Below is a list of questions/comments and answers to the most popular questions so far for the new Louisville Mobile app:
What's next for Louisville Mobile?
We have received a number of requests for a mobile app that quickly lets you check pick up dates for junk, garbage, recycling and recycling center locations and more. We are currently working on this app and will have more details soon about its features and a date for completion.
Could the city create an app for attractions or events going on around the city?
At this time we don't have an app for attractions or events on our list. However www.gotolouisville.com is in active development and close to launch of their mobile website. It will list city events, special offers, and more. It will include database driven data from their attractions, dining and hotel partners. They also recently launched the Urban Bourbon Trail app which is available for the iPhone.
Why aren't you developing apps for the Blackberry or for webOS?
Many of you are asking about why the mobile applications were built for Apple iPhone and iPad and Android but not for other devices like Palm Pre and Blackberry and also are inquiring when and if the applications will be expanded.
The short answer is time and money. We looked at our web statistics and the top operating systems/devices to hit our website are iPhone and Android (see stats below). Our development partner donated a little over half of the mobile app development hours needed to build Louisville Mobile and they have proven experience with Apple OS and Android OS. Considering the statistics and the experience level, we worked to create the mobile applications for those three platforms first.(Each OS requires its own application to be written.)
The long answer is about 'testing the mobile waters' so to speak. How will our citizens react to mobile applications. Is this a trend or a valuable way to deliver information and services? We believe in the value and hope you do as well. We would like to expand the service to other types of devices/OS as well as to add more information, services and functionality. We are working on some interesting ways to do that and we will have more information about that soon on our mobile apps page. Your feedback is crucial and support is much appreciated. Thanks for engaging!
In the past 6 months (April 2010 - Oct 2010), these mobile devices visited Louisvilleky.gov 68,097 times:
- iPhone - 36, 661
- Android - 16,277
- BlackBerry - 4,655
- iPod - 4,009
- iPad - 3,393
- Samsung - 970
- Windows - 846
- Danger Hiptop - 522
- SymbianOS - 376
- PalmOS - 275
Updated on Thursday, Nov. 4
Why can't I find parks near my current location using the Apple iPad?
There is a bug with the Apple iPhone and iPad applications for which we have made the necessary code modifications and resubmitted to the Apple Store. That bug is preventing the application from using your current location. It's very annoying and we apologize. We anticipate that fix will be "live" any day now.
It would be nice to sort the events page by location so it shows events closest to my location first.
We agree with you about the events. It would be very nice to find the events closest to you. In order to do this, the event locations must be geo-coded so that the latitude/longitude is known. The events you see on the mobile device pull from our online calendar RSS. Today, the system doesn’t "geo-code" the location of the events nor are the locations entered in a standard format so that we can geo-code them. However, we have it on the "to do" list.
I can't find this app on the Android market site.
We've had just a few users reply back that they could not locate it. If the device OS is not compatible, meaning if it cannot run the application, users often cannot find the application in the market. If you still cannot find it/download it, it may be due to the version of the operating system.
I like this new app but it really needs a section for restaurants other than grades. Varous places listes by area location or food type or price range would be good.
In the original design of the Restaurant Inspection Scores app, we planned to provide users with a "Search near Me" option. We had to drop that feature, sadly, from this version because more work is needed on the data set to give you that option by the type of establishment. The "Restaurant Finder" data set includes more than just restaurants. It includes all food establishments in Jefferson County which our Health Department inspects. So, you can search on a school, a nursing home, etc. and find the inspection scores. However, when you as a mobile user would utilize a "search near you" feature, you will not expect nor want, most likely, to see those types of establishments (schools, nursing homes, etc.). First, they are not restaurants and secondly, they're not open to the public. So, we have our Division of Environmental Health going through the classification of all food establishments and putting them into categories whereby we can let users select the type of food establishment they're interested in looking at and also filter out the establishments not "open to the public" when using a search near me feature.
We do not collect information about price and food type since that doesn't directly impact our goal is to ensure our citizens' health and wellness. However, we do make this data available on http://data.louisvilleky.gov so that maybe one day food establishment inspection scores will be picked up by others', like Urban Spoon, etc.
There could be a "services near me" button which would list the closest offices and services based on the GPS location of the user (fire, police, library, health dept).
We are currently working to provide the Service Directory and Map It information in Louisville Mobile - much like what you've suggested.
The Service Directory is located at http://www.louisvilleky.gov/Services/ and Map It is available from the main page - see "Map City Services" or at http://mapit.louisvilleky.gov.