Supporting holiday lighting

​During the winter holiday seasons, local municipalities often will
setup a series of decorations or lighting displays to celebrate the
holidays and provide a fun attraction for the community’s residents.
While the amount of decorations on display is mainly regulated by a
community’ budget, some times these restrictions can come from a lack of
existing space or resources for displaying or powering a certain
decoration setup. For the Village of Winnetka, this was the case for a
business district area located at the northern end of the Village. While
many of the businesses and residents in this area wanted to have more
lights displayed in the areas numerous trees, there were not sufficient
power sources available to accommodate this request. To determine the
best solution for this problem, the Public Works and Water and Electric
departments used GIS to assist with the planning and mapping of numerous
proposed scenarios.

Before any solutions to this issue could be considered, the tree
locations and existing lighting setup of the project area needed to the
inputted into the Village’s GIS system. This information was provided to
the GIS department by the Public Work’s Forestry division, which is
responsible for ordering, installing, and maintaining the lights before
and during the holiday season. Once this data was inputted, an initial
map of the lighting arrangement was produced to allow the departments to
review the existing lighting and determine potential locations for
additional lights. From this preliminary map, three light display
scenarios were developed by the Water and Electric department based on
plausible sites for expanding the electric utilities in the area to
provide the necessary power.

Once a final lighting arrangement was decided on by both departments,
the expansion of the electric system and the additional lighting funds
needed to be discussed and agreed upon by the Village Council. To assist
with this, the GIS department developed two maps, one showing the
proposed electric system additions and the other showing the proposed
tree lightings overlaid with the existing tree lighting. By using a
spatial tool to show, visually, the proposed plan for the holiday
lighting in the project area, the Water and Electric and Public Works
departments were able to provide a comprehensive view of the changes to
the council, as well as other departments and agencies involved in the
project. As a result, the proposed lighting arrangement was approved and
is currently being implemented for the current year’s holiday season
and into the future.

Prior to GIS being used to assist with the Village of Winnetka
holiday lighting expansion proposal, the project information was stored
in a series of excel spreadsheets and other document formats and was not
organized across the involved Village departments. With the necessary
project data now developed in a spatial framework, the Village has a
comprehensive and organized inventory of both the past and future
holiday lighting plans to assist with any future expansions or existing
project alterations.

Supporting holiday lighting

​During the winter holiday seasons, local municipalities often will
setup a series of decorations or lighting displays to celebrate the
holidays and provide a fun attraction for the community’s residents.
While the amount of decorations on display is mainly regulated by a
community’ budget, some times these restrictions can come from a lack of
existing space or resources for displaying or powering a certain
decoration setup. For the Village of Winnetka, this was the case for a
business district area located at the northern end of the Village. While
many of the businesses and residents in this area wanted to have more
lights displayed in the areas numerous trees, there were not sufficient
power sources available to accommodate this request. To determine the
best solution for this problem, the Public Works and Water and Electric
departments used GIS to assist with the planning and mapping of numerous
proposed scenarios.

Before any solutions to this issue could be considered, the tree
locations and existing lighting setup of the project area needed to the
inputted into the Village’s GIS system. This information was provided to
the GIS department by the Public Work’s Forestry division, which is
responsible for ordering, installing, and maintaining the lights before
and during the holiday season. Once this data was inputted, an initial
map of the lighting arrangement was produced to allow the departments to
review the existing lighting and determine potential locations for
additional lights. From this preliminary map, three light display
scenarios were developed by the Water and Electric department based on
plausible sites for expanding the electric utilities in the area to
provide the necessary power.

Once a final lighting arrangement was decided on by both departments,
the expansion of the electric system and the additional lighting funds
needed to be discussed and agreed upon by the Village Council. To assist
with this, the GIS department developed two maps, one showing the
proposed electric system additions and the other showing the proposed
tree lightings overlaid with the existing tree lighting. By using a
spatial tool to show, visually, the proposed plan for the holiday
lighting in the project area, the Water and Electric and Public Works
departments were able to provide a comprehensive view of the changes to
the council, as well as other departments and agencies involved in the
project. As a result, the proposed lighting arrangement was approved and
is currently being implemented for the current year’s holiday season
and into the future.

Prior to GIS being used to assist with the Village of Winnetka
holiday lighting expansion proposal, the project information was stored
in a series of excel spreadsheets and other document formats and was not
organized across the involved Village departments. With the necessary
project data now developed in a spatial framework, the Village has a
comprehensive and organized inventory of both the past and future
holiday lighting plans to assist with any future expansions or existing
project alterations.