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).
With 8 in 10 school districts in the U.S. inadequately funded for the coming year, districts need to do more with less. The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is the second largest school district in the US, spanning 14,000 buildings and spread over 710 square miles. They receive more than 300,000 maintenance service requests per year, making up-keeping one of the main areas where too much time, money and energy is spent. Often times, all resources are going into locating and reporting a problem before even fixing it.
Now with IBM’s analytic s technology and the CitySourced mobile app, students along with faculty and staff can act as sensors reporting maintenance problems they see first hand using their mobile devices. Issues such as leaky faucets, smashed windows, graffiti, broken toilets and more are now being reported along with the correct location of the issues.
All reporting issues sent with a simple text or photo goes directly to the school’s maintenance office. Each request also contains GIS information to pinpoint locations so workers know exactly where to route staff, saving time and resources. Within the first 8 months of launching, the school system cut its maintenance request processing expenses by 80%.
For the full article click here.
The California Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program recognizes outstanding achievements by California’s 482 cities. Redlands, CA was selected for the Award for Public Works, Infrastructure and Transportation for its Redlands 311 smartphone application. The City also received the Ruth Vreeland Award for engaging youth in city Government for the Redlands Emergency Services Academy. Redlands 311, developed by CitySourced, was among several initiatives the City of Redlands undertook as City leaders worked to overcome deep budget cuts and personnel reductions in the wake of the national economic downturn. Redlands 311 allowed city staff to engage the community in addressing residents concerns while directing limited public resources in a highly targeted fashion.
The app is free for resident to download and install and is available on various platforms including the iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone. Users are able to record images, video and audio of issues such as potholes or graffiti, add a message and send it directly to City personnel. The application uses geo-tagging technology to automatically provide the problems location, simplifying the reporting process for users.
Using Redlands 311, smartphone users can report problems including:
- Abandoned bikes, vehicles and shopping carts
- Loose, dead or biting animals
- Homeless encampments or nuisances
- Illegal dumping
- Illegal fires
- Illegal signs
- Parking violations
- Overgrown or problem trees and plants
- Roadway or sidewalk dangers
- Non- working streetlights
- Polluting vehicles
This is the second award for the Redlands 311 app. In May the Center for Digital Government selected Redlands for its 2012 Best of California award for Best Application Serving the Public. Award winners are recognized at the League of California Cities Annual Conference, in Western City magazine, and on the Leagues website at http://www.cacities.org/Top/Partners/Helen-Putnam-Awards.aspx.
For full article click here.
At the Esri Australia User Conference (Ozri UC) this past week, attendees were given a live demonstration of CitySourced. The Topic “Your GIS dreams are now a reality” was about the evolved mapping applications from a flat 2D environment to powerful GIS solutions.
Cassandra Barker, General Manager of Map Data Services showed how easy it is to use the CitySourced app. She opened the app on her iPhone, took a picture of an “incident”, confirmed the location and included a short description. Once she pressed submit, the report showed up in the CitySourced console, ready for the appropriate authorities to action. Cassie highlighted that users can report on anything from noise disturbances, potholes, fallen trees and lost shopping trolleys. Drawing on crowdsourcing principles, the app can be used by anybody with a smartphone, effectively deputising the entire community in working together towards a common goal.
CitySourced is proud to be partnering with such a great company. Together, they will be bringing mapping applications to a broader audience and are challenging the traditional boundaries of GIS.
Excellent work by MapData Services!
For the full article click here.
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.
People and organizations are flocking to social media. Governments are no different. These channels are perfect opportunities to promote your mobile app solution.
Note: This will be much more effective if you have a dedicated landing page with instructions to download your app. CitySourced has assets and copy which we can provide you in building out your web page. Contact us for specific information.
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.
One powerful trend is GIS combined with smart phones to offer public organisations a low cost, citizen driven “311″ system. For example, Los Angeles and San Francisco and others have embraced CitySourced, a real time mobile civic engagement platform. CitySourced allows citizens to identify civic issues like water main breaks and report them to city hall/utility for quick resolution with a tracking mechanism. Leveraging GIS, work order integrated breakthrough provides government with an opportunity to use technology to save time and money plus improve accountability to those they govern.
To read more Click Here
Here’s an excerpt, ” The Los Angeles-based startup lets users submit video, audio, or photo evidence of local issues related to public safety or the environment: on the app, I saw reports on graffiti, a car that was broken into, and illegal left turns at an intersection.”
To read more…(Click Here)