Special event mapping is often an overlooked capability of a local
government’s Geographic Information System (GIS). Most communities plan
yearly events that take a lot of preparation and time to come to
fruition. The City of Park Ridge, IL is no stranger to hosting community
events throughout the year.
The first Tuesday of August is an annual event known as National
Night Out that the Police department puts on outside of City Hall. The
purpose of the event is to raise awareness of the role that the Police
department plays within the community, as well as foster a more informal
relationship between officers and residents. This event also features a
variety of local vendors and activities that increases resident
interest in attending. To help organize this annual event, GIS was used
to produce maps of Hodges Park, and the surrounding area outside City
Hall, to distribute to participating vendors and organizers in the use
of setting up their booths and to law enforcement for security and
planning purposes. The resulting map that was created is simple in
nature. The map shows the location of where each vendor and activity is
located using a numbering system and legend. This allows all parties
involved to set up in the correct location without any confusion and in
an orderly manner.
Without the use of GIS, the National Night Out event would put more
responsibility on the Police department to produce the plans and layout
of the event, thereby taking away valuable man hours from the department
staff that help make this night a fun-filled event.