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Help yourself and your city with a mobile reporting app

I’m really interested in ways that people can use their mobiles not only for their own communication and information needs, but also to benefit others. And I just came across a brilliant example of that: the City of Boston Citizens Connect App.

This mobile app lets Bostonians log problems like potholes and graffiti with the city, with the aim of contributing to a better city environment. It looks like a really neat robust example of ‘citizen-to-city’ interaction, with community-contributed content used to directly benefit the community.

What’s more, it’s a great extension of the UK’s service in that it works right at the moment when you see the problem (and use your mobile), rather than when you return to wherever your desktop computer is (and probably forget all about the problem you saw).

I wonder what it would take for city councils in Sydney (or anywhere in Australia, really) to take on this? And surely it’s possible for one app to serve all councils, and which localises itself depending on where you are when you open it – one app to rule them all, as it were.

If this catches on as a common mobile behaviour pattern, city councils are going to have a lot of demands — and lovely lovely geo-tagged data — on their hands…