Putting Illinois on the Map combines demographic information from the 2000 Federal Census with various geo-political boundaries across the State of Illinois. The scope of this project is a first, not just for Illinois, but across the country. The resulting database provides answers to geographic and/or demographic questions, such as, the population of a school district or the boundaries of a community college.
The Lewis & Clark Library System contracted with the Laboratory for Applied Spatial Analysis (LASA) at SIUE, Department of Geography to create the Putting Illinois on the Map database.
Over the past 18 months, LASA staff contacted the Department of Revenue (DOR), met with County officials and worked with the Illinois State Library to gather the taxing districts across the state. By merging this information with geo-political boundaries, road systems and the 2000 Census data, the Laboratory for Applied Spatial Analysis has produced Putting Illinois on the Map for Illinois librarians and others. The Illinois Department of Revenue’s taxing districts maps serve as the basis and the authority of the district boundaries within the database. The Census Bureau files supply the municipal boundaries as they are updated more than the DOR maps, better matching the census block boundaries.
Currently we are testing the database and its Web interface for usability and functionality. Your assistance in this process is greatly appreciated. Please take a few minutes to visit www.illinoismap.info, try a few addresses, check your library’s boundaries, or look at population numbers. Then send your comments, questions and suggestions to Charm Ruhnke at firstname.lastname@example.org or click on the Feedback button while in the database.
To help familiarize patrons and others with the libraries in illinoismap.info, we encourage librarians to send a digital picture to Charm Ruhnke at email@example.com, including your library’s name and community name with the picture attachment. The library’s picture should follow these recommendations: either JPEG or GIF with a minimum resolution of 320 X 240. However, 1250 X 960 or higher is preferred.
A copy of the Putting Illinois on the Map presentation during the Illinois Library Association 2008 conference has been posted here.
Funding for this grant was awarded by the Illinois State Library (ISL), a Division of the Office of Secretary of State, using funds provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), under the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).