Community rummage sale

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Every year, the Village of Winnetka Police Department provides
additional security and crowd-control support for a local church’s
annual rummage sale. The sale is held on the church grounds and affects
parking and traffic patterns within in the adjacent area and several
surrounding neighborhoods. The size of the event requires the
involvement and coordination of numerous village departments, including
Public Works and the Police Department. To help improve the coordination
efforts, the GIS (Geographic Information System) department developed
several mapping products to allow the departments to share event
information more efficiently.

There are two maps that are traditionally developed for this event,
one for the Public Works department to highlight areas where they have
to setup temporary signs and barricades for restricted parking in and
around the church grounds and one for the Police Department showing a
detailed view of the church property with officer posting locations
highlighted. While all components of this event are provided in a
written form to the primary departments involved, using these two map
products provides a supplemental, spatially-based template that allows
for improved communication and a more concise transfer of information
before and during the event.

Interactive event mapping

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During an emergency event, knowing how a community is being impacted
as a whole can be just as important as responding to an individual
emergency call. Having an overall view of the event can provide
emergency response personnel with a better idea of how wide-spread the
problems are and reveal potential patterns that can lead to better
management of the response efforts. To help maximize its ability to
respond to a community-level emergency, the Village of Winnetka GIS
department developed a process for showing staff-generated emergency
information in a real-time mapping environment.

The environment for displaying the emergency event data generated by
community staff is the GIS Consortium MapOffice™ Advanced mapping
application, so the first step in the development process was to
determine how the information would be stored and transferred from the
input location to the map. The medium for bridging this gap is a
Microsoft SQL database environment, which is used by MapOffice™ Advanced
to display data and allows for multiple user inputs at one time. Using a
Microsoft Access form as the point for data input, the staff member can
enter emergency call information and, through a programming script
developed by GIS department staff, have the information processed for
input into the mapping application. Once processed, the event locations
can be displayed by the application’s end users, providing them with a
real-time view of what is occurring in the Village.

Viewing a community-level, real-time emergency event in an
interactive spatial environment provides the potential for the Village
of Winnetka to better plan for response situations and can assist
Village staff in developing and executing better polices for future
resource and manpower distribution.

Interactive event mapping

Blog_Interactive_event_mapping.png

During an emergency event, knowing how a community is being impacted
as a whole can be just as important as responding to an individual
emergency call. Having an overall view of the event can provide
emergency response personnel with a better idea of how wide-spread the
problems are and reveal potential patterns that can lead to better
management of the response efforts. To help maximize its ability to
respond to a community-level emergency, the Village of Winnetka GIS
department developed a process for showing staff-generated emergency
information in a real-time mapping environment.

The environment for displaying the emergency event data generated by
community staff is the GIS Consortium MapOffice™ Advanced mapping
application, so the first step in the development process was to
determine how the information would be stored and transferred from the
input location to the map. The medium for bridging this gap is a
Microsoft SQL database environment, which is used by MapOffice™ Advanced
to display data and allows for multiple user inputs at one time. Using a
Microsoft Access form as the point for data input, the staff member can
enter emergency call information and, through a programming script
developed by GIS department staff, have the information processed for
input into the mapping application. Once processed, the event locations
can be displayed by the application’s end users, providing them with a
real-time view of what is occurring in the Village.

Viewing a community-level, real-time emergency event in an
interactive spatial environment provides the potential for the Village
of Winnetka to better plan for response situations and can assist
Village staff in developing and executing better polices for future
resource and manpower distribution.

Mapping out Winnetka’s parkways

Blog_Mapping_out_Winnetka.png

For many communities, the fall season is a busy time consisting of
construction projects, landscaping contracts, and other operations that
relate to the changing season. For the Village of Winnetka, this time of
year means performing weekly leaf pickup along all the Village-owned
streets as a service to Village residents. To assist the Public Works
department with their yearly leaf collection budget, the GIS department
was asked to provide the total Village-owned parkway area along these
streets as a way to estimate the percentage of leaves being picked up
that were coming from Village-owned trees versus trees on private
property.

Prior to gathering this information, the parkway areas being
considered needed to be defined. For this analysis, a parkway was
defined as the area of grass between the paved surface of a public
roadway and the sidewalk that ran parallel to the road. With the parkway
area defined, an analysis was performed using the road, sidewalk, and
parcel GIS layers for the Village to extract out all those areas along a
public roadway that were not included on a privately-owned lot. To
complete the analysis, the Village’s driveway GIS layer was used to
extract out all paved driveway surfaces where tree plantings could not
occur. The resulting layer that was created allowed the GIS department
to determine the percentage of Village land area contained within the
parkway and provide this information to Public Works.

