Geographic Information System

What is a GIS?
A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a Computer Information system used to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, and display geospatially referenced data to aid decision-making. To simplify, a GIS is a combination of computer hardware and software that shows relationships between data and answers questions, with the result often being a map. You have probably used a GIS before and might not even know it. Google Earth and MapQuest are all examples of a GIS. The Village Zoning Map using GIS software.

There are two types of data used in GIS: vector and raster. Vector data has three types: point, polyline, and polygon. Point data represent individual points, such as trees or signs. Polyline data represent lines, such as sidewalks, bicycle trails, and roads. Polygon data represent objects with areas, such as a building perimeter, the boundary of a town, or a voting precinct. Raster data are continuous data made of equally-sized pixels arranged in rows and columns. The best-known forms of raster data are satellite imagery and aerial photos. We use both vector and raster data for the Burr Ridge GIS every day. 

How does the Village use GIS?
The GIS is used to examine a wide variety of Information, from storm sewers and the water main to snowplow routes and the zoning of parcels. The Public Works Department uses GIS the most, but it branches out to police and administration departments.

The Majority of the data used by the Village of Burr Ridge GIS is from three sources:  DuPage County, Cook County, or created in-house. Parcel, street, and general data about different districts (school, fire, park, library, voting, etc.) come from the counties. Localized Information, such as where sewers and pipes are located or tracking the Emerald Ash Borer, is created and maintained in-house. The in-house data are compiled by taking data out in the field with a GPS unit and are edited by hand using GIS software. A small amount of data is from outside sources, such as the floodplain data from FEMA.

David Preissig, P.E., Director of Public Works
(630) 654-8181 ext. 6000