City of Bloomington Releases Open Source GeoReporter and uReport tools for Open311

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 22, 2012

For more information, please contact:

General Contact: Rick Dietz, Director of Information & Technology Services, City of Bloomington, 812-349-3485, dietzr@bloomington.in.gov

Technical Contact: Cliff Ingham, Web Application Developer, City of Bloomington, inghamn@bloomington.in.gov

Bloomington, IN - The City of Bloomington is pleased to announce the release of GeoReporter and uReport for Open311.

The GeoReporter iOS app and uReport Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) system allow cities to connect and serve their constituents using Open311. The City of Bloomington Information & Technology Services (ITS) department has released these tools for free public use.

"Early on we recognized the potential of Open311 technology to provide better service to constituents and are happy to share tools developed in Bloomington with our friends and colleagues in other cities," said Rick Dietz, Director of ITS for the City of Bloomington. "We strongly support the collaborative development of software for government use and we hope this release will help accelerate the adoption of Open311." GeoReporter and uReport represent the first fully open source client and server suite available for deploying Open311.

Jennifer Pahlka, Executive Director and Founder of Code for America expressed her support for Bloomington's efforts. "Sharing and reusing software across cities is the wave of the future, and a critical way that municipal governments will innovate in the coming decade," said Pahlka. "It's one of the core reasons Code for America exists, and we now look to Bloomington as a leader in this effort."

About Open311

Open311 is a broad effort to establish an open technology platform and common standards to help governments manage and respond effectively to citizens' service requests. Open311 reports typically include requests for pothole repair, street signal light bulb replacement, graffiti removal and sidewalk repair. Open311 cities publish these services through a web API (Application Programming Interface).

Digital applications can use this API to report constituent issues to the municipality for action. The City of Bloomington has produced and deployed a companion Open311 server and mobile application. Both systems are open source and may be used by other municipalities and organizations to provide Open311 services in their communities.

Phillip Ashlock, Open Government Program Manager for OpenPlans and Open311.org, applauds Bloomington's work in open source and Open311. "The incredible work in Bloomington has really demonstrated the value of cities all working together around a common platform," said Ashlock. "We're very fortunate to have Rick Dietz and Cliff Ingham as members of the Open311 community and I'm excited to see other cities reuse their apps, learn from what they've done and become fellow collaborators."

About GeoReporter

GeoReporter is an Open311 constituent reporting tool and is the result of an early collaboration between the City of Bloomington, San Francisco, Portland and others to explore collaborative software development similar to the Kuali Community Source development model pioneered by Indiana University. Community Source is a software management model that pools resources among like-minded organizations to collaboratively design, develop and maintain software systems. Those early discussions inspired Bloomington to make its Open311 tools freely available for anyone to use. The GeoReporter app should work for any organization with an Open311 GeoReport v2 compliant server.

GeoReporter connects to an organization's Open311 API, reads its roster of constituent reports and makes them available to the constituent. The constituents can then select the report they would like to submit, fill out the relevant information, take an optional photo and submit the report to be resolved. GeoReporter currently connects to Open311 APIs at Bloomington and Boston with more cities to come. Other cities are using it to test against their forthcoming Open311 APIs as well.

More information about GeoReporter can be found at http://marketplace.civiccommons.org/apps/georeporter. The App can be found by searching Apple's App store or by visiting http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/georeporter/id487304759. The source code for GeoReporter can be found at http://github.com/City-of-Bloomington/open311-mobile.

About uReport

Smaller municipalities wishing to deploy Open311 with a lightweight constituent management tool should consider uReport ("civic-crm"), a small scale, standalone, Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) web application with an Open311 (GeoReport v2) API. Context-switched feeds (XML, JSON, etc) allow it to easily be integrated into existing environments. For more information about uReport or to download, visit http://marketplace.civiccommons.org/apps/ureport-open311-crm. Source code can be found at http://code.google.com/p/civic-crm/wiki/Home.

About Bloomington

The City of Bloomington is a progressive community and a leader in the use and production of open source software to streamline city operations, reduce costs and provide high quality constituent services. For more information, visit http://marketplace.civiccommons.org/government-entities/bloomington and http://bloomington.in.gov/open-source.

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