The Citizen as a Sensor
Governments are increasingly developing online geographic information system (GIS)-based applications to engage with citizens. These applications are helping the public easily connect with government and in turn helping government better understand the citizenry it serves. Web and mobile apps allow government organizations to receive immediate feedback from citizens including reports of incidents, suggestions, and general comments. A person walking through a park can pull out a smartphone and provide a realtime report on problems or ideas for improvement. Casting a wider net for citizen input, these apps help government know what’s happening on the ground in a community so it can maximize existing resources and improve services.

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