Did you know that FixMyStreet reports can be sent directly into backend systems?

By default, FixMyStreet reports are sent via email to the most appropriate available email address at the responsible authority. When the service first launched in 2007 that made perfect sense, but these days we understand that this is not always convenient for councils using backend systems to manage their fault reports.

The good news is that reports don’t have to be sent via email anymore; they can be sent directly into whichever system(s) you’re using via an Open311 API – and it can be done for free!

The bad news is that, while this is not a new piece of functionality, it isn’t a very well-known one! We’re trying to change that.

What is Open311?

In a nutshell, it’s a free, international technology, known as an open standard, that allows civic reporting services and systems to ‘talk to’ each other.

Setting up an Open311 API endpoint for FixMyStreet will enable you to receive reports from FixMyStreet.com and the app directly into your backend system(s) instead of via email. It will also allow you to close/update reports on FixMyStreet.com or the app when work is completed.

Open311 isn’t new (we’ve been using it to connect to council systems since 2011), but it still isn’t as widely known as it deserves to be.

Getting started with Open311

Setting up an Open311 endpoint yourself to provide access to one or more of your current services shouldn’t take you more than a few days of development: it usually only needs the support of your technical team and some project management time. We can also build and maintain the integration for you if desired for a small annual fee. 

You can find plenty more information here, and you can read our full Open311 technical specification on GitHub. For any other questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll be happy to help. 

About FixMyStreet

If you’re reading this you probably already know what FixMyStreet is, but just in case you don’t: FixMyStreet is a free service built by us, civic technology charity mySociety, to make it easier for anyone to digitally report a problem in their local area without needing to have any knowledge of council boundaries or responsibilities.

The categories of problems that can be reported via FixMyStreet are dictated by you, the council, and we’re always willing to work with you to ensure you are receiving all of the information you need.

FixMyStreet routinely includes the following information in its reports:

  • User’s name, email address, and, if given, phone number
  • Report category
  • Report title and description
  • Easting & northing, latitude & longitude
  • Nearest road to the pin placed on the map (automatically generated by Bing Maps)
  • Nearest postcode to the pin placed on the map (automatically generated)

17 years on from its launch, FixMyStreet acts as a national reporting platform, bringing all of the local authorities and government organisations together on one system, triaging reports between councils at all levels, highways agencies and housing associations. There’s also a Pro version of the software, available for councils that want to use it as their own, provided by our owned subsidiary SocietyWorks. 

Got a question about FixMyStreet? Drop us a message

Image: Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash