GIS Assists in Alley Vacation Tracking


There are countless historical documents and records lying around
local government offices these days that contain valuable geographic
information but are difficult and time consuming to locate. Whether it
is an old annexation or de-annexation agreement, road dedication,
variance card, easement location, or vacated alley document, all this
information is important enough to hold onto but their current format
leaves a lot to be desired. The Community Development department has a
binder full of historical vacated alley documents that date back to the
1930s that are only organized by date, leading to massive time consuming
searches being that most inquiries would be based on an address and not
the date. GIS was sought as a viable option to finally organize all
this important data into an easily accessible digital format.

Using these old vacation documents, vacated alleys were drawn in on
the existing alley custom layer in MapOffice Advanced. The ordinance
number was entered in for each location as attribute information. Most
importantly, each historical vacation document was scanned in and linked
to their respective alley. Currently, every alley vacation from 1972 to
the present has been uploaded, but previous years are still being added
on a consistent basis. Now, the user can locate a vacated alley by
querying an address and have the vacation information populate
instantly. Without GIS, the current system of keeping everything in one
giant binder that a user would have to flip through manually searching
for the document in question would still exist. Having these alley
vacations in an easy to use MapOffice custom layer replaces a time
consuming task with a quick, instant result.​