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We live in a world of Apps these days. There are apps to take photos, to issue diary reminders, to keep a journal, to play games, to socialise online with others, whatever you can think of, as the saying goes: There’s an app for that!
But there is one app that is not available yet that we’d dearly like to see. A Heritage Crime App – A crowd-sourced app for centrally compiling statistics on heritage crime.
There is something that comes very close, and that’s an app developed by Abavus/iTouchVision for reporting problems to your local council, called aptly ‘UK – My Council Services‘. It’s available free for all the major platforms; iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone and web, and allows a user (after registering) to send a report to their local council (selectable) about things such as abandoned cars, noise nuisance, litter, potholes in roads etc – there’s a long list of report types available and reports can include photos taken ‘on the scene’. Compiled reports are then forwarded on to the relevant Council.
Now imagine a similar app ‘My Heritage‘ that would allow a user out on a site visit to capture details of a heritage crime: graffiti, broken windows, metal theft, tractor or 4WD ruts on/near a scheduled monument, damaged information boards or other vandalism. Photographic evidence could be taken, and geotagged for inclusion in the reports which would then be automatically forwarded to the relevant authorities; National Trust, English Heritage, CADW, the Police, ARCH, County Archaeologists (if there are any left!) Instant statistics would be available to organisations to quantify hotspots for crime by type, location etc. which could prove invaluable in the efforts to reduce such crime.
An alternate version of such an app could also prove very useful for crowdsourced surveys such as this recent example on the Isles of Scilly, checking for coastal erosion.
So how about it, any app developers out there fancy following up on this one? Are any of the large organisations already investigating going down this path that we haven’t heard about yet? What heritage related app would you like to see available, or better yet, which apps do you already use, and why?