Keeping Residents Informed with Sex Offender Mapping


The Village of Northbrook’s Police and Geographic Information Systems
(GIS) departments have teamed up to provide residents with an
interactive map showing the locations and information of sex offenders
within the Village. The process of updating this information for the
residents is easily done with GIS. The Police Department notifies GIS
when a new offender has registered within the Village and GIS then
gathers and downloads offender information from the Illinois State
Police website. A Microsoft Excel macro was created to expedite the
process of cleaning up and formatting data downloaded from the State’s
website, making the process even faster.

A custom layer showing the offender location is created using the
offender data and displayed on the village’s interactive mapping
application on their community website, called MapOffice™. MapOffice™
is an excellent method for displaying offender information by showing,
not only the offender’s location, but also allowing users to interact
with the map. Users can click on the offender location and open a
pop-up window displaying a variety of information that is provided by
the State Police, including a picture. MapOffice™ delivers a
centralized source for this information that is easily kept up to date.

The use of GIS technology has allowed the Police Department to
continue its commitment to serving residents by providing effective
services, such as the sex offender interactive map, to help keep
residents safe and informed.​

Tax Exempt Property Analysis


The Village of Mundelein, IL needed a more efficient way of
identifying Tax Exempt properties, with the ultimate goal being too
quickly view and query all the tax exempt properties in a given area.
They also wanted to see all tax exempt properties classified into
categories such as public, private, and worship. Knowing the location
of these properties is vital for the Village when developing Tax
Increment Finance (TIF) Districts or Special Service Areas (SSA).

The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Office used Lake County Tax
Assessor data to locate tax exempt properties and classify them into
categories. The first product created was a paper map of tax exempt
properties used for review. The second product was a custom map layer
created for display in the village’s interactive mapping application,
MapOffice™. This custom layer increased the functionality of the data,
as a user can type in an address in the application and see all the tax
exempt properties in the area around that address.

By having the GIS Office develop a tax exempt property layer in the
village’s GIS applications, the Village of Mundelein is saving employee
time. Employees no longer have to query an area, property by property,
or call the Township office for more information on a property. They
can turn on the custom layer in the MapOffice™ application and
immediately see the location of all the tax exempt properties in the
village limits and use the property classification information to
determine which organization that property belongs to.​

GIS Brings Sewer Televising Videos into MapOffice Advanced™


The City of Highland Park, IL contracts with a company to take
televised videos of sanitary pipes in certain areas of the community.
This is essential to making sure these pipes are in good working order
and to identify any issues or obstructions. If there are obstructions
discovered during televising, the sewer foreman is able to have these
problem areas fixed or replaced.

After the televising is complete, the video files are brought to the
Public Works department and loaded onto a local city network drive for
viewing. Each video is placed inside a folder with a unique folder
name that identifies its location and unique pipe number. From there,
the Geographic Information System (GIS) department is able to take those
videos and link them to the sanitary utility pipes that are in the GIS
database. After the videos are linked, the sewer foreman is able to view
all videos through the city’s interactive mapping application,
MapOffice™ Advanced, instead of having to go through a separate program
to open each video individually. Being able to view these videos
through a spatial environment helps to provide context to where each
video was recorded in the city, which saves time and provides efficiency
to the foreman’s video review workflow

GIS Assists in Locating Possible Electronic Message Board Sites


Electronic message boards seem to be a common site these days when
traveling down a busy street through a commercial area. These electronic
message boards can convey advertising information pertaining to a
particular business, notifications of a scheduled event on the calendar,
and even public service announcements from the community as a whole.
Currently, the City of Park Ridge contains no electronic message boards
within its borders, but it is looking into the possibility of changing
that. In order to do that, however, some guidelines needed to be
specified in order to limit the possible locations that an electronic
message board could be placed. These guidelines included that a parcel
must be greater than two acres in size, must be located on an arterial
street, and only certain commercial and special use zoning types be

Armed with all this information, it was up to GIS to determine the
possible locations for the electronic message boards. Using the criteria
stated above, a model was created to determine any parcel that matched
all three of the previously stated criteria. Once those parcels were
determined, a map was created to present this information at future city
council meetings where the ultimate decision on whether or not to allow
these electronic message boards will be made. Without GIS, a city
employee would be charged with the unenviable task of manually searching
for parcels that fit all of the stated criteria by hand, adding hours
of time to complete this project.​​​