Using free GIS technology to aide local government staff


Information captured in a Geographic Information System (GIS) can be
distributed in many different ways including, but not limited to, hard
copy map prints, electronic image files, Google EarthTM and as an
ArcReaderTM (PMF) project. Of these methods of distribution, ArcReaderTM
has been found to work quite well in Elk Grove Village.

ArcReader is a free data viewing application provided by ESRI, the
leading GIS software development and services provider. This software
allows for the development of customized interactive maps by the
community’s GIS Department that provide for map viewing, printing and
querying of GIS data. ArcReaderTM can be downloaded from the ESRI
website at

So far, ArcReader Projects have been created for the 2009 Alexian
Brothers Bike Race, the Public Works Department, the Clerks Office and
most recently the Fire Department. Each ArcReader project contains basic
community information like addresses, street names, parcels, water
features and roadways as well as more specific information pertaining to
the specific event or department. Some examples of how ArcReader
projects have been used within Elk Grove Village are as follows:

  • The Bike Race ArcReader project provides a shared resource of
    information for all geographical locations pertaining to the race event
    and will continue to evolve as more information is mapped.
  • The Public Works ArcReaderTM project provides information for
    utilities throughout the village as well as department specific
    information that has been mapped such as snow plow routes and tree
    trimming areas.
  • The Clerks ArcReaderTM project includes the zoning, subdivision and annexation layers.
  • The Fire Department ArcReader project incorporates fire districts,
    automatic aide areas, response analysis layers, geographical information
    for the trails, groves, and water depths and hydrant flow information.

Deploying geographic information in this way has provided for a
common location for related information and the ability to view where
these events, infrastructure, services and regulations exist throughout
the community. Once the data is mapped in the GIS it can continue to
expand in accuracy of geographic representation and by capturing
additional attribute information. Often, analysis is requested after
realizing the relationships that exists between all of this information
and the results can bring a significant benefit to a staff, department
or the entire community.