‘Get your Fix’
The City of Newnan has become one of a handful of communities around the country to leverage Smartphone technology to encourage citizens to report service needs or issues of concern. Leveraging SeeClickFix, a tool that can be used on any Android, Blackberry or iPhone, citizens can simply click a picture of an issue and send it to the City of Newnan. Issues can also be reported using the SeeClickFix link on the City’s website.
SeeClickFix.com is an online web application that allows any individual to report non-emergency issues such as graffiti, potholes or traffic safety issues on a map for everyone to see. Once reported, the issue appears as a flag on a Google Map that can be viewed from the City of Newnan website or within the SeeClickFix application. Other viewers can click on the flag to make additional comments or simply to indicate that they, as well, want the issue addressed. Users also have the option of “following” the issue to see what is being done about it, track how long it takes for the issue to be resolved, or just to see what others may be saying about it.
“We are very excited about the new SeeClickFix tool,” says Mayor Keith Brady. “We believe it will improve the ability of citizens to communicate with us, improve our efficiency in addressing issues, and make our efforts more transparent to taxpayers.”
The technology uses the GPS in smartphones to identify the specific location of the problem, allowing the City to more efficiently dispatch work crews, codes enforcement officers, or other personnel to the scene. Those using a computer to report an issue can either enter a specific street address or pinpoint the location on a map.
SeeClickFix is a third party application developed by a Connecticut-based company.
The City of Newnan began testing the tool for a couple of weeks prior to announcing to the public its availability.“ We have been on social media for a couple of years now and this new mobile app was the next logical step to become more engaged with citizens so that it would be easier for everyone to report issues they were concerned about,” said Gina Snider, Newnan’s Public Information Officer. “The system works perfectly with GIS maps to better pinpoint the location of an issue and that would allow users to include a photo of what they were seeing. One day we saw an article about the City of Alpharetta using SeeClickFix, and our city manager said, ‘That is exactly what we need.’”
City officials say that once the City researched SeeClickFix, the partnership with the third part vendor was an easy choice.
“The cost to adopt SeeClickFix is much less than we would have experienced by building an application from scratch,” Snider explains. “More importantly, the company does not sell or share the personal information of SeeClickFix users, and the application has been proven by use in other communities.”
The City believes that the information provided by citizens through the SeeClickFix tool will help to improve the efficiency of its operations and reduce costs..
“When an issue was reported using web generated complaints or phone calls there was usually not enough information included for us to properly respond to the complaint,” Snider states. “We would need to send a City employee out to identify the specific location of the issue, determine exactly what needed to be done and what materials would be needed to fix it, and then dispatch a work crew to do the work. Using GPS technology and enabling the citizen to include a photograph when they submit the report should allow us in most cases to eliminate that middle man and simply dispatch appropriate personnel to the site.”
For more information on the new SeeClickFix tool or to report an issue to the City of Newnan, please visit www.ci.newnan.ga.us or download the free app.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
‘Get your Fix’
Posted by Georgia Front Page.com at 5:53 PM