Providing Contractors Information using GIS


Each spring, The City of Lake Forest, IL Forestry Department places there mowing maintenance responsibilities out for contractual bid. Mowing maintenance include areas that require weekly mowing and that are managed by the city. Since the mowing is not performed internally, landscaping companies place a bid on the project. Once a winning bid has been chosen, the landscaping company requires a set of reference maps illustrating the mowing sites. Previously, GIS staff would create mapbooks, having a page for each mowing site. Recently, an interactive, online mapping application called Story Maps was developed to provide contractors a means of viewing the mowing sites on their mobile device.

The first step is for GIS staff to acquire the mowing site information from the Forestry Department. The mowing sites will then be mapped and the related information will be populated. The locations and data will be loaded into the Story Map, which is powered by ESRI’s ArcGIS Online application. The Story Map’s interface provides a user the ability to host an inactive map showing localized data, in this instance, mowing sites. The end result of this project will be a URL web link that will be provided to the contractors.

Creating an interactive map rather than using paper mapbooks will provide contractors with easy to manage reference material. Rather than transporting a mapbook with hundreds of pages, contractors can reference their phone to search to a desired area. The Story Map also contains a GPS function that will allow users to identify their location within the map. Having this information in an intuitive format on a mobile application allows residents a streamlined and innovative experience.