The developer team of CitySourced demonstrates how citizens can report issues to their local government to contribute information, such as pot holes, via smart phones and Web-based applications. This free, downloadable app lets citizens use their iPhone to report the problem, or they can choose to report a problem using a browser. Sophisticated analysis can be performed with the collected data.
00:01 About a month ago I met three guys in Washington from a company called CitySourced.
00:06 And, well then, a couple of weeks later they got our tools and they built just a cool application.
00:12 I want to introduce them and show you. It's just a real fun set of apps. Take it over!
00:20 Thanks Jack! I'm Kyle, this is Jason and Kurt. At CitySourced, our mission is to mobilize civic engagement.
00:29 We're using location-based technology to connect citizens directly to their local governments, agencies, and related organizations.
00:38 To do this, we've built a platform for smartphones on the Web...
00:43 ...that enables any citizen with a GPS-enabled device to become, in effect, a remote sensor...
00:50 ...to collect and report information ranging from graffiti to oil spill damage reports to traffic problems.
00:58 A key capability of this platform is that we feed this data directly into the geodatabase, so that it can become truly actionable...
01:08 ...both at the level of more efficient back-end workflow management and routing...
01:13 ...and, in order to do some very sophisticated geospatial analysis on it.
01:17 So, let's take a look at this platform with a demo from Jason.
01:21 Thanks Kyle! I'm the chief architect at CitySourced...
01:23 ...and I'd like to show you just a few of the features that are currently available on the CitySourced platform.
01:30 I'm going to start out with the smartphone application.
01:32 This is available free to download on the iPhone, Android, and Blackberry, and it goes something like this...
01:39 ...let's say I'm in my community, I'm walking around, I come across something that I don't like.
01:44 Say, a pothole, some graffiti, broken street signs.
01:48 Well, all I need to do is pull out my smartphone and fire up CitySourced.
01:55 I click Report an Issue, and I take a picture of what I want to report.
02:00 We'll get the cable here. That's a good picture so I'm going to select that.
02:09 And then I bump to a screen where I can enter a little bit more information about what I am reporting.
02:13 I can select from a drop-down list what this is. I'm going to select something here.
02:17 I can optionally enter in a little bit more information in the Description field, and I hit Submit.
02:24 Once it has my GPS, sends it up to our cloud-based platform, where it's then routed to the appropriate agency.
02:34 On the back end of things, oh, sorry.
02:38 Once that's done, I'm dropped onto a map, so the user has been given a nice visual representation...
02:45 ...of where they report an issue, and what that issue is.
02:48 And we've implemented the Esri iPhone SDK, so you get a nice pretty map of what just went on.
02:54 So on the back end of things, what happens?
02:56 Well, we take all that info, the GPS, the image, all that user input data, and we send it up.
03:02 We use ArcGIS Server to do some point and polygon calculations, to do some geospatial routing, and we send it along.
03:11 You know, very, very cool stuff.
03:13 Shifting gears a little bit, I'm going to show you a little bit, another product we have which is the citysourced.com Web site...
03:20 ...and this serves as kind of the hub of everything that's going on in the CitySourced ecosystem.
03:27 On the home page we have a nice live feed of current reports that are being filed, pretty much everywhere in the world.
03:35 But most people, that's cool, but I want to find out what's going on in my community.
03:39 So I'm going to type in Studio City, which is my neighborhood, and see what's going on there.
03:45 So I've got a nice map of what's going on. We've got some graffiti, some flooding.
03:49 I can follow this neighborhood and get e-mail alerts anytime something happens in this neighborhood...
03:54 ...so if I want to go clean it up myself I can do that.
03:58 Optionally, I can report an issue on the Web site.
04:01 So if I don't have a smartphone but I still want to take part, I can come to the site and file a report there.
04:08 I'm going to demo that right here, and I'm going to do so acting as if I'm in Glendale, California.
04:13 Glendale is one of our charter customers.
04:16 We've integrated into their back-end workflow, and this info bubble that's right here is going to show you exactly how that works.
04:22 So, to report something, I just click on the map, and we do a quick point and polygon to determine...
04:27 ...yes, you're in the city of Glendale, and we've piped in all of their report types into this drop-down list.
04:34 So, I'm going to click Graffiti Removal, and again, looking at the back-end integration, I know that this is going to be an APR URL post.
04:42 I can see where it's going. So, as a user, I'm informed as to what's going to happen even before my report gets filed.
04:48 And Kurt here is going to talk a little bit more about some of the back-end stuff that we've been working on.
04:50 You know, very cool stuff.
04:53 Basically this touches on a lot, just touches the surface of what's going on at CitySourced.
05:02 Thanks, Jason. So, CitySourced is great for sourcing, tracking, and managing this real-time civic data from the crowd.
05:11 So where it gets really interesting is when we start to do some geospatial analysis...
05:17 ...and we've been thinking of the data as a sort of clay...
05:20 ...and this analysis, you can think of as bricks that we're trying to make meaning and we can build from.
05:27 So, for example, Los Angeles data that we've piped in from our VGI reports, these are graffiti reports.
05:36 One of the interesting things that we've found is that 85% of these reports are within a mile of a freeway.
05:44 So, for you guys, this is probably old hat, but we're from the social media camp, so this is really new stuff for us, and really exciting...
05:53 ...and we feel this will be a really critical piece for us to be able to connect how this VGI data can really benefit cities...
06:03 ...all sorts of agencies, and folks all around the world.
06:06 And we have a vision for this to be able to connect broken workflows, defend against environmental disasters...
06:13 ...and build safer, more sustainable communities.
06:18 So we can only imagine the different ways that you will invent for using our platform, so we invite you to collaborate with us.
06:28 Our mission is really simple, to mobilize civic engagement. It's really an honor. Thank you so much.
06:43 This is fun, actually. Clearly, more and more people are going to get involved with geospatial information.
06:51 Actually everybody's getting involved. Through social media, we're seeing huge new trends in crowd sourcing of information.
06:59 Twitter now is georeferenced. I can integrate it. So, this is going to create lots of new information types for you.
07:08 And in some ways it's going to be challenging. How do I deal with that?
07:12 How do I mix it up with my authoritative source? What's authoritative? Is this stuff really good enough? All of that stuff.
07:19 On the other hand, huge opportunities to enrich our GIS systems with diverse new information types.
07:28 Information from citizens about perceptions and opinions and assertions.
07:33 This is going to be very exciting. And it will be real time.
07:38 So going back to my question. Is it possible that geospatial consciousness will be a global phenomenon, like the Internet?
07:53 My sense on this, considering these converging trends, and also my real experience of you in your collaboration and working, is yes.
08:07 I think your collective work will open our world to everyone.
08:16 How will this happen? It won't just show up on our screen; it will require collaboration and working and sharing knowledge.
08:27 That's going to be the more difficult part. At the same time, however, the technology platform is emerging to enable it.
08:38 That's lots of fun for me! I have dreamt of this.
08:42 Roger Tomlinson, who is sitting right in front me, has dreamt of this...for decades.
08:47 And I think, technologically, we're about there. I think in terms of world perception we're about there.
08:56 Now comes the fun.
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