Guelph’s bylaw division pilots map-based mobile app
Guelph, Ont., November 18, 2015 – Starting today, the City’s bylaw division is testing a map-based system for people to report concerns about parking, signs, animals and wildlife, property maintenance and more.
“Using Guelph’s 311GIS map app, people can use a desktop computer, smartphone or mobile device to report a concern, attach photos or videos, and get updates as bylaw officers respond and resolve the issue,” says Doug Godfrey, manager of Guelph’s Bylaw Compliance, Security and Licensing division. “People can also see if their neighbours are reporting similar concerns nearby, or if there’s a problem across town; all bylaw activities are shown on the map.”
See a problem? Report a problem.
The City is encouraging anyone interested in trying the map app to set up a login and password now, so when they see a problem they can report a problem, on the spot, in real time.
The desktop version is available at guelph.ca/maps, and the 311GIS app is available on the App Store™ and Google Play™.
It isn’t perfect. It isn’t finished. It never will be.
Before investing in large-scale custom-built mobile applications for all City services, Guelph is piloting an off-the-shelf product called 311GIS. Guelph’s bylaw division is the first to use the system and invite users to comment on their experience.
Using lessons from the pilot project and community feedback, the City plans to keep improving the map app and other digital services in the months and years ahead. As of today, people can use the 311GIS map app to report things like:
- Animal or wildlife concerns, coyote sightings
- Donation bin concerns
- Improper use of City property, encroachment
- Fireworks concerns
- Idling vehicle
- Long grass, messy yards or tree hazards
- Parking problems
- Property and building maintenance concerns
- Newspaper box concerns
- Sign, or poster concerns
- Bylaw officer compliments or complaints
The City will update the community as services are added or removed. In spring 2016, the City will report how many people used the system, how satisfied they are with the experience, and what services may be added in the months and years ahead.
Improving transparency and efficiency
The City is testing the 311GIS map app to determine if the technology makes it easier for people to access City services, and helps bylaw officers respond more efficiently and effectively to concerns.
For example, rather than responding to service calls as they come in—driving from one end of the city to the other—the 311GIS map app shows clusters of activity, so bylaw officers can respond to multiple calls in an area while they’re already there.
By tracking and reporting all bylaw activities using a single system, the City expects it will reduce time spent on data entry and other clerical activities; freeing up resources for other tasks.
The City invested $16,800 to set up the map app. Ongoing technical support, maintenance and hosting fees are $14,000 a year.
International GIS Day – November 18, 2015
Geographic information systems (GIS) refer to all kinds of tools based on maps or locations. Guelph is launching the 311GIS map app on International GIS Day and the City is upgrading its GIS and other technologies to improve service to Guelph residents, visitors and businesses.
International GIS Day brings universities, government agencies, schools, non-profits, and professionals together to build knowledge of GIS in their communities, and create understanding about the world. Events all over the world provide an international forum for users of GIS technology to demonstrate real-world applications that are making a difference in our society.
Manager, Bylaw Compliance, Security and Licensing
519-822-1260 extension 2520