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Local News

Will County recognized for online overdose map

Will County's Heroin/Fentanyl Overdose Deaths Dashboard was recognized by a global company.
Will County's Heroin/Fentanyl Overdose Deaths Dashboard was recognized by a global company.

Will County’s Heroin/Fentanyl Overdose Deaths Dashboard was recognized by Esri, a global company dedicated to building the world’s most powerful mapping and spatial analytics software.

The county’s Geographic Information Systems Division is part of the Information, Communication and Technology Department. With a staff of four people from diverse backgrounds, including geography, city planning and crime analysis, the team is dedicated to using GIS technology to solve real world problems, according to a news release.

“Esri is a leader in the GIS world,” GIS manager Becky Colwell-Ongenae said. “Being acknowledged on their website is a big honor.”

Colwell-Ongenae called it an “evolutionary operation that must be constantly updated.” She said they consistently work to maintain the most up-to-date information, which ensures preparedness for events or needs that might arise.

In addition to mapmaking, the GIS Division has also worked to create web maps and online analysis tools that show important locations of resources, such as food pantries and warming or cooling shelters throughout the county. The Heroin/Fentanyl Overdose Deaths Dashboard for Will County is a newer web tool created by Howard Kim, a GIS specialist within the division, as a result of the opioid crisis that is affecting Will County and other communities across the United States.

“Howard’s work makes it easy to understand the data and identify hot spots where more overdoses are occurring and ensuring proper resources are allocated to areas of need,” said Kathleen Burke, director of substance use initiatives for Will County.

Learn about the county’s substance use initiatives office at willcountyillinois.com.

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