Tracking outdoor seating

Blog_Tracking_outdoor_seating.jpg

The City of Highland Parks contains a vibrant downtown full of many
service-orientated businesses that wish to provide outdoor seating for
their customers. The City of Highland Park requires these businesses to
apply for a permit, which allows outdoor seating. One of the main
purposes of the permit is ensuring that the outdoor seating locations do
not cause a public safety hazard by obstructing the pedestrian traffic
or by being too close to the street

Part of the permit application process requires the requester to
submit a hand drawn map showings were the tables and or chairs are
located. They must also diagram a five-foot clear walkway around or
through the outdoor seating area. These hand drawn maps create many
issues including, legibility, not drawn to scale, and inaccurate
measurements. Previously these drawings required field verification by a
city employee. These field verification often held up the permit
process as the person processing the permit had to wait for verification
from the person who checked the site in the field.

In 2006, the City of Highland Park asked the GIS Department to create
digital maps for these permits. The GIS approach held many advantages.
The five-foot clear walkways were accurately applied to each map. Map
symbols representing correct table and chair alignments provide an
accurate display of the site setup. Furthermore, the digital maps
contain other obstructions, such as planters, lights and trees. By
creating the maps in standard scales, users can accurately measure
distances on them. Field checks are not longer required to verify the
site as most issues are reviewed on the paper copies of the maps

The maps are digital products that are easily updated as businesses
makes changes to their outdoor seating areas. Many of the same
businesses apply for these permits every Spring. Because the permits
contain existing maps from previous years, it removes the cost of
creating new maps every year. GIS was effectively used to make
previously manually intensive process into a quicker automated and more
accurate process.

Tracking outdoor seating

Blog_Tracking_outdoor_seating.jpg

The City of Highland Parks contains a vibrant downtown full of many
service-orientated businesses that wish to provide outdoor seating for
their customers. The City of Highland Park requires these businesses to
apply for a permit, which allows outdoor seating. One of the main
purposes of the permit is ensuring that the outdoor seating locations do
not cause a public safety hazard by obstructing the pedestrian traffic
or by being too close to the street

Part of the permit application process requires the requester to
submit a hand drawn map showings were the tables and or chairs are
located. They must also diagram a five-foot clear walkway around or
through the outdoor seating area. These hand drawn maps create many
issues including, legibility, not drawn to scale, and inaccurate
measurements. Previously these drawings required field verification by a
city employee. These field verification often held up the permit
process as the person processing the permit had to wait for verification
from the person who checked the site in the field.

In 2006, the City of Highland Park asked the GIS Department to create
digital maps for these permits. The GIS approach held many advantages.
The five-foot clear walkways were accurately applied to each map. Map
symbols representing correct table and chair alignments provide an
accurate display of the site setup. Furthermore, the digital maps
contain other obstructions, such as planters, lights and trees. By
creating the maps in standard scales, users can accurately measure
distances on them. Field checks are not longer required to verify the
site as most issues are reviewed on the paper copies of the maps

The maps are digital products that are easily updated as businesses
makes changes to their outdoor seating areas. Many of the same
businesses apply for these permits every Spring. Because the permits
contain existing maps from previous years, it removes the cost of
creating new maps every year. GIS was effectively used to make
previously manually intensive process into a quicker automated and more
accurate process.