City of Memphis Launches iPhone App

Posted by Bianca Phillips on Mon, Jul 9, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Picture_3.png

Citizens who spot potholes and broken street signs can now report those problems without ever dialing City Hall? Well, that is so long as those citizens have iPhones.

Smart Gov, a free app provided by the city, has a "point, click, and fix" option that allows iPhone users to take photos of potholes and the like and then send them directly to the Public Works department. The technology uses GPS coordinates to map the pictures so city employees can easily find what needs to be repaired.

"Now we don't have to ask how big it is and all that. We'll have it all right here," said Mayor A C Wharton.

Additionally, the app sends push notifications for police and fire alerts, such as Amber Alerts or Hazmat spills. It also sends notices for holiday sanitation schedules and general city announcements, such as advice on staying cool in extreme heat. Mayor A C Wharton's Vimeo channel is also linked through the app so citizens can watch video messages from the mayor.

The app is not only free for users to download, it was also free to the city. Ashley Mooney of local Geospace LLC, the app's creator, offered to create and run the app for free after he was stuck in traffic on Highway 51 during the 2011 flood. He said, at the time, that he wished there was some way to access city information, such as announcements about street closures, in app form. A few months later, Wharton was a guest on the Drake & Zeke radio show on 98.1 The Max, and Mooney called in with an offer to create the app. The city followed up with Mooney and the app was born.

"It's free to the city. I just wanted to make a difference," said Mooney.

Although it's only currently available for iPhones, Mooney said an Android and Windows version is coming soon. The app is available for download on iTunes.

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Great, just what we needed - another bureaucratic dead end for well-intentioned citizens to pursue when wishing to report a city-related issue or problem as part of their civic duty/responsibility. Anyone ever tried to use the City of Memphis' Online Support Center to report a problem...?

report 3 likes, 4 dislikes   
Posted by RemotePatroller on 07/10/2012 at 3:45 PM

I've reported things in the past, and the city has always acted upon them.

report 2 likes, 1 dislike   
Posted by tomguleff on 07/10/2012 at 4:16 PM

Lucky you, Tom - I uploaded photos and sent requests via phone AND the website several times for neglected - and potentially hazardous - piles of curbside tree cuttings all around our neighborhood that, after three weeks, had become big tinder piles just waiting for someone to throw a cigarette butt in. My wife had to flag down a truck who would have - again - driven right past, and argued with them that this was their responsibility. After much deliberation with the driver, and several cigarettes smoked by the crew standing idly by, they grudgingly picked it up, swearing under their breath.

But then, this is the kind of city "service" we have come to expect in the recently annexed areas east of Memphis. Perhaps you live in a more "qualified" zip code, and/or are well-connected.

report 2 likes, 0 dislikes   
Posted by RemotePatroller on 07/12/2012 at 1:53 PM

RP, I feel your pain.

report   
Posted by tomguleff on 07/12/2012 at 2:30 PM

I have the app, and it's pretty worthless at the moment.

I am hopeful they build it properly to aid us in the future. If it works, this could be a useful product

report   
Posted by Cory Prewitt on 07/12/2012 at 3:08 PM
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment