Crowdsourcing has been in the news this week with Apple explaining how it plans to collect traffic information via iPhones. The idea behind crowdsourcing is to distribute work across a large group of people. SeeClickFix is a combination of mobile apps and web site that has the purpose of providing feedback to governments and media outlets. Free mobile SeeClickFix apps are available for Blackberry and iPhone smartphones, and the Android version has just become available in the Android Market.
Suppose you are traveling on a road near your house and see that it has a big pot hole. If you have SeeClickFix on your phone you can submit a report about the pot hole to local government. The app automatically includes your location information, and provides the ability to take a picture and enter a description of the problem.
A nice feature in SeeClickFix is the ability to run a local search to see what reports have been submitted near your location. Perhaps someone has already reported the pot hole, in which case you can add a comment instead of creating a new report. In reports submitted near my house, I see that the county road commission even contributed comments explaining why the situation exists.
If you sign up on SeeClickFix’s web site, you can track the reports that you submit and see the amount points you have earned. The mobile apps have a leaderboard of your neighbors who have submitted reports. SeeClickFix provides different statuses, like City Fixer and Digital Superhero for different point levels.
In my opinion SeeClickFix is a great use of mobile technology to improve our communities. There is no way that governments can see all of the issues that exist within a community, so they need citizens to help them by providing information. Most of us carry our smartphones everywhere, so SeeClickFix makes it very easy to provide the information governments need to run effectively.