By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Mapping potholes with help from readers

Boston.com is using SeeClickFix to produce a pothole map for Greater Boston. The New York Times recently reported on SeeClickFix, which is based in New Haven. Simple technology plus community interaction — what more do you want?

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4 Comments

  1. L.K. Collins

    This map has been available for years. It ain’t no scoop.

    You’re late to the party, Dan.

  2. This is a most cool thing, but: It looks like once a pothole is added, it’s never taken off. I spotted one report that is 398 days old. Does that mean it’s never been fixed, or just that nobody’s following up?

    Compare with the city of Boston’s GIS Data Hub, which maps real-time status of pothole and other complaints: http://hubmaps1.cityofboston.gov/datahub/

    It has its own problems (the interface is slow and clunky), but ultimately more useful if you really want to track, say, potholes (or broken traffic lights).

  3. Michael Pahre

    Adam’s right. And the City of Boston has one important technical feature of their system: pothole issues immediately get routed straight to the appropriate public works site.

    I’ve dealt with the city on many constituent service requests of various kinds. While lethargic in other areas, they are very prompt in filling potholes. No need for an outside application.

    In fact, Boston has too many people employed filling potholes. Q: How many people and trucks does it take to fill a pothole in Boston? A: Three and two.

    Some say Il Duce was popular for making the trains run on time. Menino is popular for filling the potholes — and employing lots of people to do it.

  4. The City of Boston receives alerts directly from SeeClickFix.com to the Public Works director.

    An issue can be closed if it is fixed.

    The City of Boston’s website is not transparent and as such is not a replacement for SeeClickFix in anyway.

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