MMS to Combat London Grafitti

The London, UK, Borough of Lewisham has launched a great idea to clean up the place, using MMS (via Springwise).

The public is invited to download a Java app to their phones. Then they take photos of offending graffiti, dumped rubbish, abandoned cars etc and the photo is uploaded to the council who rush round and clear it up. Well, maybe not rush exactly, but they will sort it out.

It’s not very clear from the website exactly how this all works. I have asked them and will update the post if I get answers.

But I assume that y You take the photo via the Java app, which then uploads it to Lewisham Council – a bit like a white label ShoZu.

I’m not clear how they know where the offending material actually is (some kind of geo-tagging?) or if this costs the sender anything, if only in data charges. I can’t see how it could be free, but I could be wrong.

Ian Blackburn from the technical solution developers, bbits Mobility kindly responded to my request for more info. The cost of the MMS, is the same as normal to the sender, which seems fair enough. Even though the normal cost is ridiculously high in comparison to an SMS, which in turn is ridiculously high in the context of the amount of data the operators is shifting around. But that’s another story.

Currently, the location of the photo is identified by the sender texting the street name with the photo. Old fashioned, but an efficient work around in the absence of more accurate technology. Ian tells me there are plans to automate this in future versions.

Anyway, what a great initiative and I’m sure we’ll see this repeated all over the world. My only slight concern is that the name of the campaign is “Love Lewisham” which strikes me as somewhat over ambitious. “Like Lewisham” would be hard enough. Only joking, I hear there’s some very nice parts of Catford.

Pic from Wikipedia.

[tags]grafitti, mms, java, j2me[/tags]

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