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NO: Open source-based problem-reporting website launched nationwide

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FiksGataMi, an open source-based service to report faults and problems to local authorities, was launched nationwide on 7 March 2011.

FiksGataMi is a new website that enables citizens to report and discuss faults and problems in their local communities, such as graffiti, unauthorised dumping of rubbish, holes in the road or defective street lighting. The citizen does not need to be concerned about which public agency needs to be contacted, since FiksGataMi will automatically send an email to the local authority responsible for the particular geographical location. All Norway’s municipalities are covered by the service.

FiksGataMi uses the free editable map OpenStreetMap. Although in some rural areas, this can be of poor quality, in major cities and towns it is fully on a par with commercially produced maps and those of the Norwegian Mapping Authority. Residents can also help improve the map by visiting its website. The launch of FiksGataMi was made possible when the Norwegian UNIX User Group (NUUG) recently launched the MaPit service which provides automated access to information about geographical location, including municipal and county boundaries.

FiksGataMi is the Norwegian counterpart of the UK site FixMyStreet, which is run by the MySociety project and receives about 2 000 messages per week. The technology behind FiksGataMi is a collaboration between NUUG and MySociety, making FiksGataMi a European project. The service was developed with support from Norwegian ministries and Friprog (the Open Source Competence Centre, in English).

Peter Reiner, project manager for FiksGataMi and leader of NUUG, said: “Residents will be able to report problems in their community, without thinking of the public body that is responsible. The project is based on free software and technology developed in collaboration with the UK project FixMyStreet.”

Tom Steinberg, director of MySociety, said: “NUUG's fiksgatami.no is a good example of what makes free software done well, so unbeatably great. The service was developed very quickly. It only took a month to create what in effect is a fully developed unofficial national eCitizen service, on a par with the best there is."

Christer Gundersen, acting director of Friprog, said: “FiksGataMi is a service that covers all Norwegian municipalities, which distinguishes it from similar services launched in the past. Some municipalities have done similar projects before but these were limited to the area that the municipality is responsible for. FiksGataMi also makes it possible for users themselves to report when problems are resolved. This is brand new and is in many respects moves some of the processing out to the residents.”

Original news article: Friprog blog | CC-BY-SA 3.0

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