Powered by New York City’s 311 open data, here’s a great video visualization of the 1,551,402 phone, text and online 311 requests made in 2012. Note the map lights up in November during Hurricane Sandy.
New York City’s Michael Flowers gives an overview of how the city leverages data analytics to solve problems and better serve citizens. Flowers is the analytics director for the mayor’s office of policy and strategic planning and director of the financial crime task force.
Of note: NYC receives about 65,000 311 complaints a day.
GovFresh highlights the products and start-ups powering the civic revolution. Learn how you can get featured.
Minh Tran, founder
Give us the 140-character elevator pitch.
Fix 311 aims to be a nationwide app for the 311 system using smartphones and GPS. Fix 311 also includes a CRM system to manage cases.
What problem does Fix 311 solve for government?
Every city is trying to build their own 311 app so they are essentially re-inventing what is already created by another city. Why not share resources and not waste tax payers money?
What’s the story behind starting Fix 311?
Fix 311 started out as the Pothole Alert App in 2010 and is created by Minh Tran after the Snowmageddon storm of 2010, which created excessive potholes in the DC area. Mr. Tran created the app after he lost a tire to a pothole and did not know which municipal to report potholes to since he lives near multiple cities and counties.
What are its key features?
- Can be used in any city without having to download many 311 apps
- Custom service list that self updates and lists the proper services associated with a city or county depending on the user’s location
- In additional to performing service lists actions, the app is capable of displaying content like a mobile website, so Fix 311 is both a mobile website and service request app
- Ability to filter reports not only between different cities, but also between different Precincts in the same city by using geo-boundaries detection
- Ability to post news feeds, web links, and make phone calls for services that should not be reported by online form
- Ability to filter out reports for roads not supported by a city
- Municipal can update the service list / news feed without requiring a new app upload
- Citizens can track and cancel cases
- Mobile website for the work crew to manage cased out on the field
- Open 311 compliant
- Includes web based CRM system to manage cases reported
- App works nationwide and Internationally
What are the costs, pricing plans?
Fees start at $600/year for smaller cities.
Oakland, Ca. is the latest major U.S. city to launch a 311 application that allows citizens to report issues directly to government from their smartphones. The service is powered by SeeClickFix. Details on how to download the app here.
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan:
“With diminishing resources, this system can help City staff work more effectively and enlist more citizens to get involved. One of my favorite neighborhood leaders says that ’Grime equals Crime.’ Together we can make Oakland more beautiful and safer.”
Oakland Public Works Director Vitaly Troyan:
“This tool allows every person in Oakland to become the eyes and ears of the City. Problems can be reported more quickly and more accurately, and the system continues to follow the problem until it gets addressed.”
For questions or more information, contact Janelle Kessler at email@example.com.
From the RFP:
The 311 Customer Service Center seeks solution strategies and pricing schedules for Mobile and Web self service enhancements complying with the Open311 specification. The solution will provide public access to the City’s CRM application using the Open311 standard via an end-to-end connection from the web and mobile clients. City expects to license an existing software system, with defined enhancements to that system during the implementation.
Location-based mobile reporting platform CitySourced announced it has raised $1.33 million in Series A financing.
According to the company, the funding will be used for product development, sales and marketing efforts.
CitySourced Founder and CEO Jason A. Kiesel said the company is profitable, 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.”
CitySourced cites U.S. cities San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, San Diego and Corpus Christi, as well as cities in Canada, United Kingdom, Nederland, Australia, and Abu Dhabi, as customers.
Every day, tech-minded citizens across the country are doing good by their communities, literally geeking out about how they can help re-define the relationship government has with its citizens, using technology as a democratic tool to collaboratively empower both.
So much is happening in the civic technology community – website redesigns, new websites, open data initiatives, apps, camps, developer contests, hackathons and more – it’s hard to get a perspective on or truly appreciate the collective work of these dot-dogooders both inside and outside government.
That’s why we created the 2011 GovFresh Awards.
It’s time to recognize and honor all that’s been accomplished this year.
It’s time to say thank you.
Here are the categories. Start entering and start voting.
- City of the Year
- Public Servant of the Year
- Citizen of the Year
- App of the Year
- Best Government/Citizen Collaboration
- Best Use of Open Source
- Best Open and Participatory Budgeting Initiative
- Best Open Government Policy
- Best Open Data Platform
- Best Civic Hackathon
- Best Civic Start-up
- Best Use of Social Media
- Best Use of Social Media for Emergency Management
- Best Transit App
- Best 311 App
- Best Emergency Management App
- Best Social Services App
New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg has a blog post on how cities are collaborating to better leverage data analytics and maximize taxpayer return on investment. The post cites examples from major American cities and how they’ve leveraged data, especially 311 logs, to realize efficiencies.
Data-driven analytics is the systematic use of information to find patterns of interest. For cities, this means looking inwards at the detailed data that city agencies continually collect – citizen complaints, licenses and permits, transactions, violations – and identifying new areas of high risk and high cost.
Cities can then respond to these findings by prioritizing the high impact areas appropriately. In the past, individual agencies have been limited in their ability to conduct large-scale analytics by mandate, scope, and organizational structure. City agencies across the country, which each already have a prescribed list of duties they must fulfill to keep the city running smoothly, often do not share data with one another, nor are they equipped analyze it. In an era of shrinking budgets, however, many cities, including New York, have made new efforts to solve this problem by creating teams existing specifically for the purpose of data investigation that can cross agency boundaries, with promising results.
My recommendation to Bloomberg and other mayors would be to open the analytics to the public so that everyone has access and can contribute solutions. Perhaps a lesser concern, keeping this type of information private gives incumbents insider information when assessing what issues voters are most concerned about.