County Spotlight
  • Featured: Lebanon County

    03-08-2019

    Throughout 2018 the Lebanon County GIS Department worked to get GIS data out of the back office and into the hands of those that need it. Further, we wanted to present the data in a way that is easy to understand, use and access. In an effort to provide GIS data and information to our fellow County Departments as well as the public, we created several web apps.

    Lebanon County Floodplain Viewer
    The floodplain viewer allows users both in government and in the public to view PEMA’s preliminary flood insurance study area in Lebanon County. Users are able to search by address, subdivision lot, or mobile home address to locate parcels to determine if the parcel falls within the floodplain. Zooming in provides imagery for better analysis of the floodplain and the surrounding properties. The layer “Changes Since Last Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM)” displays increases or decreases in the 1% Annual Chance Flooding floodplain area. Users have access to the swipe tool which allows them to view the changes in floodplain since the last FIRM compared to the current floodplain by “swiping” between the two; some areas will see little to no change while others will see a significant adjustment in coverage. For further study, a Measurement tool and Select tool are also provided. Information related to the preliminary maps can be found on the sidebar, along with links and contact information for specific inquiries to make the process as painless as possible for the public during the transition period.

    Lebanon County Voter Information Viewer
    County residents can utilize this web app to view voting information relative to their location and to find where they vote. Each parcel displays specific data about its precinct, its polling place, and its US Congressional, State Senatorial, and State Legislative districts. Each of these are available to be displayed on the map. Further information and documents are available on the sidebar, like Lebanon County’s absentee ballot application or a link to Pennsylvania’s state legislators. We created this web app to assist the Voter Registration Department with requests from the general public on where to vote and the district they fall within.

    2018 General Election Results
    This simple viewer provides users with the results from the 2018 General Election broken down by precinct and by contest. Each precinct is colored red or blue based on the winning party and displays a pop-up with the corresponding number of votes per candidate. Users can display one contest at a time using the Layer List on the sidebar.

    2018 General Election Survey Results
    During the election, the Lebanon County GIS and Voter Registration Departments worked together to create a voter experience survey using ESRI’s Survey123 application. At their polling place, voters were given a card containing the link and QR code to the survey which could be completed online via computer, tablet, or phone. The survey collected voter data pertaining to the following questions:
    • Where did you vote?
    • What time did you vote?
    • How long did you wait?
    • How helpful was the staff?
    • How easy was it to vote?
    • Overall experience? 1-5 stars
    • Age group
    • Comments/suggestions
    We received 588 responses from this survey which provided the county with an insight to the public’s experience during an election. Some common suggestions were about lack of parking at certain polling locations and long wait times.
    On Election Day, the GIS Department set up a dashboard which displayed real time statistics about wait times, number of surveys by polling location, number of voters per half hour and age group. While not available to the public, designated county employees had access to the information. The GIS Department then concatenated the results into a story map to display the data in an organized and coherent fashion. The final page of the story map contains a map of the districts and polling locations with their corresponding number of surveys, average wait time, and average age group. Through this process, we were able to help the Voter Registration Department prioritize some improvements they could make for upcoming elections and ways the GIS department could improve its analysis in upcoming surveys.

    Lebanon County Local Treatment Resources Viewer
    The Lebanon County Heroin Task Force, made up of representatives of government, law enforcement, medical/treatment facilities and community members, works to educate citizens of the county on the prevalence of the heroin problem and to identify and expand available resources to combat addition and to end drug related deaths and crime in the community. The GIS department joined the Task Force in 2018 to provide assistance through analysis and mapping. We joined with the thought mind of providing statistics from overdoses, deaths, and crime data. However, our initial ideas were met with resistance as the focus of the group was more on recovery and reaching out to people affected by the crisis. After consideration of the goals of the Task Force and what data we could provide, we created the Local Treatment Resources Viewer. Much of the data available on this online map did not exist prior to this project, so lots of research and data creation took place. Additionally, the Heroin Task Force provided many resources for us to include.
     Some members of the Task Force had ideas or suggestions to improve the app and provided a different perspective towards how a user might want to interact with the site. We welcomed their input since a majority of the information we were receiving was completely new to us. The viewer evolved through meetings with the task force, work sessions with the head of LebCo Drug and Alcohol and GIS revisions, the viewer was demonstrated to the Lebanon County Commissioners who enthusiastically gave approval for the viewer to be released to the public.  The data available for display includes Medication Assisted Treatment Services, Drug Take-back Locations, Treatment Services, Hospitals, Pharmacies carrying Narcan, and emergency service locations. Each location provides information relative to the service and a link to the corresponding site. To find services near a user’s location, they may use the Search Near Me tool; the tool shows all resources within the defined radius of the searched address. Our hope is that this tool becomes a resource for people who may not have access to transportation or who are proactively looking for assistance close by in the event that a loved one needs help (outside of an emergency). The web app also provides numbers and links for relevant hotlines and support groups in the area and additional information about naloxone, drug take-backs and the Heroin Task Force itself. We included a help tab as well due to the possibility that many potential users will not have used a web app before. The ultimate goal during this project was to create a site that included as much pertinent information as possible for a variety of users without overwhelming or confusing people who are looking for an easy way of locating the best resource for their situation.