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Can We Have a Mobile City Hall?

I’m a huge fan of the potential of government moving into the mobile realm. I firmly believe that mobile is the future and it is a platform that government should be working on.

One interesting potential connecting mobile and government is the idea of using mobile apps to report city blights (potholes, graffiti, etc). This has been proven by FixMyStreet in the UK and the SeeClickFix folks based in New Haven (recently on Gov20radio)

Personally I was excited to see this category get more attention when CitySourced was featured in TechCrunch50 (a huge Silicon Valley event for cool start-ups) and got a huge buzz.

Looks like the CitySourced folks are having a big event this saturday as the City of San Jose is announcing thier first branded iPhone App, Mobile City Hall, built by CitySourced.

My prediction is that in the next few years that cities will jump on board with this phenomenon. Lots of costs savings and it’s what the citizens want.

See information below:

Councilmember Pete Constant invites the press to attend Download Day for the launch of his new branded iPhone App, Mobile City Hall, built by CitySourced. The Mobile City Hall application allows citizens to easily report urban blight such as graffiti, potholes and trash simply by taking a quick photo. The information is then sent to City Hall automatically with the GPS location, which helps city staff pinpoint the problem and respond with the proper tools and equipment to handle the issue.

Constant stated: “Crime and urban blight go hand in hand. As a former police officer, I know how important it is to respond quickly to problems in our community. Mobile City Hall will provide my residents with an easy way to report neighborhood blight. It will improve our response time, and save the taxpayers money.”

Download Day participants will download the iPhone application together after a demo from the Councilmember and CitySourced founder Jason Kiesel. They will then go out in teams to perform the District’s first resident-aided blight assessment and report back about the experience at 11:00.

Event: Download Day for Mobile City Hall iPhone App
When: Saturday, December 12, 2009, 9:30am – 11:30am
Where: West Community Policing Center: 3707 Williams Road San José
Who: Pete Constant San José City Councilman, District 1
Jason Kiesel, Founder and Chief Architect, CitySourced

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Dustin Haisler

Great stuff! There’s a growing push for mobile applications in government. We’re working on internal mobile applications (for android) for meter reading, evidence capture and building inspections.



Agreed – I’m fascinated about the power of mobile applications not just to collaborate but to literally deliver government services better. Your examples like meter reading, evidence capture, and building inspections sound right on point.

Angelo Serra

Very interesting concept. I could imagine that folks within the San Jose support staff using this beyond it’s intent – getting reported items addressed and bring the data into a GIS system for trending and hot-spot analysis. In using the data, it may even give the police force a way of modifying their patrol routes in order to deter re-occurrence.

I thought it ironic that the group going out and performing this mobile effort would come back together to report on the experience – I would have expected either a special web-page on the city website or maybe a Facebook group that wall posts could be collected.