These alerts are being relayed directly to the council’s customer service centre, together with photos and video-clips. Sender information is supported by GPS-enabled coordinates. This information is then shared with field teams.
Sonjoy Ghosh, Business Solutions Team Leader, Adelaide City Council told FutureGov this council is an Australian-first to trial and roll out this app. “We join more than 20 other major US cities that are currently using this service.”
Local councils in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu and San Jose have been using smartphone apps for some years.
Since Adelaide City Council’s service launch in April 2012, more than 700 “jobs” have been reported by citizens. Users can download this service for free from on-line app stores.
A reporting and feedback loop enables staff to cut down on time-consuming paper-work, while allocating resources, as and when needed.
“By adding this new facility, we hope that people will find it a quick and easy way to report issues or incidents to our customer service team,” said Ghosh.
He noted that users are posting photographs of damaged lighting across city park-lands, right through to design deficiencies involving public assets.
This level of reporting also details if a tap is too high for children to reach at playgrounds.
The council is using cloud services to host its data. This data is accessed and managed through a private, dedicated portal.
Local government information management software enables staff to share data across work teams. They can also better manage schedules, job allocation, and available resources.
The smart phone app is developed by US solutions provider, CitySourced, and distributed in Australia by MapData Services. It uses geo-tagging technology to automatically provide the location of an issue or incident. This tracking capability simplifies reporting, and makes it easier to pinpoint the location of a report.
Once a problem is flagged, users receive a message confirmation. An update is generated when a request is followed through. The council responds to requests around its more immediate work priorities.
This app is available on smartphones including iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone 7.
The application is built upon Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform and utilises an ESRI geographic information system (GIS) solution.