ArcGIS Online Finder Application


ArcGIS Online provides many downloadable applications that can be used on smartphones, tablets, and desktops.  This includes web application templates, which are specifically designed to take a web map and then apply graphics, charts, and other related information.  The templates are easy to use and require minimal coding and configuration to get them up and running.  One of these templates is the Finder Application, which is a configurable application template that allows the user to use an attribute search on various feature layers.  This is similar to the Find and Go feature on MapOffice™, but it can be configured to search for any feature attribute, not just address information.

Currently, the GIS Consortium and communities are using the ArcGIS Online Finder Application to create small web based maps that can’t be currently created in MapOffice™.  The Village of Deerfield has put together a web map that allows residents to search a cemetery for specific graves based on the deceased name, and The Village of Lake Forest has an application that allows a user to search for local landmarks.  By using the ArcGIS Online Finder Application, the communities of the GIS Consortium are using new technology to make data querying easier and more efficient.

ArcGIS Online Collector Application

The ArcGIS Online Collector Mobile Application puts mapping in the hands of users out in the field and eliminates the need for paper maps by using Tablets and Smartphones to collect information.  The applications allows users to collect and update GIS data and then sync back with the original GIS databases eliminating the need for the GIS Specialist to enter the data once it comes back in from the field.  The application can be run on either iOS or Android devices and it can use either an internet connection, or the maps and information can be downloaded to the device and the user can work offline before synching back with the database once an internet or WiFi connection is established.


Currently, GIS Consortium communities are using the ArcGIS Online Collector Application to collect things such as Capital Improvement Projects, sidewalk information, and street signs.  The GIS Consortium is looking towards the future by possibly using the Collector Application to track and update utility information out in the field.  By using the ArcGIS Online Collector Application, the communities of the GIS Consortium are using technology to make field collection easier and more efficient.

Updated Photogrammetric Mapping History for GIS Consortium Members

​A proactive approach is taken every year to update GIS Consortium members on how current their spatial data is. The GIS Consortium photogra​mmetric vendor is a nationwide engineering, mapping and survey firm that provides high-accuracy geospatial data that the counties cannot. All available orthophoto (aerial imagery similar to what one might see on Google), planimetric (roads, buildings, rivers) and topographic (elevation) data is visualized by the year it was purchased. Aerial LiDAR coverage is also shown with the topography data. This technology produces surface models from laser pulses emitted from a helicopter or plane. The color-coded maps allow communities to budget for updated data by seeing which areas have been updated in the past and if those areas have seen any significant construction or demolition over the years.

Collecting and maintaining accurate data for a Geographic Information System (GIS) program assures the base map is complete and allows GIS users, municipal employees, and decision makers to consume precise data and make decisions based on accurate, complete data. Commercial mapping companies​s might provide good data from a regional perspective, but their price and low precision are not ideal for local governments. Up-to-date photogrammetric and topographic data is beneficial to both MGP, Inc. employees as well as their clients.

Expect the best when planning for the worst: Emergency Management in the GIS Consortium

​One of the core beliefs at MGP is to actively improve upon the past. But how do we make improvements to a process when its very nature is unpredictable? Such is the challenge with emergency response planning, as no two incidents are the same and emergencies are always unexpected. However, we learn a lot with each emergency event, and leverage this information to develop new tools for use in all GIS Consortium communities.

One of the challenges that every community faces in an emergency event is how to communicate with residents. One way to do this efficiently is to have a standard template that can be filled in with event-specific information at a moment’s notice. With this goal in mind, a team of MGP staff members reviewed the data from past severe weather events to look for patterns. Those commonalities were documented in GIS format and put into a template with a standardized naming convention and symbol set. Now, every community has a ready-to-use environment for collecting and storing information, which will save the time it would take to create something from scratch. In turn, communities can publish relevant information in that template to residents


La Grange and Schiller Park join the GIS Consortium

Good things come in pairs!  We are very excited to announce that both La Grange and Schiller Park have joined the GIS Consortium.  They are the 24th and 25th members respectively.  This is the first time in our 15-year history that two communities have joined in the same week.


On behalf of the GIS Consortium Board, its member community staffs, and MGP Inc. we want to welcome both communities and we look forward to working together to achieve your goals.

Water System Operator Magazine Recognizes Quality Leaders in the Village of Norridge

​Water System Operator Magazine recently published an article on the Village of Norridge, showing its success with technology improvements and service.  It reviews the work of Doug Strempek, the IT and GIS Coordinator for the Village, in the updating of core technologies and services. Read the full article at Water Systems Operator.  Congratulations Doug!

Glen Ellyn joins the GIS Consortium

​We are excited to announce the newest member of the GIS Consortium, the
Village of Glen Ellyn, Illinois.  Glen Ellyn becomes the 23rd member of
the GIS Consortium and the fourth member to join this year! The
Consortium and MGP are looking forward to the beginning of another
successful partnership.​

GIS Supports Recent Flood Emergency Response Efforts

​We contributed an article on page six of the Illinois City/County
Managers Association (ILCMA) June 2013 newsletter.The article discusses
the vital role of GIS when it comes to emergency response. It
illustrates that a GIS program is a powerful asset for a community’s
emergency response infrastructure and provides some recommendations to
local governments on how to utilize GIS more effectively. The full
article is available on the ILCMA website.​

Northbrook becomes the 22nd member of the Consortium.

​The Consortium is pleased to announce the membership of the Village of
Northbrook. The Village has a long history when it comes to using GIS.
Two of the reasons cited by the Village for joining was to create a GIS
program that was centralized within the organizations along with one
that supports the needs of their residents. The Consortium congratulates
its 22nd member and is excited to get started.​

Buffalo Grove joins the GIS Consortium

​We are very pleased to announce our newest GIS Consortium member, the
Village of Buffalo Grove, Illinois. Buffalo Grove becomes the 21st
member of the GIS Consortium and the 7th Lake County community. The
program was kicked off last week and we want to welcome the entire
Village of Buffalo Grove staff to the GIS Consortium.​