Riskmap.in is a crowdsourced platform that allows citizens to post updates about the waterlogging situation in their respective areas.

 Chennai rains Now a web-based app for citizens to report waterlogging in the cityImage: Chennai/ Facebook.com
news Civic issues Saturday, November 04, 2017 - 18:07

Heavy rains throw everyday life out of gear. Added to the usual inconveniences, there's a lot of misinformation about waterlogging and flooding in the city. Now, a web-based app called Riskmap.in is trying to provide the correct information to citizens through crowdsourcing. 

RiskMap India, a crowdsourced flood reporting platform, was developed by MIT Urban Risk Lab and was launched in Chennai on Wednesday by Citizen Consumer Civic Action Group (CAG), a non-government organisation.

How does it work? 

One needs to visit www.riskmap.in, click on the report flood button, select social media of their choice (which includes Facebook, Twitter or Telegram). They can then follow the instructions to get the unique report link, enter location, enter the flood level, upload a picture, add more information and submit. The report will be updated on the map instantly.

 “The report stays live for 12 hours. We had reduced the live reports to six hours on Wednesday night as there were many reports due to heavy rains. Now the report stays live for 12 hours,” said Satyarupa Shekhar, Director of Government Outreach, CAG.

“People are beginning to use it. For a civic check initiative like this, it is limited to people who have access to smartphones and social media. Moving forward, we want to connect it to ordinary mobile phones so that more people can use it,” she added.

The web-based app currently allows people to report only through social media. 

“It is linked to these accounts so that we can verify the reports,” said Satyarupa.

The app has provisions to identify if the data is accurate or not.

 “It will show all the pictures and areas around the reported place. Once we sort out the information, we forward it to the Chennai Corporation with exact location and problems. We also tag police on Twitter,” said Poornima Chandran, Researcher for Government Outreach, CAG.

 In total, they have received more than 200 reports so far. 

“On Wednesday, we received two reports while on Thursday, we received about 44 reports. We had 173 reports on Friday and on Saturday, as of now, we've got two,” said Poornima.

However, they have been unable to get updates from the Chennai Corporation as to whether the reported problems have been fixed or not.

“We have been trying to collaborate with the Corporation, but due to rains, it has not been possible. Yesterday, Corporation officials called to say that this app is spreading widely and that they have also started using it,” said Poornima. 

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