Though it was quietly launched in December, traffic is only now picking up for the anti-graffiti and pothole-reporting apps, after the city officially announced it two weeks ago.
"I have a dashboard here," says Neil Evans, director of Toronto 311
and the man in charge of the app initiative, as he looks at his stats on the number of reports received. "On the 22nd [of April], we probably had about 30."
, one of the open API
apps the city is promoting, lets people take pictures of graffiti or potholes, asks them to describe the problem, and then automatically tags the location the picture was taken in using its GIS
Once the report is sent from a phone, Evans explains, “it comes into our system and depending on what type of service request it is, it either goes directly to the service fulfilling division, or it gets viewed by one of our CSRs. It's only property graffiti ones that get received by our CSRs."
Part of the system involves checking the reported graffiti against a database of city-commissioned or city-approved graffiti, to avoid, as much as possible, city workers "cleaning up" public art.
It's early days, with little data on how effective this system will prove. When I tried it this week, sitting in the Future Bakery on the southwest corner of Bloor and Brunswick, the GIS thought I was at 415 Spadina, just south of College.
Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Neil Evans
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