Ever seen a nasty pot hole or a wall full of graffiti and wished you could report the problem on the go instead of writing a letter or email to your city bureaucracy? TechCrunch 50 startup CitySourced is launching an a slew of smartphone applications that let you file an issue to your city from your phone, aiming to crowdsource this information for cities.
It’s pretty simple. The app on your Blackberry, Android or iPhone lets you take a picture of the infraction. The app detects your location via GPS and once the image is loaded and approved, you are brought to the reporting screen. You can then identify what the problem is, add comments, and Tweet the problem out from your Twitter account.
Once you press “file”, the report is captured, bundled and automatically transferred to the government agency that is responsible for the infraction. On the back end, the city agency gets a web dashboard that lets them see how many reports have been submitted, a map mashup of where the reports are located, pending reports that are incomplete, and graphs that break down reports by type over a given period of time. Cities can then download all the data into a file. The app is free for the user and cities pay an annual license fee for the dashboard.
CitySourced has just inked a deal with the city of San Jose, Calif. San Francisco recently implemented a similar plan to crowdsource city complaints via Twitter, but the ability to use a location-based app via CitySourced is compelling both for users and city governments.
CitySourced has just received an investment from Palm and will be launching on the Palm Pre soon.
Expert Panel Q&A (paraphrased)
The experts: Satish Dharmaraj, Lior Zorea, Bradley Horowitz, Tim O’Reilly, Kevin Rose
KR: I’d like a stream for my neighborhood of things that need to take action on.
BH: Will other data sources be added in? Will cities be able to import police reports?
A: Yes, we’d like to aggregate other info like census data, reports elected officials etc.
TO: I’m a huge fan pf this application. What’s your thinking about how to become a market leader. There are other similar apps out there-what’s your competitive advantage?
A: we’re looking to sign up a few more customers soon. Open311 is great but if a city adopts that platform, they are locking themselves into that city. Our platform is nationwide.
LZ: I love the idea. The market is huge. I’m concerned about the execution challenges.
Councilman from San Jose: Getting the info in a timely manner is important, the ability to get the image is important with CitySourced. This app will be instrumental to collect images and data in real-time.
TC50: CitySourced lets citizens report potholes, graffiti to local government VentureBeat.
TC50: CitySourced Lets You Report Pot Holes And Graffiti On The Go Facternet.
City Sourced Allows Mobile Complaint Reporting IntoMobile.
I’d Call CitySourced, but I’m Just a Pothole bub.blicio.us.
City Sourced – A New Way To Inform City Hall #tc50 techgeist.
Citizen complaint app finally fires up TechCrunch50 CNET.
CitySourced Launches At TechCrunch50 YouVox Tech.
IPhones Take on Potholes With City Reporting Tool PCWorld.
IPhones Take on Potholes with City Reporting Tool CIO.