By using some of the basic GIS base layers for the Village, the GIS
department was able to extract information on a Village-wide scale in a
fraction of the time it would have taken to gather the same land area
numbers in the field. Using the analysis tools in the GIS software saved
Village staff time and money and provided vital information that can
assist with developing more accurate leaf collection budgets in the
future.

Mapping out Winnetka’s parkways

Blog_Mapping_out_Winnetka.png

For many communities, the fall season is a busy time consisting of
construction projects, landscaping contracts, and other operations that
relate to the changing season. For the Village of Winnetka, this time of
year means performing weekly leaf pickup along all the Village-owned
streets as a service to Village residents. To assist the Public Works
department with their yearly leaf collection budget, the GIS department
was asked to provide the total Village-owned parkway area along these
streets as a way to estimate the percentage of leaves being picked up
that were coming from Village-owned trees versus trees on private
property.

Prior to gathering this information, the parkway areas being
considered needed to be defined. For this analysis, a parkway was
defined as the area of grass between the paved surface of a public
roadway and the sidewalk that ran parallel to the road. With the parkway
area defined, an analysis was performed using the road, sidewalk, and
parcel GIS layers for the Village to extract out all those areas along a
public roadway that were not included on a privately-owned lot. To
complete the analysis, the Village’s driveway GIS layer was used to
extract out all paved driveway surfaces where tree plantings could not
occur. The resulting layer that was created allowed the GIS department
to determine the percentage of Village land area contained within the
parkway and provide this information to Public Works.

By using some of the basic GIS base layers for the Village, the GIS
department was able to extract information on a Village-wide scale in a
fraction of the time it would have taken to gather the same land area
numbers in the field. Using the analysis tools in the GIS software saved
Village staff time and money and provided vital information that can
assist with developing more accurate leaf collection budgets in the
future.

Sprinker system tracking

​With the building of a new village hall and an updated police
station, the Village of Wheeling took the opportunity to put in a new
sprinkler system for the outdoor areas of both buildings. The sprinkler
system consists of roughly 600 sprinkler heads varying in size, flow,
and type tied into a computer system. The Village of Wheeling requested
that a map be created showing the location of all the features within
the system overlaid on aerial imagery.

To get accurate locations of all the sprinkler heads, a village
engineer went out and used a GPS unit to collect all the location
information. The points were then loaded into GIS and mapped out on top
of the village’s aerial imagery. Using engineering drawings, attributes
and line work were added to the map to complete the entire system.
Finally, sprinkler zones were added using notes provided by public works
and building maintenance crews.

The final product displays the entire sprinkler system on top of the
aerial imagery so that maintenance crews can locate any part of the
system. By adding the map into the village’s online mapping program,
maintenance crews can select a sprinkler and see all the attributes for
that specific feature. This allows them to easily make repairs and
replacements. Because the computer tied into the system references
errors by zone, the zone numbers were added to the system allowing
maintenance crews to see exactly where a specific error is located and
what other parts of the system are going to be affected. By adding the
sprinkler system into GIS, the maintenance crews are able to get a clear
look at the system and then make quick and informative decisions on any
maintenance or issues.

Sprinker system tracking

​With the building of a new village hall and an updated police
station, the Village of Wheeling took the opportunity to put in a new
sprinkler system for the outdoor areas of both buildings. The sprinkler
system consists of roughly 600 sprinkler heads varying in size, flow,
and type tied into a computer system. The Village of Wheeling requested
that a map be created showing the location of all the features within
the system overlaid on aerial imagery.

To get accurate locations of all the sprinkler heads, a village
engineer went out and used a GPS unit to collect all the location
information. The points were then loaded into GIS and mapped out on top
of the village’s aerial imagery. Using engineering drawings, attributes
and line work were added to the map to complete the entire system.
Finally, sprinkler zones were added using notes provided by public works
and building maintenance crews.

The final product displays the entire sprinkler system on top of the
aerial imagery so that maintenance crews can locate any part of the
system. By adding the map into the village’s online mapping program,
maintenance crews can select a sprinkler and see all the attributes for
that specific feature. This allows them to easily make repairs and
replacements. Because the computer tied into the system references
errors by zone, the zone numbers were added to the system allowing
maintenance crews to see exactly where a specific error is located and
what other parts of the system are going to be affected. By adding the
sprinkler system into GIS, the maintenance crews are able to get a clear
look at the system and then make quick and informative decisions on any
maintenance or issues.

