Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Government mashups – better contact with public authorities

Mashup technologies and mobile applications will help to close the communication gap between government bodies and the general public. They can be used, for example, to send messages to local authorities. Fraunhofer research scientists have developed individual solutions to facilitate rapid contact with government institutions.

Potholes in the road or a park bench in need of repair – we all come across these or similar problems every now and then. If only there were a simple way of reporting them to the right department of the public administration! The latest mashup technology and mobile applications make it possible to come up with solutions.

Mashups will enable people to inform public authorities about potholes and cracks in the road quickly and without bureaucracy. (© Fraunhofer)

Inspired by the UK website, the Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems FOKUS in Berlin is taking this approach further. Damage reports can be assigned GPS coordinates by cell phone and entered. The system then provides an overview of communications received and indicates whether the same matter has been reported by someone else.

As used in information and communication technologies, the term ‘mashup’ refers to the mixing or combination of data, types of presentation and functionalities from various sources in order to create new services. One example is the placing of restaurant reviews in online maps such as Google Maps. Fraunhofer FOKUS’s Government Mashups research project is putting the technology at the public sector’s disposal. Solutions that already exist are being developed further to meet the requirements of government administration and the relevant public sector staff are being assisted in the technical implementation of these new services. “Mashups hold enormous potential for public authorities because they link up internal and external data quickly and cheaply,” says project manager Dipl.-Ing. Jens Klessmann. “Without any knowledge of computer programming and at little cost administrative staff can create new mashups which can be adapted effortlessly to changing requirements.”

Numerous possible applications exist: In addition to complaints management, the use of public funding can for instance be graphically represented, restaurant reviews can be linked to the results of food hygiene inspections, statistics and other official data can be made more easily accessible, and capacity utilization at different airports can be illustrated in order to coordinate rescue services in the event of a disaster.

Such projects are underpinned by statutory regulations and political requirements. For example, laws on the freedom and re-use of government information already require public bodies to provide official data. In its current program to promote networked and transparent administration the German government has announced that it intends to develop a common strategy for open government. This will include the provision of open data, which are the raw material for government mashups. In addition, governments and public bodies find themselves under growing pressure to justify and explain the increasingly complex procedures underlying their actions. Mashups can be used to explain and visualize these matters.

At CeBit 2011 Fraunhofer FOKUS will present two advanced demonstrators for mashups. Visitors will be invited to take a photo of a pothole on a smart phone and send it to a fictitious city authority as a complaint. And the research scientists will use statistical data from the World Bank to demonstrate how such information can be translated, processed and visualized so that anyone interested can download it.

Jens Klessmann | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Fraunhofer FIT joins Facebook's Telecom Infra Project
25.10.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions
21.10.2016 | Stanford University

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging

25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Etching Microstructures with Lasers

25.10.2016 | Process Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>