Report that pothole to 311 with Neappoli

Screen grab from App store
Screen grab from App store

Pothole season has officially started and for us avid cyclists it means that it is time to start reporting potholes. You are probably like me: you bike by a pothole, trying to remember to report it when you are back home or at work and by the time you walk through the door, you have forgotten about it. Next day, you bike by again, you really promise yourself not to forget it this time. By the time the tulips are out, naturally that pothole went unreported. Ottawa based Neappoli is going to help you.

Neappoli reports your pothole in a breeze

Last month I stumbled on an app, Neappoli, made at Ottawa University by Founder Gabriel Tapuc and Co-Founder Kyle Quintal, that allows you to report potholes to 311 (and many other items BTW) by simply pointing to a pothole and report it. A dream come true. The app automatically registers the location, allows you to add a photo, feeds everything into the city and the city returns a service request number and hopefully takes action.

Neappoli does it all

Neappoli pinpoints the exact location of the issue
Neappoli pinpoints the exact location of the issue

The app is very user friendly and I have been using it for the last two weeks and its great. I am somewhat of an avid pothole reporter so this really helps me a lot. It also allows you to report abandoned shopping carts, trail maintenance, shrubs and bushes maintenance, a car parked or stopped in a bike lane and many other cycling and non cycling related issues that one usually calls 311 for.

Resize photos future option

I did notice though that the app sends very large format photos at about 4 MB each. That eats into your data plan pretty voraciously. I contacted the developers and got an answer in 15 minutes, telling me that they will work on resizing the photo to a maximum of 1 MB. My blog photos are usually even a lot smaller so it shouldn’t compromise the quality too much for this purpose: I doubt John Manconi will want to frame the pics for the cottage. I guess that the city doesn’t really need a photo in the first place, so you could skip the photo all together too.

Another useful feature would be if you could report and add a photo but wait with submitting it until you are in a wireless environment. That could even be done automatically so you won’t forget it. This too is on the bucket list, but lower, Gabriel wrote me yesterday. (Imagine you write Tim Cooke and you get an answer from him in 15 minutes)

Work around Neappoli with wifi reporting

Notification from the city
Notification from the city. Note the Service Request number

A work around avoiding using up mobile data for now is that you just hold your finger on the screen back home for a few seconds until the black pin is dropped there. From there you can report an issue too from the comfort of your ochre La-Z-Boy.

List of reported issues

Neappoli keeps a list for you of all the reported issues and even receives a notification when the issue is solved. The app is somewhat of an extension of the current city website in a way, but much easier to use, as it picks the exact location for you automatically and uses the personal data you have to enter only once.

A list of reported issues. The app receives updates once an issue is closed
A list of reported issues. The app receives updates once an issue is closed

Download Neappoli today, it is free

The app is very well developed although I did initially miss how I could actually report an issue: there is a black pin in the bottom right and you just tap that pin and it positions itself on your current location. Neappoli is well thought out and is easy to use. I encourage you to download the app and start reporting today. Let’s get the holes fixed early in the season and help this Ottawa initiative established. The more you report now, the higher your potholes are on the list. There is no excuse to not be an avid pothole reporter anymore. Let me know what you think of the app.

One more thing

O, one more thing. I am hoping that eventually there can be a shortlist of your most used choices, to shave another second of the process.

Download Neappoli from the App Store: download

and from Google Play here: download

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