Graffiti costs American communities more than $8 billion per year. It hurts property values, drives away business, and sends the message that nobody cares about the community. Now there’s an app that can help residents quickly report graffiti and have it removed.
The Urban Collaborative Project’s "Tag Team-Graffiti" mobile application makes it easy for residents to report graffiti immediately. Using the app, people can take a picture of the graffiti and the location is automatically tagged using GPS coordinates. The photo of the graffiti is immediately sent to City of San Diego Street Division, San Diego Police Department and Urban Corp, who is contracted to remove the graffiti. Everyone receives a copy of the photo for tracking and investigation processes.
“There have been 3,000 downloads since our launch a month ago and feedback has been positive. So far everyone loves it,” says Executive Director of the Urban Collaborative Project, Brian Pollard.
The City of San Diego has a web-based online reporting form, but it requires the user to take a picture, access a computer to fill out the form online with information such as the address/location of the graffiti and their contact information, and then send pictures at a later time. This process presents a challenge to residents who aren’t able to go home or to a library to look up the online form and fill it out.
Working with a team of developers, Urban Collaborative Project wanted to create an app that made it much easier for the general public to report graffiti wherever they live, work, learn, play or worship.
“It’s a basic element of civic engagement. This is why the "Tag Team-Graffiti" mobile app was created - using smart technology to improve communities through community engagement,” says Pollard.
Currently, the app is available for iPhone only and is programmed for the City of San Diego boundaries, including Del Mar Heights, Rancho Bernardo, La Jolla, Linda Vista, Mira Mesa, College Area, Barrio Logan, City Heights, Southeastern San Diego, Downtown, and San Ysidro. For more information on City Neighborhoods, visit Map of Police Department Divisions and Neighborhoods.
Pollard is eager for hear feedback on the app from residents and community members.
He encourages you to try out the app and email him your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Committed to innovation for social good, the Urban Collaborative has additional apps in the works. They are working with Qualcomm on a Community Calendar for Southeastern San Diego where community groups and residents can input local events and share details with the general public. This will also allow those who are planning events to see what is already happening in the community to help them choose a date for their activity. Pollard stated that this mobile app should be ready in less a month, and it will be available for Android and iPhone.