Reports have started coming into our LoveLewisham app from FixMyStreet, via our new Open311 api. Open311 is an interface that allows 3rd party apps to share data with government services. The launch of our LoveLewisham app back in 2005 spawned a multitude of ‘Environmental Reporting Apps’. These apps aim to provide an easy way for residents to report things to their council, in the hope that the council will pay for an enhanced integrated version. This creates a problem for local authorities who have to deal with a variety of different systems. Open311 will help us deal with that problem. Any of these apps can now use our Open311 interface to send us their reports and receive updates from our workforce. That means we can reduce the time we spend dealing with formatted e-mails or 3rd party ‘administrative backends’.
From April this year we will only respond to reports that come to us via Open311. We really hope that others follow FixMyStreet and demonstrate a real commitment to helping maintain our environment and reduce costs.
LoveLewisham has embraced the Open311 specification. This means that jobs from any public reporting system can now be pushed straight to our workers who can respond with their LoveLewisham Peer2Peer mobile app.
We launched LoveLewisham as a public app back in 2005. MySociety were the first to launch a national version of this approach in 2007.
A lot has changed since then. Having your own ‘branded app‘ is seen as a bit of a vanity project in an age of austerity. The strength of LoveLewisham has always been the implementation of mobile technology by our front-line workers. By adopting Open311 we can hook-into the fantastic FixMyStreet public site and apps while developing our in-house LoveLewisham Peer2Peer app to provide a much more effective response.
MySociety helped us get this up and running within a few weeks, at no cost! Jobs from FixMyStreet now go directly on to our operative’s LoveLewisham P2P app. The completed jobs get returned straight away to FixMyStreet via our Open311 interface.
From April this year, we will only accept reports from external apps and systems that use our Open 311 interface. This will free-up staff time and reduce costs.
Former Director of MySociety, Tom Steinberg summed up the benefits of Open311 very nicely:
Unscrupulous suppliers will sometimes intentionally set up systems so that the government has to pay extra money if they want any new channels to be added. Using Open311 is both a way to lower your future costs, and a way to make sure your current supplier can’t lock you into expensive upgrades.
LoveLewisham, launched in 2005.