Businessweek: ‘Potholes - There’s an App for that’
The office’s most popular program is Citizens Connect, an app that allows people to report a variety of issues, including potholes and graffiti, directly to the right city department, along with pictures and a geo-tagged location. Since it launched in 2010, Citizens Connect has been downloaded more than 23,000 times and generated more than 31,000 repair reports. It allows the city to spend less time locating or inspecting the problems and more time fixing them. “What the app has generated is new eyes and ears in our neighborhoods,” says office co-chair Chris Osgood.
The Wall Street Journal: Tapping ‘Big Data’ to Fill Potholes
Baltimore Becomes Latest City to Adopt Mobile Apps from Connected Bits Enabling Citizens to Report Issues
Expands roster of governments using Spot Reporters to create mobile reporting channel for citizens
September 19, 2011 — Connected Bits, a developer of mobile applications that connect governments and other organizations with their communities, today announced the latest deployment of its Spot Reporters framework with the launch of Baltimore’s new mobile 311 application.
The Baltimore Spot Reporters deployment - which builds on the nation’s first 311 service — enables citizens to report potholes, graffiti, and other non-emergency issues using their mobile devices and the Web. “This initiative allows us to expand our existing 311 service by creating new and effective communication channels with our citizens,” said Lisa Allen, 311 Director for Baltimore City. In just two weeks, the city has already received over 1,000 mobile reports.
Spot Reporters software is used by local governments and other organizations to enable their communities to submit real-time reports and track the resolution of a variety of issues — from potholes to power outages. The software is used by a number of municipalities, including the City of Boston for its award-winning Citizens Connect service, one of the country’s first mobile 311 applications.
"We selected Connected Bits to power our mobile 311 service because Connected Bits understands government IT and knows how to integrate with existing CRM and other core technology systems," said Rico Singleton, CIO for Baltimore City. "We saw what they had done in Boston and other cities and knew they were the right partner for us."
Baltimore has relied on Motorola’s public sector CRM (customer relationship management) since 2001 and recently upgraded to the PremierOne CSR system. Spot Reporters integrates seamlessly with leading CRM solutions, including the Motorola system through the CSR Application Hub. “CRM systems focus on automating internal workflows; Spot Reporters extends those processes to mobile users anytime, anywhere,” said Eric Carlson, Connected Bits co-founder.
Handling service requests via mobile and the Web can be significantly less expensive than live calls. Spot Reporters enables local governments to “do more with less” by scaling citizen engagement over a number of low-cost channels. It can also improve the efficiency of responding agencies by capturing detailed information that helps workers quickly locate and assess problems.
In addition to releasing its own mobile and Web applications, Baltimore will tap local and widespread talent to build third party applications and mash-ups. With the release of developer API’s from Connected Bits built to the Open311 standard, Baltimore joins cities such as Boston, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. in a collaborative effort to build open, interoperable systems for 311.
"Connected Bits has been deeply involved with Open311 since its inception and we are strong believers in open government," says Dave Mitchell, co-founder of Connected Bits. "Open311 will allow local entrepreneurs and developers to help take public service in their city to the next level."
About Connected Bits
Connected Bits is the developer of Spot Reporters, a mobile reporting application that enables governments and other organizations to “deputize” their communities to report issues — from potholes to power outages - using mobile devices and the Web.
Founded in 2003, Connected Bits has worked with major players in the mobile ecosystem including AT&T, Motorola, HTC, Microsoft, and France Telecom. Connected Bits partnered with the City of Boston to develop and launch one of the country’s first mobile 311 services in 2009. Spot Reporters has since been adopted by tens of thousands of mobile users in several major cities.
Grand Rapids is live!
Citizens Connect 2.0 launch party November 8th
Citizens Connect Posters
Citizens Connect Launch Event
We’re live! Today we launched the Citizens Connect iPhone app at a press event for Boston’s local news stations.
Citizens Connect submitted to the Apple App Store
Citizens Connect was submitted to the App Store today. Fingers crossed, but we feel very good about the release.