The Coolest Thing Ever (For Now)

I have just been completely blown away by the presentation by Matthew Somerville of Mysociety.org.

It is called Neighbourhood fix-it. It is an incredibly simple way of letting your local council know of street furniture that needs fixing, graffiti, or fly tipping – you know, all that really anti social stuff that makes living in London a pain. The two councils that took it up were Newham and Lewisham, but the developers realised that by changing one line of the code it could work for almost the entire country.

So the website mainly consists of Ordinance Survey maps using the Yahoo Maps API Yahoo! javascript library to scroll around. If you click on a location a form comes up that you fill in and it gets sent off to the relevant council email.

As it’s all Open Source you can go and have a look and maybe scrape it for data like ‘How quickly do councils fix things’, or ‘what is the dirtiest part of town to live in?’. The best thing is that it was all financed by a government department for innovation.

The presentation really sold it, go and have a play with it and see how easy it is to use.

I know that it’ll be a bookmark on my system so that as I cruise around town in my big white taxi I can ‘tag’ all the crap that I see.

There is a broken traffic light that I’m looking forward to reporting…

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