February 9th, 2010
City of Portland gets into the iPhone app development game with Citizen Reports
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that Portland? The town seems to like the whole iPhone thing. I mean, we’ve got iPhone users, incredibly popular iPhone app developers, and iPhone infrastructure plays that send out millions of messages. I might dare say that Portland is the de facto hub for iPhone development. (Because I say those kinds of things all of the time.)
But now, the City of Portland is getting into the game with its own iPhone app. That’s right. Citizen Reports will now let any iPhone user file reports to the City of Portland—all from the comfort of his or her multitouch screen.
Using their iPhone, citizens can select the type of issue to report, take a photo, geo-locate the issue via GPS or map, add comments, and send their report directly to the appropriate bureau for resolution. Once submitted, citizens will receive updates directly to their iPhone regarding the status of their issue(s).
Not only is this a great example of the City embracing technology to open channels for collaborating with its community—it’s also an example of inter-departmental collaboration, as well. Because building the app meant getting cooperation from the Bureau of Technology Services, Portland Bureau of Transportation, Portland Parks and Recreation and the Office of Neighborhood Involvement.
What’s more, it’s all in line with the City of Portland’s pursuit of being more open with its data. And allowing users to interact more efficiently with the data it does have.
Citizen Reports is free. And it’s currently available in the App Store. Once folks start using it, the City will entertain ideas for additional services and other mobile platforms. So it’s up to all of you iPhone users to set a good example and push the City forward. So that our Android and Blackberry friends get some similar functionality.
For more information, read the description of Citizen Reports on the City of Portland’s site. To try the app for yourself, download City of Portland Citizen Reports on iTunes.