Thursday, June 25, 2009 - By Miles - No comments

SeeClickFix and Respect to FixMyStreet

I have gotten a few questions recently about FixMyStreet and how it compares with SeeClickFix. Good question.

SeeClickFix is a (mostly) free mobile phone and web tool that allows citizens to report and document non-emergency issues to communicate them to those accountable for the public space. Issues that are reported through the website are recorded on a map for everyone to see and interact with. Anyone can receive email alerts on the issues based on a filter by geographical area and keyword.

We actually looked at FixMyStreet and talked to Tom when we started and think its an awesome tool. I've got a lot of respect for what MySociety has accomplished. After thinking about it and talking amongst our group we decided we wanted to take things in a different direction. For example:

  • Easy to Implement Globally. We wanted to build something that communities could pick-up and implement without a software developer. A citizen, a local neighborhood watch or one city council person can choose to use SeeClickFix in their community. Just set up a watch area to get alerts on a geographical area and you're off and running.
  • Multiple Parties. Governments play a large role in resolving local non-emergency issues. But City Hall is far from the only entity involved. Our model allows anyone to play a role in resolving issues: from your neighbor, to the business improvement district, to the local newspaper, and even to the state department of transportation. Anyone can get alerts not just the official government channels.
  • More Maps. We have built the system on top of Google Maps so that it works globally with map UI. When we started, FixMyStreet only had maps for the UK.
  • Open Data and API. It should be easy to get data out of the system and we've implemented a bunch of methods. We are committed to Open Data and provide this data under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license.
    • Web browsing (each issue has it's own web page)
    • XML issue feed (geographically and keyword focused)
    • JSON
    • KML
    • GeoRSS
    • Excel (feature of paid version SeeClickFix Pro)
    • CSV (feature of paid version SeeClickFix Pro)
    • Printable Issue List (feature of paid version SeeClickFix Pro)
    • Open 311 API
    • Embedable widget (available to be placed on other websites with keyword and geographical focus)

  • Community Features. The community should drive what gets noticed, documented and prioritized. For example:
    • Commenting engine on each issue
    • Image gallery to browse by photo
    • I want this fixed too! voting system
    • Share on Facebook features
    • Youtube video integration
    • Send issue to a friend
    • Flag as inappropriate crowd sourced moderation
    • Twitter issue reporting

So, if you're not a software developer and wanted to get started right away, create a watch areas for your
community at and or embed the map in your websites at If you are a software developer, we'd love to have you work with our open data to pull info out or help to create the Open 311 API we've proposed.


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