CitySourced is a real time mobile civic engagement tool. CitySourced provides a free, simple, and intuitive tool empowering citizens to identify civil issues (potholes, graffiti, trash, snow removal, etc.) and report them to city hall for quick resolution; an opportunity for government to use technology to save money and improve accountability to those they govern; and a positive, collaborative platform for real action. Our platform is called CitySourced, as it empowers everyday citizens to use their smart phones to make their cities a better place. CitySourced is powered by FreedomSpeaks, the leader in interactive civic engagement.
Posts by CitySourced
I came into the office on Monday this week (like everyone else, I suppose), and my Director of Business Development, Brett Maxfield, sent me a very interesting text shortly there after. Brett is currently at the ICMA (International City/County Management Association) conference in Phoenix, AZ and his text message was, needless to say, awesome. To give you all full context, though, it’s necessary to give some back story. Back in July, we attended the Esri UC 2012 conference and afterwards, we did a blog post on our experiences at the conference. We went all out for our booth this past year and even offered a pretty slick booth prize – a Parrot AR Drone quadricopter. So the text I got from Brett was pure gold. Apparently, our competitor has a booth at the ICMA conference this year as well. And wouldn’t you know, they offered an equally cool booth prize as well. I guess the old saying is true. “Imitation is the best form of flattery.” It’s nice to see our competition imitating us (again).
Since CitySourced has partnered with the City of Redlands, 65% of its citizen complaints are received through the mobile app. Philip Mielke, interim CIO of Redlands, CA said that the mobile App has simplified the complaint process.
Here are some tips for local governments looking to build an official mobile app. Two IT experts from Redlands, CA and Rancho Cucamonga, CA give some great advice.
1. Keep it simple
Don’t overdo it. The app should mean one thing when you publicize it. Multiple functions may require a separate app or system.
2. Be open to ideas
Engage other departments in the design and functionality of the app.
3. Know your audience
The Internet is accessed more frequently via mobile solutions by people below the poverty line (due to the low initial price point). You’re involving a new group and need to plan your outreach accordingly.
4. Make it relevant
Know what functions and issues are of concern to the community and make your app more than just a problem reporting program.
5. Location, location, location
If your app doesn’t have a spatial component to it and you don’t have an ability to extract GIS information from the app, you’re more than missing the boat — you don’t know where the water is.
6. Data integration
Make sure the mobile app can feed into your existing work order or dispatch systems. You don’t want to waste staff time trying to bridge systems
7. Cross-platform support
Don’t leave two-thirds of your public unable to interact with their local government easily because you decide to only develop on one platform.
Go to the full GovTech article here.
Today, we’re excited to announce a partnership with VUEWorks®. Our plan is to form a broad strategic partnership that would use our complementary strengths and expertise to enhance our GIS-based mobile and web applications that enable citizens to report concerns, opinions, and requests directly to the government.
We intend to jointly create market-leading mobile products and services designed to offer citizens and governmental agencies an unrivalled choice and opportunity. As each company would focus on its core competencies, the partnership creates the opportunity for rapid time to market execution. Additionally, we plan to work together to integrate key assets and create completely new service offerings, while extending established products and services to new markets.
Access to government drives engagement. The more opportunities residents have to participate in civic activities and discussions, and the more channels available through which they may participate, the better connected they will be to their government agencies and representatives.
Los Angeles – December 19, 2011 – CitySourced, a location based mobile reporting platform and the leader in mobile civic engagement, announced today that it has closed $1.33 million in a Series A round of financing. The capital will be used to continue product development as well as accelerate sales and marketing efforts.
“Having attained profitability earlier this year, we weren’t actively seeking capital investment. But when the opportunity to work with our current investor presented itself, the strategic potential it brought to the table was too valuable to pass up. We are very excited about accelerating our growth, improving on our existing product suite and the future at CitySourced. The additional capital will definitely be put to good use,” said Jason A. Kiesel, Founder and CEO of CitySourced.
4-H & Fish & Wildlife Service Partners with CitySourced to Collect Baseline Data for San Diego Bay Restoration
With some spare time and some eager volunteers, it’s super easy to collect data around virtually anything with the CitySourced platform.
On Friday July 8th 2011, 4-H youth (Geo-spatial leadership team) from 7 states assisted US Fish + Wildlife staff to collect base line data for the 10 year restoration plans for the San Diego Bay Salt Marsh Refuges. 4-H youth and their adult volunteer leaders pioneered the use of GPS enabled smart phones using “easy to use” community data application collection app developed by CitySourced.
The results are fascinating and with the help of some free tools from Esri, you can mash them up on virtually any type of map and share them with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. You can even embed the results in your own website (like we did here).
View Larger Map
By the end of the day, the 4-H team of Teens took the data collected using the CitySourced location based mobile reporting platform), and imported the into an online map at arcgis.com. ArcGIS online was able to automatically pick up the meta-data (species type, latitude, longitude, etc.) in the data stream and embed that into the map as well. All that was left was choosing a basemap (satellite imagery, street imagery, etc.) and voila!, the map is created. This data will be used for analysis, display and decision making by US Fish & Wildlife Service planners and managers.
