One of the great success stories of 2010 has been state and local governments embracing Gov 2.0 to more effectively engage their citizens. Facing limited resources and dwindling budgets, governments are doing more with less, and location-based services that use GIS (Geographic Information System) technology is one of the coolest examples of this trend. One Microsoft partner—Rock Solid (previously CitySourced) —is leading the way with innovative smart phone apps based on the Windows Azure platform.
Rock Solid describes its app as a real-time mobile civic engagement platform. Users of smart phones like the new Windows Phone as well as iPhones and BlackBerries can use Rock Solid to send requests and complaints about issues in their neighborhood directly to local officials. Using GPS and related mobile technologies, the app allows you to easily report public safety threats, quality of life issues, or environmental concerns using the camera on your own phone. And because the app uses geo-tagging – automatically adding geographic coordinates to the complaint – you don’t even need to know the address or specific location of the issue you are flagging for attention.
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