Utility map books to maintain community infrastructure

The Village of Glencoe relies on accurate utility information in
order to assist the community staff with their daily activities. For
example, the Engineering Department utilizes storm sewer information to
assess and resolve drainage issues as well as general pipe replacement.
The Public Works Department needs accurate utility information to
identify water main size, type and location to respond to water main
breaks. This information has been stored in multiple locations
including engineering plans, record drawings, as-built drawings,
departmental files, and in the minds of seasoned staff members. The
ultimate goal is to organize all this information in one centralized
location that can be easily accessed by village staff for aiding in
their daily workflows.

Using a Geographic Information System (GIS) is most certainly one of
the better options on the market today for achieving this goal. Storing
utility information from resources like as-built drawings, hand drawn
maps and other sources can easily be filed into three specific databases
based on whether it is a storm, sanitary, or water utility system.
These individual databases contain information on the type, size and
location of features including some basics as pipes and manholes for the
sewer system as well as hydrants and valves for the water system.
Also, over time the databases can evolve to not only store accurate
asset location information but also very important engineering
information including rims and inverts of various structures.
Furthermore, these databases are excellent information storing devices
that have the ability to link to external databases as long as a proper
structure identification system is maintained.

In order to easily maintain the utility databases, field note map
books are created. A field note map book is usually an atlas of pages
sized as 17 x 22 inches, where the full community is broken down into
multiple pages by a grid in order to present the map at a 1’=100’ scale.
By using a grid based on the Professional Land Survey township system,
the community can be subdivided into equalized quarter-sections
(northeast, southwest). Once the community is properly split up into
quarter-sections the grid number is placed on its respective field note
map book page.

Using the 1’ = 100’ scale, structures such as manholes and valves can
be easily distinguished and field crews can easily markup the pages for
edits that need to be made to the utility system by the GIS Department.
The notes section on the right of the field note map book page provide
an area where field crews and engineering staff can provide comments on
discrepancies between what is in the GIS and what is said to be true in
the field. Utility lines and structures are labeled with their location
as well as the length and other asset information. Also included on
each page is a site map of the village. This allows field crews and
engineering staff to quickly determine their location relative to the

Field note map books allow the village to collect field updates and
update the utility data within the GIS system. Once changes are
received, the data is input into the GIS system and new field note map
book pages are created. By using field note map books, community staff
can quickly see their updates added to the GIS and gain trust in the
utility data they are using.