Columbia County Citizen Reporter app shows signs of early success

By: Hope Jensen Email
By: Hope Jensen Email
Columbia County Citizen Reporter App

Columbia County's smartphone application allows residents to take pictures of potholes or any other roadway damage to make sure it gets repaired. (WRDW-TV / May 31, 2012)

News 12 at 11 o'clock / Thursday, May 31, 2012

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. -- Columbia County's Citizen Reporter app has been active for about three and a half months now.

It's an application for your smartphone that allows you to take pictures and send in any problems you see in the county.

The people who have used the app are impressed by how easy it is to use.

Charlie King was driving through a neighborhood when he came across a pothole. He stopped to take a picture.

"If the person's not doing the speed limit through the neighborhood and they don't know what's there, if they're going pretty fast, they're going to get shaken up a little bit," King said.

He sent the picture through Columbia County's Citizen Reporter app, something he's done many times before.

"I actually use it pretty frequently when I'm out and about driving around," he said. "It could be fallen trees, it could be potholes, or it could be a broken sidewalk or a downed fence or something like that."

He's not the only one who has been impressed by the app.

"So far it's been extremely easy to use, easy to download, obviously," said Columbia County resident Kevin Fox.

He has used the app twice and been extremely satisfied with the quick response.

"I noticed a sign down on the side of Furys Ferry Road, so I pulled over snapped a picture and sent the report in and by the next morning it was gone, the sign was removed," Fox said.

King has had the same experience.

"I've seen turn around, time on my phone with an actual update within 10 minutes of reporting it," he said.

More than 400 people have used the app since its launch.

"We had a slow response at first and then we probably had about seven today I believe," said Mary Howard, GIS manager for Columbia County.

This includes King, who says he'll continue using the app to help keep Columbia County safe and clean.

"It's rare that you have something in your hand to be able to report and issue or an item without having to reach for a pen and paper and write it down -- and you know a picture's worth a 1,000 words," he said.

The pictures allow crews to actually see what they need to fix. For example, if someone sends a picture of a pothole, they can see how big it is and the amount of materials they need to fix it so they can get more details than just a phone call.

The app is free to download. You can find it here here.


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