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Community Problem Reporting

By imagineteamsol - 18 September 2012 17

Hey Rioters,

As many of you probably know, there was this huge pothole on Gungahlin Drive. Every morning for 6 months, I would notice the small traffic jam that resulted from people slowing down to avoid this pothole. After 4 months, I wondered why it hadn’t been fixed and called up Canberra Connect. To my surprise, no one had reported it! To help the Canberra Community, and to make it easier to fix problems like the one I noticed, we’ve worked hard and released our newest (and free!) app, Community ProTag.

The gist behind is it is that it lets you report community problems like potholes or broken street lights, and lets you see problems being reported around you.

To make sure the problems go to someone who can do something about them, we’ve been talking to Canberra Connect. The problems reported on Community ProTag are aggregated and sent so that they go through the official channels. We are starting out slow, and so we’ve released it on Android only, and it doesn’t have the full list of features we have in mind. Amongst the many ideas we have, we think that the coolest feature will be seeing when your problem is “acknowledged” by the relevant government council, and ultimately when its “fixed”. That said, please let us know if you had something in mind! Rest assured, we’re working on an iPhone version as well.

To download, please check out it here, and let us know your thoughts, opinions, or suggestions!

Cheers,
Imagine Team

[ED – Alternatively take a picture and send it in to images@the-riotact.com ]

What’s Your opinion?


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17 Responses to
Community Problem Reporting
Innovation 1:02 am 20 Sep 12

imagineteamsol @ #13 – Ah if only it were that simple! I don’t think the list is on line anywhere. I just remember the ACT Government referring to it when I have followed up something I first asked for about fifteen years ago. (That job still hasn’t been done).

gazket 11:41 pm 19 Sep 12

if Gungahlin Drive wasn’t built half arsed and built right the first time with a proper foundations and not like the crust of a pavlova there wouldn’t be any pot holes.

imagineteamsol 9:44 pm 19 Sep 12

Innovation said :

From memory there is some sort of regularly updated list that the ACT Government uses to prioritise all minor and medium works – some of which, understandably, never make it to the top of the list. It would be good if your app could tap into that list.

Perhaps if the list was more public, there would be more community debate about the appropriateness of priorities. I know that there are one or two jobs that are obviously very low on the list that I would be prepared to pay extra (eg in my rates) to have done.

Thats an awesome idea! In fact, that would be great to pre-populate the “Problems Around You” part of the app! Can you please let me know where this feed is?

tim_c said :

I’ve used “Fix My Street” a number of times for a number of issues – some of which were resolved quite quickly, some of which I had to lodge twice and add a pic or two before anything happened, and some are still not addressed (other than an email reply saying a work order number XXXXX has been raised…”) – for example: the non-existent lane markings in the western approach to the Parkes Way/Coranderrk St roundabout, and the awkward “form one lane without warning” northbound on Botany St, Phillip.

The big advantage I can see with this new app is that you’ll be able to see which issues have already been reported by others (some things I haven’t initially bothered to report thinking surely someone else has already reported it by the time I’ve seen it). All I need to do now is work out how to get my Andriod phone to be able to communicate with the google server so I can use the app!

Funny that you mention that- we did a survey a couple of weeks ago, and we found that 83% of the people we interviewed never reported a community problem. The second biggest reason cited by these people (30% in fact) was that “Someone else will report the problem”. Really interesting stuff πŸ™‚ We plan to put up an infographic about the results of our survey, so stay tuned πŸ™‚

PS- Please dont hesitate to let me know if you wanted any help setting up the app. Even happy to meet up over a coffee (my treat!) to show you in person if you like πŸ™‚

tim_c 12:41 pm 19 Sep 12

I’ve used “Fix My Street” a number of times for a number of issues – some of which were resolved quite quickly, some of which I had to lodge twice and add a pic or two before anything happened, and some are still not addressed (other than an email reply saying a work order number XXXXX has been raised…”) – for example: the non-existent lane markings in the western approach to the Parkes Way/Coranderrk St roundabout, and the awkward “form one lane without warning” northbound on Botany St, Phillip.

The big advantage I can see with this new app is that you’ll be able to see which issues have already been reported by others (some things I haven’t initially bothered to report thinking surely someone else has already reported it by the time I’ve seen it). All I need to do now is work out how to get my Andriod phone to be able to communicate with the google server so I can use the app!

Innovation 8:36 am 19 Sep 12

From memory there is some sort of regularly updated list that the ACT Government uses to prioritise all minor and medium works – some of which, understandably, never make it to the top of the list. It would be good if your app could tap into that list.

Perhaps if the list was more public, there would be more community debate about the appropriateness of priorities. I know that there are one or two jobs that are obviously very low on the list that I would be prepared to pay extra (eg in my rates) to have done.

imagineteamsol 8:53 pm 18 Sep 12

m_ratt said :

Nice package name: “com.imagineteam.mywinge”
Misspelled whinge is rather appropriate for the-riotact. πŸ™‚

ps. Android Market was renamed well over six months ago

Just a thought – how quickly would a report of an Injured Animal get through to the relevant people? Would it not be more appropriate for people to contact the RSPCA immediately by telephone?

