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'Street Bump' App Maps and Reports Potholes as Your Car Hits Them

The city of Boston is developing a new app called Street Bump, which would allow citizens to report potholes to city officials without even lifting a finger. The app, which is currently in development, uses a smartphone's GPS receiver and accelerometer to sense whenever a moving car hits a bump, and is reportedly accurate enough to pick up on cracks and divots in the road. Whenever Street Bump senses some roadway interference, it automatically sends an alert to city officials, who can then take care of the problem before it worsens.

The app was developed by Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino's Office of New Urban Mechanics, which launched a similarly civic-minded app called Citizen's Connect in 2009. Thus far, Street Bump (available in the Android Market) has performed pretty well on test drives, though developers are still trying to filter out extraneous noise, like sewers and elevated crosswalks. They're also planning on launching an open competition through, which will award $25,000 to the programmers who can come up with the best improvements to the app.

Speaking to the Boston Globe, developer Chris Osgood acknowledged that there's still some work to do on the prototype, but seemed optimistic that Street Bump could go a long way toward improving his commute. "We're constantly looking for new ways to make sure that roads are as smooth as they possibly can be, and we believe that Street Bump is a first-in-the nation app,'' Osgood said.

Tags: accelerometer, android, apps, boston, car, cellphones, civic, GPS, potholes, road, smartphone, streetbump, streetbump app, StreetbumpApp, top, transportation

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