Driving through a city street, a citizen captures a traffic violation in a mobile app. Three roads away, another citizen records a second violation. This data gets updated in real time by real commuters, the traffic police sees a definite pattern over a week and changes plan.
Making this unique crowd-sourced solution possible, a GPS-based app, eyeOrta could redefine how government agencies draft policies taking people’s input. eyeOrta is developed by Navigem, a startup that has teamed up with the New York City-based Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities intiative as a data analytics partner. Bengaluru, Chennai and Surat have been adopted by this worldwide project designed to help cities become more resilient to the physical, social, and economic challenges.
The crowd-sourcing strategy could also work with issues linked to water supply, waste management or law and order. “A water board official, whether he is at his desk or not, is alerted to a leak as soon as a user reports it. A waste management official gets a complete visibility into the pile-ups dotting his area. And as each issue is resolved, the official records the resolution with a digital signature and time stamp, ensuring accountability,” explained Navigem founder Madhu Kongovi.The stored data could help officials get a larger view of trends and correlations they might not have otherwise arrived at.
Currently on a trial in Bengaluru, the crowd-sourcing strategy has already identified one such instance in Marathahalli. Daily traffic congestion recorded by the app users from near a newly built complex was tracked to the high number of water supply tankers servicing the complex. Analysing this trend could lead to a new strategy, say, restricting the water tanker hours.
Real-time advanced analytics of the data fed by smartphone-equipped users is what sets the eyeOrta apart. Users themselves could pull up a map of their neighbourhood to access a range of city data for any specific area at any given time.
Data, particularly the one gathered by the users themselves, could help agencies understand current conditions, identify problems, set goals, track progress and bring in oversight for sustained impact.
The data democratisation potential of this strategy is now being showcased to BBMP, BWSSB, Bescom and the police besides the city traffic department.