Addresses play an important role in the day to day activities of the
Village of Oak Brook whether it is for water billing information,
permits or locating a resident in case of an emergency. In addition, a
physical address can serve as a link to answering such questions what
school district do I belong to or what zoning district am I in?
However, obtaining information for a specific address often requires
searching through multiple spreadsheets, databases and paper documents.
In order to create a centralized location for the address information
in Oak Brook, a master address database was created in the Geographic
Information System (GIS). This database contains address information
from several sources including water billing, community development and
the official address map produced by the village. In the database, each
address follows the United States Postal standard with a pre direction,
address number, street, pre modifier (such as street or avenue) and a
post direction. The database also stores the status of each address.
This can be set to active if the address currently exists or retired if
the address in no longer valid.
Every address in the database is represented by a point feature known
as an address pin point. This point has specific x and y coordinates
that allow it to be placed in a known location on the earth. This point
is linked to a table containing information about that particular
address including a PIN number, parcel information and assessor
The address pin point is typically placed in the center of the
corresponding parcel. Using aerial imagery and building information,
this point can be placed at the entrance of the main building to better
depict the location of the address. Moreover, this address is stored as a
primary address pin point. A secondary pin point is established for
buildings and parking lots that have the same address as the main
building, but are located on another parcel.
Address pin points allow for quick and simple retrieval of data at a
particular location. Additional data layers including utilities,
subdivisions and library districts can be overlaid onto the address pin
point to quickly determine the location of the nearest fire hydrant to a
property or the number of homes within a particular library district.
This eliminates the need for village staff to check multiple sources for
information which essentially can save both time and money.
Since the address pin points are directly tied to a database, any
additions or deletions can be quickly made and stored as a saved edit.
Addresses can also be labeled and set to a defined scale. Prior to the
creation of the database the village had to manually update every
address on a paper map annually with any changes to the community
boundary, parcels and streets. This took a significant amount of time
depending on the amount of changes in a particular year. Also due to the
large scale of the map, reading addresses in highly dense areas such as
apartment complexes or townhomes proved to be difficult. In GIS, these
addresses can be viewed electronically and maps can be created at any
scale in order to easily view and locate addresses.
Overall, it is easy to see how the creation of a centralized address
database will assist every department throughout the village. For
example, the Community Development Department can quickly locate an
address and determine which zoning district it is apart of without
having to search a zoning map or permits. The Public Works Department
will be able to identify and notify all of the residents that will be
impacted when a water main break occurs and the Police and Fire
Departments will be able to locate and respond to an emergency call at a
particular address. All in all it is safe to say that the enhancements a
village will receive by having an accurate address database will become
known as the GIS programs continues to evolve and relationships with
other departments continue to strengthen.