At the May meeting of the Peoria Medical and Technology District Commission (PMTDC), Wallace, Roberts & Todd and the Farnsworth Group demonstrated a significant component of the district's master plan-the district's Geographic Information System (GIS). GIS is a high-tech tool that allows planners and developers to digitally create reports, maps, and visualizations that will help shape and envision the future of the District. GIS enables planners to understand the district from their own viewpoints-to understand the local physical demographics and environmental dynamics at ground level and at 30,000 feet.
The key components of the GIS include:
Securing an aerial photo that was digitized and used as a base layer of information. Those "on the ground" features include a high-resolution, color, aerial photo of streets, buildings, sidewalks, parking lots, and elevation contours.
Drawing a digital line around the physical features, such as houses, streets, lakes, etc. One important use of this planimetric layer is to allow those responsible for the management of the features to computerize their maps, records, and work.
Digitizing the information found on tax maps, including property lines, parcel sizes, ownership information, and tax data (cadastral layer). In addition, the utilities provided critical information consisting of primary water distribution, sewer lines, electrical conduits, telecommunication routes, etc. This data is important to understand how various properties are positioned with respect to utility access.
Delineating the special orientation of people-census blocks, neighborhoods, city council districts, bus routes, police districts, etc. Neighborhoods are clearly delineated, demonstrating how they interrelate with technological development throughout the district.
The full impact of the GIS system goes beyond developing maps and planning projects. Have you ever watched the television show The District? It dramatizes how GIS can be used to solve crimes. It also allows dispatchers to have up-to-date location information for dispatching public safety personnel.
The PMTDC would like to thank the Peoria GIS Consortium; the utilities; and the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, which coordinates GIS projects for the region. The consortium, comprised of the City of Peoria, Peoria County, and Peoria Sanitary District, was the first group that agreed to work together to build the GIS for the tri-county area. The consortium re-arranged their priorities to update our district first, and the utilities were very cooperative and forthcoming.
GIS allows the PMTDC to possess a strong database system to address future growth management. Development hypotheses can be visualized long before a shovel is put into the ground. We can view our future on a uniquely broad array of configurations: maps, 3-D imagery, motion images, charts, spreadsheets, lists, narratives, or any combination of each.
PMTDC will not only create the District's future-we'll visualize it for all to see. Think of the creative possibilities. IBI