From low-cost open-source tech tools to better citizen services, government IT staffs show how creative -- and cost conscious -- they can be.
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Immediately following Superstorm Sandy, New York City's Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) sprang into action to quickly assess and document nearly $500 million in damages to city streets, sidewalks, bridges and other facilities so rebuilding could begin. The information was vital for repair crews and for supporting reimbursement requests to city, state and federal agencies.
NYCDOT employed its mobile-first application development strategy to create a responsive GIS Web app that makes this information readily available. Its interactive map organizes photos and damage reports by location among 44 data layers. The map resizes itself to fit the screen used to run it: smartphone, tablet or desktop. Because the app operates from the cloud, a browser is the only client software needed.
The application allowed NYCDOT field inspectors to use iPads to capture digital photos of damages with accurate embedded location data. It also allowed NYCDOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan to summon data from an interactive map on her iPad while walking the halls of Congress advocating for storm relief funding for New York City.