Using GIS to analyze unincorporated areas


Tinley Park has many pockets of unincorporated areas throughout the
Village, many which consist of only one or two parcels. As a result,
the Village and Cook County cooperate in providing services such as
police and fire protection to these areas. In an effort to reduce costs
for both the Village and Cook County, the two entities decided to sit
down and try to figure out a way to incorporate these areas. One of the
big factors that revolved around these talks had to do with general
statistics about these unincorporated areas. A few of the key
statistics included; total area, amount of paved road, amount of
buildings, zoning classifications, developable land, and the amount of
calls for emergency services. These statistics were important to help
decision makers figure out how and where these areas can be
incorporated. In order to gather and display these statistics in a very
small period of time, Village staff requested that statistics be
gathered and mapped using GIS.

This type of project fit perfectly with what GIS is capable doing
because of its ability to extract assessor records, analyze spatial
layout, and plot existing address lists. Using GIS, we were able to
analyze the total amount of unincorporated areas, figure out there
zoning classifications, and pull assessor records to verify ownership
and tax rates. We also were able to take spreadsheets summarizing all
police and fire calls, geocode them, and get a count for the amount and
type of emergency calls that fell within these unincorporated areas. By
using GIS, we were then able to take all of this information and
provide maps and spreadsheets summarizing all of the requested
information. Without GIS this would have taken a much longer time to
analyze all of the information long hand, and would not have had the
added benefit of visual aids.