November 15th, 2010

Want to report municipal problems in the de facto hub of open source? There’s no better way than the City of Portland Android app


Want to report municipal problems in the de facto hub of open source? There’s no better way than the City of Portland Android app

Portland has declared itself an open city. It has worked hard to champion open source, open its data, and look for new and interesting ways to get more involved in the open source software community.

But to report a problem to the City with a mobile app? Well, that took an iPhone—a notably proprietary system. That was, until now. Introducing PDX Reporter, a new Android app designed to report problems directly to the city, quickly and easily.

Now, users of the popular open source operating system can report a variety of issues to the City of Portland without leaving the comfort of their mobile handset. What kinds of issues? Potholes, burned out streetlights, overflowing storm drains, and graffiti, among other things. All with a couple of quick clicks.

“This is a way to instantly connect with your City. If you see a problem in your neighborhood, you don’t have to wait to report it,” said Portland Mayor Sam Adams in a press release. “You can make a report instantly. I encourage Portlanders to download the PDX Reporter app and send us information on the issues you see around your community.”

When the iPhone app came out, I was all excited about the app as an example of forward thinking by the City of Portland.

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.

Now, I’m even more excited. Why? Because by embracing an open source platform like Android, the City is doing a more impressive job of walking the walk when it comes to open source. And if this takes it off, it’s sure to be the first of many such apps—both for Portland and cities around the world.

For more information or to download the Android app, visit PDX Reporter.

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7 Responses to “Want to report municipal problems in the de facto hub of open source? There’s no better way than the City of Portland Android app”

  1. Jim Reed says:

    Portland is such a great city when it comes to their willingness to help and care for their people. Very cool!

  2. Jeff Brandt says:

    My kind of Open City!

  3. Adam says:

    This is great news! If the city is so pro open source then why don’t they also create a BlackBerry web app? The BlackBerry WebWorks Platform is all open source on http://www.github.com/blackberry

    BlackBerry still owns the largest market share in NA and greater then 50% of that market are consumers and NOT business people.

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