Geographic Information System


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

There are two types of data used in GIS: vector and raster. Vector data is split into 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 that have area, 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 every day for the Burr Ridge GIS. 

At the Village of Burr Ridge, the GIS is used to examine a wide variety of information, from storm sewers and the water main to snow plow routes and the zoning of parcels. Currently, GIS work is done in the Public Works Department, so much of the information is for the benefit of the Water, Engineering, Operations, and Forestry divisions, but it is branching out to other Village Departments. With the interactive map, you can look at the school, fire, and park districts your house is in. You can see where your home is in relation to the floodplain. You can find places of interest in town, such as schools and Village buildings.

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 two 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 extraneous sources, such as the floodplain data that comes from FEMA.


Information & Contact

For more detailed information about GIS, check out these websites: the Illinois GIS Association DuPage County GIS Cook County Mapmaker

For questions or comments pertaining to the Burr Ridge GIS, contact

David Preissig, P.E., Director of Public Works
630-323-4733 ext. 6000