Streets Potholeeg
I saw Mayor Bloomberg of NYC speak a few days before our NYC Maker Faire event and he outlined a new service which allows anyone to upload photos and video to their 911 and 311 services (311 is for things like potholes, trash, city stuff). I was pretty excited about this new leap in government services more so since it was described as a “DIY” way of solving problems in a city while providing accountability. And now there are a couple articles about it finally being “live” but unfortunately none of them say how to actually use the service. So I called up 311 and asked how it works… If you spot a pothole, trash on the street you call up, make a service request and if they require more information they will ask you for an email address, from there you could give your phone # as an email address and when they email you – send the photo and/or video. It’s not exactly what I imagined but it’s a good first step – one day you’ll be able to take a photo that is geotagged, send it off to a city phone # and eventually something will get done – I like the idea of citizens being able to do this and cities having a “paper trail” so to speak…

This isn’t the only example of gov/company to customer, in Maryland some power customers will get a text message on their power usage and be able to remotely control their home’s temperature to save money and energy.