more accurate information and a map that is easier to use.