Remember the YinzCam folks who took watching Pittsburgh Penguins hockey games to a whole new level? Well, they have just outdone themselves.
Led by Carnegie Mellon's Priya Narasimhan and Rajeev Gandhi, the YinzCam team has created iBurgh — the first iPhone app that enables city residents to send complaints directly to the their government.
Tired of hitting that same pothole on the way home? Is part of the road blocked by a downed tree? With the iBurgh app, you can take a picture, attach a short note and send your concern — automatically geotagged — straight to the city's 311 information system. The iBurgh app is available for free download through Apple.com. Within the first week of its release, iBurgh was downloaded 3,000 times.
"iBurgh has put Pittsburgh on the e-Democracy map," said City Councilman Bill Peduto. "Pittsburgh has a unique opportunity to combine technology and democratic process to empower people. Priya and her team at YinzCam saw that early on — that is why it was so important for Pittsburgh to be the first city in the country to create a mobile app."
Narasimhan explains, "Our city offered us a unique opportunity to be the first in the country to deploy an e-government mobile app. We were fortunate to work closely with the city's Information Systems group to integrate our mobile technology with Pittsburgh's existing 311 system."
She added, "Most of all, this allowed us to do something for Pittsburgh, the city that we love and that has given us so much."
For the success of iBurgh, Narasimhan credits the enthusiasm and commitment of YinzCam team of Justin Beaver, Jeremy Kanter, Dan Burrows, Mark Ma, Jason Kong and Xunnan Fu.
The Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department at Carnegie Mellon collaborates with partners from academia and industry both locally and worldwide. Cutting-edge research areas include cybersecurity, information processing and storage, and nano-enabled technologies.