MapLocal, an android smartphone app developed as part of an AHRC project led by Phil Jones has just been made available to download via Google Play. The app allows people to collect information about their neighbourhood in real time while walking around, capturing georeferenced photos, comments and audio clips. It was designed as part of a project looking ways to help communities draw up neighbourhood plans under the provisions of the Localism Act, 2011.
Data collected by members of a community are uploaded to a group map available via the project website. This way a community can crowdsource information about their neighbourhood to help make decisions on what are the priorities for development in their area. The app was piloted by two Neighbourhood Forums in Balsall Heath and the Jewellery Quarter, facilitated by Colin Lorne who took a break from his PhD to be the project RA.
The app can be used to crowdsource georeferenced data for a range of other purposes and is currently being trialled by Worcestershire County Council to help communities examine their townscape heritage.