A significant part of any local government’s economic vitality
relates to property development and improvements that require a building
permit. Permitting fees provide vital income and can help to increase
department budgets and the potential for capital improvement spending.
As part of an effort to better track permit applications and highlight
trends over time, the City of Des Plaines Community and Economic
Development (CED) department asked the city’s GIS department to develop a
map product to display permit locations.
All permit information for the city is stored in software called
Penemation, so the first step in developing a map product was to export
the desired information into a GIS compatible format, such as Excel.
Once in this format, the permit locations were mapped in the city’s GIS
software using the city’s comprehensive address database as a base. In
addition to the location of the permit, the final GIS data layer also
contained information on the type of permit that was issued for each
address, allowing the final map product to display both the physical
location and the type of permit being applied for.
Using this process, a monthly mapping cycle has been developed,
allowing city staff to visualize where permits are occurring in the
city. With the type of permit included in the GIS data, a secondary
product of this project is being able to generate monthly statistics on
the specific number of each permit being issued. Using both these
outputs from the GIS system provides the CED department with an
efficient and cost effective method of sharing this information across
departmental boundaries and creating various budgetary reports.