Esri is doing some pretty incredible things with their technology and partner ecosystem, and we’re honored to be collaborating with all of these folks. To learn more about what 4-H is doing with geo-spatial check out 4-H.org.
Stay tuned for more important projects like this one!
*Use by 4-H of any specific commercial products or services does not constitute or imply endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by 4-H National Headquarters, NIFA, USDA or the United States Government.
We at CitySourced are constant looking to improve our product offerings, and we’re happy to announce today that we’re going live with a new suite of reporting tools geared exclusively to our customers. We’ve been collecting data with our smartphone applications (available on iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone 7) for over a year now, and it’s been starting to pile up. Now our customers can make use of this data and gain valuable insights into their workflow. With the new reporting application, our customers can now see:
- Total Reports by Date (Annual, Quarter, Month, Day)
- Total Reports by Report Type (Pothole, Graffiti, Street Light, etc.)
- Total Reports by Device Type (iPhone, Android, WP7, etc.)
- Total Reports by Device OS (iPhone 3.0, 3.1.2, Android 2.0, etc.)
- Total Reports by Status Type (Submitted, Received, Closed, etc.)
- Average Time to Close a Report
- Shortest Time to Close a Report
- Longest Time to Close a Report
All of these reports can also be broken down based on time period (ex: All reports from last 120 days, broken down by month or day). And, of course, all of the reports can be viewed on a map, giving a much needed geographical context.
We’ve implemented this solution on top of Azure in partnership with Microsoft. All of the reporting data will be stored in Azure Tables (for virtually infinite scalability) and the reports are batched processed by a Worker Role running in the Azure Cloud.
With the new Reporting application, our customers are now better equipped to analyze the data we’ve been collecting for them. Better analysis equals better decision making for both existing and future policy making. Better decision making will result in better quality of life for the residents of our customers. It’s a win-win for everyone involved. One can only imagine the possibilities: isolate gang movement and potential turf wars with graffiti analysis; locate infrastructure issues by seeing what streets are flooded most often; identify traffic and road usage by looking at potholes. The possibilities are truly endless!
If you’d like to see how these reports look and work, our sales team will be happy to drive you through an online demo. Feel free to contact them!
We finally got the word yesterday that our application, CitySourced, is now approved and available for download from the Windows Phone Marketplace. With all of our experience in mobile development, I must say (and of course I am biased), that developing for WP7 was an absolute dream. We’re a .NET shop so we’re very familiar with the Visual Studio IDE, the best IDE on the market currently hands down in my opinion. We could get into an argument over this – what about Eclipse or XCode or this or that? They all completely blow when compared to Visual Studio. Microsoft has really outdone themselves with VS2010. Anyway, I digress.
After downloading the required plugins for VS2010 to develop WP7 applications (I’ll make a separate blog post on my personal blog about that), we were off and running. We already had all the back end services created and working since we’re on the other platforms, so all we needed to worry about was the client end. WP7 applications are based on Silverlight and XAML, and while this is not my forte, I had taken a WPF & Silverlight bootcamp up at Microsoft in Redmond a few years ago.
All in all, it took us about 4 weeks to get our application wired up and working. Granted, there was no back end work to be done, but 4 weeks is pretty incredible (and I wasn’t working on it full time – probably 75% of my time). I brought in some outside help with James Richards, a really talented developer that has been working with us on many of the Esri components. We had about a week to clean up some final bugs, and we’ve finally passed the approval process. The approval process was great too. Our application just so happened to fail twice (I admit, I didn’t read the entire submission guide…), but the great thing about Microsoft’s approval process is that they give you a detailed report as to why the application failed and the steps to reproduce it! Having only dealt with Apple until now, all I have to say to that is “Wow”. Apple could definitely learn a thing or two from Microsoft when it comes to the app approval process.
So if you’re a mobile developer, and you’re wondering if you should take the dive into the world of WP7, our recommendation would be to go for it. From a developer standpoint, it was a great experience. And if you’re a .NET/C# developer, you’ll be cursing Apple and Objective-C and wondering why it wasn’t this easy to begin with. Microsoft definitely got a win on this one.
LOS ANGELES (June 21) — You might not be able to fight city hall, but now you can at least complain a little more efficiently.
A new app for iPhones, Droids and other new-generation mobile devices allows residents to send real-time complaints to city officials about problems they encounter in their neighborhoods. Supporters say the app, called CitySourced, can improve city responses, broaden the pool of people monitoring everything from potholes to public safety threats and help improve residents’ sense of community.
CitySourced draws on GPS and other mobile technologies to let users snap photographs and file complaints from their phones. It also creates databases of the complaints for municipalities, and can be customized to work with existing systems for dispatching repair crews. You can download the app for free.