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Friday, August 12, 2011

Somerville 311 iPhone App Now Available!

311 App Icon
Similarly to Boston's Citizens Connect, the City of Somerville has now joined the iPhone App world with their August 4th release of Somerville 311. You can find the it here on iTunes.

The App allows users to report such issues as potholes, missed trash pickup and unleashed dogs. Not all services are available to anonymous usuers, so be sure to setup an account with 311, so you can utilize all the features of the App. You can use the registration screen to sign up for an account. Account holders can sign into the service using the login screen and see previous 311 issues they have raised and/or register new ones.

The description on iTunes says, "Somerville 311 is a tool for residents of the City of Somerville to request non-emergency services from city anytime, anywhere. The Tool enables residents to request services and report a wide range of issues similar to the City's 311 portal. This tool enables residents to take and attach pictures to requests for service and provide the exact location of the issue using GPS coordinates thus enabling the city to deliver services in a quicker and more effective manner."

Official Press Release

SOMERVILLE – Making the next leap in governmental customer service, the City of Somerville has launched a new 311 iPhone app that will allow residents to do everything from reporting potholes on their street to a missed trash pickup to an illegally parked car.

The free app, which is available through the iPhone marketplace, was designed by Intelligov, the company that provides the software for the City’s 311 work order system along with the online resident portal available through the City’s website. Because it is designed by the same company, the app works seamlessly with the existing systems, giving mobile phone users the same functionality as people who submit service requests from their desktop and laptop computers.

“Somerville is a city full of people ready to be power users of any technological innovation,” said Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “We expect this app is going to become a bit of an overnight sensation. It really does provide a greater level of convenience. The moment you have an issue or a question you can reach for your phone and send it directly to 311.”

The app will allow users to send pictures (though not videos) and track their work orders from their phones or from any home computer.

“This is going to increase our visibility into what’s happening in Somerville,” Curtatone said. “Thanks to this app, we’ve got eyes everywhere. If one of our squares needs to be cleaned up, someone’s going to be able to send a picture and we’re going to know that instantly. If our work crews haven’t trimmed a tree like they were supposed to, we’re going to get a picture to prove it.”

Intelligov is also building an Android app for 311 that should be completed before the end of the year. The mobile app represents just the latest technological leap for 311, which began taking work orders via Facebook and Twitter in January.

311 now has 4,823 followers on Facebook and 1,035 followers on Twitter. That compares to the 5,023 followers of the City of Boston Facebook page and 2,915 followers of the NotifyBoston Twitter feed despite the fact that Boston more than eight times the population of Somerville.

“The greater the number of ways people can access us, the more quickly we can respond to issues,” said City Constituent Services Director Steve Craig. “We live in a world where people are using smart phones and social media. 311 needs to stay current with the people who live here.”

The City beta tested the app with help from the Young Somerville Advisory Group to make sure it is robust and ready for widespread usage.

“It was important to us that app put our entire 311 system right in the palm of your hand,” Craig said. “This isn’t a reasonable facsimile of our 311 system or toothless app where we just slapped on the 311 label. This app will plug you directly into Somerville’s City government.”


DCS said...

As far as I can tell, the Android app never came out. Searching for Somerville 311 (or just Somerville) on the Google App Store doesn't bring up anything on city government. Any idea what happened?

Courtney said...

Hi Dave,

Yes, you are right, there is no 311 App for Android phones as of yet.

Here is the link for the iPhone App: