Monday, August 17, 2009

iPhone App Allows Quick Complaints to City

The city of Pittsburgh now has an iPhone app that will allow user to make 311 style complaints on the go. The application released over the weekend allows users to take a picture of a pothole, graffiti or other nagging problem and then submit it directly to the city’s 311 complaint system. That complaint will come complete with a geo tag that developer Priya Narasimhan says will let the city know exactly where the picture was snapped. Narasimhan says that not only allows the city to see a picture of the problem but it also will place it on a map along with other complaints. Narasimhan’s company Yinz Cam created the application for the city without charge. With the hope that other cities will purchase similar systems. The company hopes to soon roll out the Pittsburgh version of the application that will work on other smart phones. Right now there are three ways to make a complaint to the 311 center; calling 311, filling out a form on line or emailing a complaint. Pictures can be emailed but Pittsburgh City Councilman Bill Peduto says that often clogs up the email system. Council members do not currently have direct access to the 311 system but they can ask for reports. Public works does have access to the 311 system.

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