Pittsburgh is the first city in the country to have its own Apple app.
, the Pittsburgh startup that brought mobile viewing to the Penguins during the Stanley Cup season, has partnered with the city to launch iBurgh and a new era of e-democracy.
"For the past few months we've been in a race against Boston, D.C., New York City and San Francisco to be the first city in the country to apply a mobile application to local government," says Councilman Bill Peduto, the driving force behind the push to partner with local tech companies and make the city the first e-democracy in the country.
"This starts the process to not only expand our ability to communicate with local government, but empower people through an emerging industry that will start here. Pittsburgh will be the home of e-democracy."
A spinout of Carnegie Mellon,
YinzCam has developed iBurgh as a free iPhone app that enables users to communicate directly with the city's 311 system. See a pothole that needs fixing? A down tree? Take a picture and the site is geotagged and sent directly to the city's server. The YinzCam tech recently made Network World's Top 10 List of sports technologies to love.
iBurgh is also on Facebook
"iBurgh is currently only supported by iPhones, but we're pushing to make it available through other cells," says Priya Narasimhan of YinzCam, YinzCam is offering iBurgh to the city free of charge, without cost to taxpayers, Peduto adds. "Because they love Pittsburgh."
The mobile initiative is the keystone of Peduto's broader plan to "blow open the doors of city government" through the creation of new applications and social media tools. In the coming months, he plans to announce several mobile and webcasting initiatives, including the streaming of city council and community meetings with the help of local tech companies like myGov365.com.
Several national organizations, including the White House, have expressed interest in the Pittsburgh initiatives during the Netroots Nation conference, Peduto says. "We have all the pieces."
Writer: Debra Diamond Smit
Source: Bill Peduto, City of Pittsburgh; Priya Narasimhan, YinzCam