During our inaugural eDesigner (this is our tool which enables non-technical users to build and share online services with no code) hackathon, one of the things that was heavily voted for by our customers was the ability for their citizens to report and pinpoint issues using a map. In fact, by the end of the day we had created a prototype. Providing detailed locations in service requests is key and at IEG4, we felt this was an important function to add to our eDesigner product as a part of the personalisation strategy that we have in our digital services. That is to say, the new Map functionality within eDesigner is very smart yet, it is just one element of our strategy to provide personalisation around a user’s location. More on this in a future blog.
So, as a free upgrade to eDesigner, we have provided a function to enable non-technical users to embed a map into an online form which:
• Allows a citizen to find a location using the geo-location capabilities of their device or by searching using powerful Bing Maps capabilities
• Allows a citizen to leverage satellite, birds eye, street view and ordnance survey modes
We particularly like the fact that in using street view mode a user can find a very specific location by viewing the map and then is able to set the location. We also see the potential for Augmented Reality use cases coming in the future.
The map control is like any other control in eDesigner in that it can conditionally be displayed. i.e. only present the map and geolocation function, for example, if the person reports the issue is in a park.
When a report is submitted the location and a link to a map of the geolocation is automatically sent to the back-office team.
By leveraging the powerful Bing Maps API a citizen can technically find a location anywhere in the world in seconds with minimal data. Furthermore, Bing Maps is also smart enough to filter search results to those near to the user’s location if they’ve previously enabled geo-location.
This is very powerful in that a user with no coding skills is able to achieve something that one would normally expect a developer to do. As part of enabling Local Government as a Platform, eDesigner now enables every service request to have a consistent model to collect geolocation data and as a result, IT are not required to assist with its implementation.
It just works.
At IEG4 'We do tricky'. We take the supposedly complex transactions, remove the technical gobbledegook and enable business users to do their jobs smarter.
After all, isn't that what software should be - an enabler?