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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A smartphone app to report potholes, other issues

Someone has already created some notices for Plainfield road conditions.

It seemed Plainfield might benefit from a smartphone application that Minneapolis is deploying for citizens to report potholes, broken street lights and other non-emergency issues to the city's public works department (see story here), but checking it out suggests a broader use.

The application is developed by SeeClickFix, the brainchild of New Haven, Conn. resident Ben Berkowitz in 2008 (see website here).

Checking it out, it seems that the public is offered a tool to create areas to keep under watch, with the ability to pinpoint problems by adding a note about a condition and upload photos. In addition, the poster and any other person interested in that particular area can put themselves on an email alert system which will automatically send an email when new information is posted or an existing issues is corrected.

It would seem that while this is a great tool for a municipality that is concerned about improving its customer service record, the customizability of the evidently freely available public service would seem to make it ideal for use by neighborhood watch groups.

I will be checking it out further and suggest that those interested in neighborhoods and block watches take a look at the service also.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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