The service FixMyStreet enables people to use geolocation, text and photographs to make reports about problems in their area. Josh Allen looks at how photography is being used to spur local government into action on citizen’s behalf. when is someone going to remove this rubish?
‘It was probably the best and smoothest interaction with a public body I have had in my life. I just went out, took a picture of the road surface, uploaded it to the right spot on the map, and left a comment saying “someone could come off their bike if they hit it” and that was that. Then the council came very quickly to do an immediate repair on the road surface and returned a while later to resurface the whole stretch properly’.
That is the verdict on the service provided by the website FixMyStreet from an older relative not known for being effusive in their praise for local authority services. Since it launched in 2007 FixMyStreet has used a geolocation system and a map based interface to enable local residents to ‘report, view, or discuss local problems’. Developed in the UK, the service is run by MySociety, a not for profit organisation dedicated to creating simple, user friendly technologies which encourage and enable active, informed and engaged citizenship.