Helsinki Issue reporting API now open for developers

 

City of Helsinki has published its issue reporting API and thus joined cities utilizing the Open311 standard. The City of Helsinki is the second city in Europe to enable issue reporting API for external services, such as mobile and internet apps and web-services. First service to connect to the feedback system of the City of Helsinki is a local Metro.fi website. New service is a part of EU-funded CitySDK-project which will be piloting the feedback channel until the beginning of 2014.

“Incredible – it’s working”

In the European scale historical public-private feedback channel was launched on February 19th. Users can now report issues from their neighborhood to Metro.fi service. Journalists of the site are forwarding the issues to the feedback core of the City of Helsinki.

            “So far the pilot service received 267 issue reports. 95% of the issues were forwarded to the City of Helsinki and acknowledged by the Public works department”

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An active user of Metro service was interviewed for an introduction video in Helsinki in March 2013.

The service allows users to easily follow the handling process of the issues. Service provides the status of the issue and also shows the answers and notes made by the civil servants working for the city’s Public Works Department.

Metro service can be found here.

At the moment, the API is used for sending service requests about e.g., broken street signs, potholes etc which are typically handled by the Public Works Department of the city. The future plan is to use the issue reporting API on other issues as well.

As one satisfied Helsinkian described the service after the city of Helsinki had fixed a pothole in less than 24 hours: “Incredible – it’s working.”

Watch a video about the feedback service and how things actually get fixed (only in Finnish):

//www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=THtqt_KKe0w

Developer meet-up

In May the City of Helsinki invited audience to hear about the new API. The audience consisted of active developers, SME’s, journalists and democracy enthusiasts. First results of the new feedback channel were presented in the meet-up and the CIO of Helsinki answered the questions about the future plans of the city’s open interfaces. Helsinki is happy to encourage developers and SMEs to an active collaboration with the city.

Issue tracking API is a key example of how the cities can easily create new business opportunities which benefits the city, the developers and the citizens.

The city has already received requests about the new API and is welcoming all candidates to try and use the interface. “The aim is to be the most developer-friendly city in the world”, stated Jaakko Rajaniemi, the project designer behind the API.

About Open311

Open311 interface was founded in US by a charity programme of developers in 2010. The interface is already used across the United States. In Europe it is already used in Bonn, Germany, which makes the City of Helsinki the second in Europe utilizing the interface. Open311 is founded and maintained by an active group of coders and developers, which makes enhancements and updates in the interface fast and flexible.

Following functionalities are provided by the API at the moment in Helsinki:

1. Listing of service request types and definitions of the additional attributes
2. Submitting service requests
3. Quering individual or multiple service requests and their descriptions and status

The issue reporting API is based on GeoReporting version 2, which is better known as Open311 specification. Read more on Open311 at: open311.org/

You can find the City of Helsinki’s issue reporting API here.