Is there any way to report something that you’re not currently _at_ – ie, report something you drove past, at some later point by manually selecting a location?

Hahaha we initially called it MyWhinge, but Canberra Connect wasn’t too keen to be involved if it meant implying their constituents were whingers. Being American, I misspelled it and so it stuck- the internal name is now MyWinge.

To answer your first question- definitely please call the RSPCA. We hope to get it to a level where its that quick/reliable, but this app is still a work in progress.

To answer your second question, I’ve been coding that today actually πŸ™‚ Hopefully have a big update with all the feedback we got in the next couple of weeks.

Thanks again for all your input mate πŸ™‚

m_ratt 7:09 pm 18 Sep 12

Nice package name: “com.imagineteam.mywinge”
Misspelled whinge is rather appropriate for the-riotact. πŸ™‚

ps. Android Market was renamed well over six months ago

Just a thought – how quickly would a report of an Injured Animal get through to the relevant people? Would it not be more appropriate for people to contact the RSPCA immediately by telephone?

Is there any way to report something that you’re not currently _at_ – ie, report something you drove past, at some later point by manually selecting a location?

imagineteamsol 4:33 pm 18 Sep 12

Jimbo311 said :

Would be better if it wasn’t so aimed towards Facebook that it requires you to log into a FB acct before you can even use the app. There are some of us in this world who don’t want/have a need for a FB acct. i think I’ll stick with the Fix My Street website.

I definitely see where you are coming from, and apologies- as I said, we’re working as we go with this one πŸ™‚ We’ve made an update so you can use the app without a Facebook account πŸ™‚

CraigThomler said :

The issue isn’t a lack of apps, it’s a lack of community spirit.

Building more technology won’t fix this, look for psychological levers.

How about recognition from the government or community of ‘good citizens’ – people who report or address a number of communal issues?

At the moment people who report issues are treated as non-entities. That requires cultural change to fix.

I couldn’t agree more. That said, we’re hoping that technology can help. In that spirit, like I said, our goals are to make sure that problems are tagged as acknowledged, and ultimately, fixed. We’ve also thinking to add little games to make it more fun πŸ™‚

deye said :

Dowling said :

Try Fix My Street website

Fix My Street is an online reporting facility which provides direct contact to ACT Government Agencies for the reporting of municipal service requests. Residents can submit service requests by choosing from the menu of topics – also has a map where you can exactly pinpoint the problem to be fixed.

http://www.contact.act.gov.au/app/answers/detail/a_id/1146/~/fix-my-street

This works well, I’ve reported a few potholes with it in the past.

Of course not long after they were repaired they were holes again.

The website is great, it really is. The problem I found was that it wasn’t mobile- and most problems you find are ones on the go where a laptop/desktop can’t really help. Plus the tech in smartphones makes it easier (Camera, GPS)

Thanks so much for the feedback guys πŸ™‚

deye 11:53 am 18 Sep 12

Dowling said :

Try Fix My Street website

Fix My Street is an online reporting facility which provides direct contact to ACT Government Agencies for the reporting of municipal service requests. Residents can submit service requests by choosing from the menu of topics – also has a map where you can exactly pinpoint the problem to be fixed.

http://www.contact.act.gov.au/app/answers/detail/a_id/1146/~/fix-my-street

This works well, I’ve reported a few potholes with it in the past.

Of course not long after they were repaired they were holes again.

CraigThomler 10:58 am 18 Sep 12

The issue isn’t a lack of apps, it’s a lack of community spirit.

Building more technology won’t fix this, look for psychological levers.

How about recognition from the government or community of ‘good citizens’ – people who report or address a number of communal issues?

At the moment people who report issues are treated as non-entities. That requires cultural change to fix.

Jimbo311 10:54 am 18 Sep 12

Would be better if it wasn’t so aimed towards Facebook that it requires you to log into a FB acct before you can even use the app. There are some of us in this world who don’t want/have a need for a FB acct. i think I’ll stick with the Fix My Street website.

Dowling 10:29 am 18 Sep 12

Try Fix My Street website

Fix My Street is an online reporting facility which provides direct contact to ACT Government Agencies for the reporting of municipal service requests. Residents can submit service requests by choosing from the menu of topics – also has a map where you can exactly pinpoint the problem to be fixed.

http://www.contact.act.gov.au/app/answers/detail/a_id/1146/~/fix-my-street

imagineteamsol 9:53 am 18 Sep 12

I agree, both are awesome apps, and what inspired us. That said, they don’t report to the relevant government authority. They collect problems in their proprietary backend, and the guys at Canberra Connect have to manually port each one across. Plus we think ours looks cooler πŸ˜›

Holden Caulfield 9:46 am 18 Sep 12

The SnapSolve app has worked for me in the past.

FioBla 9:36 am 18 Sep 12

I use Neatstreets, which works.

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