Interactive nature of online maps makes them a great tool for engagement with local communities while soliciting feedback on various aspects of local life. The City of Cockburn in Western Australia has just deployed an innovative online application to survey the community about local transportation issues using the Google Maps API.
Visitors to the City of Cockburn Integrated Transport Survey page can comment on local transport issues and reference specific locations on a Google Map. In particular, users can search for a specific address then add a marker to the map and leave a comment categorising it into one of six transport related issues: congestion, road safety, parking, freight, public transport, cycling or walking related.
All comments are published immediately as interactive markers on the map as well as a twitter-like list. Other residents can vote on each issue by either agreeing or disagreeing with the author of the original comment.
This is a great example of using a simple online map as a low cost but very effective tool to reach a large number of members of a local community that otherwise would not have had the opportunity to raise their concerns. The application was developed by a group of Brisbane based specialists from Arup, an engineering and built environment consultancy, and is available for other projects under CollaborativeMaps.org banner.
First spotted on Google Maps Mania