GIS assisting with building permit applications


Maintaining a record of building permit applications is important for
local governments as both a historical reference for work that was
authorized for a given project and as a reference in case the work that
was completed is ever disputed. To make access to these applications
easier for all departments, the Village of Winnetka, IL Community
Development Department requested that the paper building permits they
have on file be scanned into an electronic format. To assist with
providing access to the scanned permit files, the village’s Geographic
Information Systems (GIS) department linked the permit documents to the
spatial location they applied to and made those links available as part
of the village’s internet-browser based mapping application.

Distributing the connection to each scanned document through a
spatial platform provides an intuitive interface for village staff to
query and locate the exact permit application they’re looking for.
Within the mapping application, a user can search for the address the
permit was issued for, turn on the spatial layer developed by the GIS
department that contains the document link, and click on that link to
open the scanned file for viewing. By making the permits accessible
through an intuitive application that’s already used by all departments,
the village increases its overall efficiency by opening up access to
the permits, as well as saves time and money by not having to coordinate
a network location to store the files or invest in document management
software to distribute the information.