Baltimore Becomes Latest City to Adopt Mobile Apps from Connected Bits Enabling Citizens to Report Issues

on Sep 19, 2011


Expands roster of governments using Spot Reporters to create mobile reporting channel for citizens

September 19, 2011 -- Connected Bits, a developer of mobile applications that connect governments and other organizations with their communities, today announced the latest deployment of its Spot Reporters framework with the launch of Baltimore's new mobile 311 application.

The Baltimore Spot Reporters deployment - which builds on the nation's first 311 service -- enables citizens to report potholes, graffiti, and other non-emergency issues using their mobile devices and the Web. "This initiative allows us to expand our existing 311 service by creating new and effective communication channels with our citizens," said Lisa Allen, 311 Director for Baltimore City. In just two weeks, the city has already received over 1,000 mobile reports.

Spot Reporters software is used by local governments and other organizations to enable their communities to submit real-time reports and track the resolution of a variety of issues -- from potholes to power outages. The software is used by a number of municipalities, including the City of Boston for its award-winning Citizens Connect service, one of the country's first mobile 311 applications.

"We selected Connected Bits to power our mobile 311 service because Connected Bits understands government IT and knows how to integrate with existing CRM and other core technology systems," said Rico Singleton, CIO for Baltimore City. "We saw what they had done in Boston and other cities and knew they were the right partner for us."

Baltimore has relied on Motorola's public sector CRM (customer relationship management) since 2001 and recently upgraded to the PremierOne CSR system. Spot Reporters integrates seamlessly with leading CRM solutions, including the Motorola system through the CSR Application Hub. "CRM systems focus on automating internal workflows; Spot Reporters extends those processes to mobile users anytime, anywhere," said Eric Carlson, Connected Bits co-founder.

Handling service requests via mobile and the Web can be significantly less expensive than live calls. Spot Reporters enables local governments to "do more with less" by scaling citizen engagement over a number of low-cost channels. It can also improve the efficiency of responding agencies by capturing detailed information that helps workers quickly locate and assess problems.

In addition to releasing its own mobile and Web applications, Baltimore will tap local and widespread talent to build third party applications and mash-ups. With the release of developer API's from Connected Bits built to the Open311 standard, Baltimore joins cities such as Boston, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. in a collaborative effort to build open, interoperable systems for 311.

"Connected Bits has been deeply involved with Open311 since its inception and we are strong believers in open government," says Dave Mitchell, co-founder of Connected Bits. "Open311 will allow local entrepreneurs and developers to help take public service in their city to the next level."

About Connected Bits

Connected Bits is the developer of Spot Reporters, a mobile reporting application that enables governments and other organizations to "deputize" their communities to report issues -- from potholes to power outages - using mobile devices and the Web.

Founded in 2003, Connected Bits has worked with major players in the mobile ecosystem including AT&T, Motorola, HTC, Microsoft, and France Telecom. Connected Bits partnered with the City of Boston to develop and launch one of the country's first mobile 311 services in 2009. Spot Reporters has since been adopted by tens of thousands of mobile users in several major cities.

Grand Rapids is live!

on Dec 23, 2010

Grand Rapids Launch

Grand Rapids just launched Spot Reporters for mobile citizens reporting. The application can be downloaded from the Android Market and the App Store. Read some early press, or check out the latest reports at and follow on twitter @grandrapids311.

Citizens Connect 2.0 launch party November 8th

on Nov 27, 2010

Citizens Connect 2.0  Citizens Connect 2.0

Mayor Thomas M. Menino will be the guest speaker at Mobile Monday on November 8th to launch Citizens Connect 2.0 powered by Spot Reporters.

Front page news

on Feb 02, 2010

Citizens Connect 2.0

Potholes And Repairs? Boston Has An App For That

on Dec 09, 2009

NPR’s Morning Edition just aired a story on Citizens Connect.

Citizens Connect posters

on Nov 22, 2009

Citizens Poster   Citizens Poster

Citizens Connect launch event

on Oct 22, 2009

Citizens Connect Launch Event

We’re live! Today we launched the Citizens Connect iPhone app at a press event for Boston’s local news stations.

Press release

Citizens Connect submitted to the Apple App Store

on Sep 09, 2009

Citizens Connect was submitted to the App Store today. Fingers crossed, but we feel very good about the release.


on Sep 04, 2009 by Eric Carlson

In the spring of 2008 we helped teach Building Mobile Applications with Android at MIT. I was fortunate to mentor a whip-smart team of students that went on to win the top prize in Google's first Android Developer's Challenge. It's nice to see the project is still in active development.

Connected Bits is developing Boston's first iPhone app

on Jul 31, 2009

The city of Boston will soon debut their first iPhone application. Citizens Connect allows residents to report local issues including potholes, graffiti, and broken streetlights, from anywhere in the city using their iPhone. Citizens Connect is the first application developed using Connected Bits' Spot Reporters framework. Stay tuned for more details.


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