Boilerplate code and design for creating mobile reporting apps

There are many apps that have very similar functions. One of the most common interaction sets for civic media is reporting things on a map, such as SeeClickFix. At civic hackathons, former Open Austin co-captain Andy Nelson often saw people spending far more time reinventing this wheel than solving problems.

This started at Packathon with Ali Hussain Kazim, Florian Foerster, and Sherjeel Khan. We were figuring out how to best collect an preserve data on the incidence of bribery, rather than the current normative measure of perceived corruption.

So we developed a mockup and spent quite a lot of time on a prototype of the app that was simply a localized version of a generic mobile map input-output app.

Mobile-Map-IO

So what if there were a common starting point civic hackers could have to get going on their real mission rather than figuring out how to add pointers to a map and setting up a simple API? Andy created an open-source project on Github called Mobile-Map-IO, which is built using popular, proven web technologies that allow it to be most easily picked up by other civic hackers. Open Austin forked the project to create another prototype called Restroom Map, a mobile app for mapping gender-neutral restrooms.