Memorial day parade

Blog_Memorial_day_parade.jpg

The Village of Winnetka hosts numerous special events over the course
of a year and, for each event, the Police and Public Works departments
are involved in providing operational support. These events range from
parades to festivals and require a wide-range of supportive actions.
These actions are assigned via an event orders sheet provided to each
department that describes the extent of the event and where various
elements of the event are occurring. However, in the order sheet format,
it can be difficult for personnel to get an overall view of the event’s
total operations. To assist with providing this comprehensive view for
the Village’s Memorial Day parade, the GIS Department was asked to
develop a mapping product that would help assigned personnel to be
better informed about the overall event orders.

The Memorial Day parade is an annual event that requires a variety of
special operational orders to ensure residents are safe and enjoy the
event proceedings. To assist with the execution of these orders, the GIS
Department was provided with a copy of the event order sheet and asked
to create a map showing the location of several key components of the
parade. These included officer posting locations, parking restriction
areas, severe weather shelters, and the parade staging area. Viewing
this information spatially allows each officer and public works crew
member to gain a better understanding of the scope of the event and
provides a visual tool to assist with executing the operational orders
sheet. While not a replacement for the written orders, the Memorial Day
map acts as a supplemental tool for supporting Village departmental
actions before and during the parade.

Providing a visual format for viewing a special event’s operations
provides a quick reference tool for viewing the overall event setup.
This broad perspective supplies more information to assigned Village
personnel, helping them to make more informed and efficient decisions.

Memorial day parade

Blog_Memorial_day_parade.jpg

The Village of Winnetka hosts numerous special events over the course
of a year and, for each event, the Police and Public Works departments
are involved in providing operational support. These events range from
parades to festivals and require a wide-range of supportive actions.
These actions are assigned via an event orders sheet provided to each
department that describes the extent of the event and where various
elements of the event are occurring. However, in the order sheet format,
it can be difficult for personnel to get an overall view of the event’s
total operations. To assist with providing this comprehensive view for
the Village’s Memorial Day parade, the GIS Department was asked to
develop a mapping product that would help assigned personnel to be
better informed about the overall event orders.

The Memorial Day parade is an annual event that requires a variety of
special operational orders to ensure residents are safe and enjoy the
event proceedings. To assist with the execution of these orders, the GIS
Department was provided with a copy of the event order sheet and asked
to create a map showing the location of several key components of the
parade. These included officer posting locations, parking restriction
areas, severe weather shelters, and the parade staging area. Viewing
this information spatially allows each officer and public works crew
member to gain a better understanding of the scope of the event and
provides a visual tool to assist with executing the operational orders
sheet. While not a replacement for the written orders, the Memorial Day
map acts as a supplemental tool for supporting Village departmental
actions before and during the parade.

Providing a visual format for viewing a special event’s operations
provides a quick reference tool for viewing the overall event setup.
This broad perspective supplies more information to assigned Village
personnel, helping them to make more informed and efficient decisions.

Maintaining utility systems in GIS

​Keeping a utility system running at high capacity is a major
component of local government operations. Coordinating maintenance,
capital improvement projects, and every day operations can be a
challenging task that requires numerous man-hours to run effectively.
Having an accurate spatial inventory of utility system components helps a
community perform these operations more efficiently by providing a
quick reference tool for checking the physical location of a feature and
providing vital attribute information such as manhole depth or pipe
diameter. To assist with a recent sanitary system cleaning effort, the
Village of Winnetka Public Works Department requested that the GIS
Department develop a series of maps to help the field crews gain a
better understanding of the system before going out into the field.

Having the Village sanitary sewer assets in a GIS (Geographic
Information System) system provides a spatial inventory of the system
features that allowed the GIS Department to develop the requested
cleaning sector maps quickly and efficiently. The alternative to
developing these maps was to scan and print a series of old, hand drawn
paper atlas maps, which were difficult to read and, in some cases,
out-of-date. By using the more current, easier to read GIS-based maps,
the field crews had a practical reference tool to use both in the office
and in the field to determine the location of the pipes that needed
cleaning and the extent of the area that needed work. The maps also
provided pipe length and diameter information to give the crews a better
idea of the types of pipes they would be working with, which saved
resources and man-hours that may have otherwise been spent checking
these attributes in the field.

Managing utility assets in a GIS system allows local governments to
leverage their available hours and budget constraints to optimize their
operations and potentially reduce costs. By providing a spatial format
to review and reference utility features both in the office and in the
field, the Village has a efficient mechanism for validating utility
system information.