SeeClickFix

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SeeClickFix is a web tool that allows citizens to report non-emergency neighborhood issues, which are communicated to local government, as a form of community activism. It has an associated free mobile phone application.

The tool centers around a web-based map that displays all user comments. All users may add comments, suggest resolutions, or add video and picture documentation. Anyone can elect to receive email alerts based on "Watch Areas" by geographical area and filtering reports by keyword.

Founded in September 2008, SeeClickFix is based in New Haven, Connecticut, and currently covers more than 25,000 towns and 8,000 neighborhoods, both in the United States and abroad. While it continually expands, the system has built its strongest networks in New Haven[1] and Philadelphia.[2] The site received its 50,000th issue report in August 2010 - from Sonora, Mexico.[3]

The site allows for anonymity of reporting as a way to encourage more people to report issues, hoping for transparency that keeps civic agencies accountable.[4] Ben Berkowitz, one of the founders, says that what sets SeeClickFix apart from other hyperlocal sites is that it can foster interaction among government, news media and residents.[5] Participating news organizations include The New York Times, The Toronto Star, San Francisco Chronicle, Miami Herald, and Philadelphia Inquirer.[6] News outlets following stories from SeeClickFix often stimulate responses from local government.[7] City governments such as Houston, Philadelphia, Tucson, Oakland and New Haven use the site as a work order system.[6]

The site aims not only to hold government accountable, but to facilitate community volunteering. Co-founder Ben Berkowitz has stated, "We hope to get citizens participating in government rather than just consuming it."[8]

The tool has also been made into an iPhone app, which combines GPS tracking and the iPhone's built-in camera to allow users to report issues from their mobile phones. The site contains a widget generator that provides code for creating customized displays to embed on external sites. The text widget displays a list of reported issues within the defined area, and the map widget displays them spatially using Google Maps software.

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