Quite by accident I appear to have started a Twitter map for Brighton and Hove. Hove, actually. (Sorry, this is an in joke, those of you don’t live here.)
The map – which is currently useless, and will need other people’s help to get anywhere – is really just an attempt to straighten out who you might offer some kind of information on Twitter to if you’re a passer-by and find something disturbing/important that needs an authority to sort out.
So, for example, today I was in King Alfred’s Leisure Centre (he doesn’t actually own it, it’s just the name) and, as I waited to be served, I heard that the car-park ticket machine wasn’t working. The lady at reception didn’t know who to contact or who it’s owned by (it’s a local authority car park and, while the pool is owned by Brighton and Hove City Council, it’s run by Freedom Leisure, so she might not be expected to know).
So, anyway, I tweeted @brightonandhovecc. And someone there (and I’d love to know their name, but understandably they don’t give them out) told me that the message would be passed on to Brighton and Hove Transport, who also have a Twitter account. Great. That person told me that this information had been passed on and thanked me. I thanked them (cue warm civic feeling).
All this is good, but how often, I thought, am I unable to work out who I should contact? I’m fairly adept at the old Twitter, but not everyone even knows as much as me. And how would they find out? Twitter’s great at helping to get information into the right hands, but it needs a little finessing, right?
The same is true for the police, who in Sussex are pretty damn awesome at the Twitters. I should know, we at Public-i, have been helping them. That’s why I know, for example, that PCSO Nick Packham is in Hove Seafront and, if I tweet him at the right time, I can ask him about stuff and the like. He’s a smashing bloke, so he’ll tell me what’s up, etc. and he’d do the same for anyone else who lives in his patch. Again, great. But making the connections between people is what matters, right?
So this is what the map (lame as it is) sets out to do. It tries (for my purposes, at least) to map out who the folk are that should hear about something if there’s a problem (or can help when you need assistance). It strikes me that it could include resident associations and other groups that pay attention to a specific place, so could be quite helpful to all sorts.
OK, so it’s a Google map and that doesn’t mean it’ll be winning any usability awards in the near future – but it’s a start, right?
UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who has added stuff (I’m going to have to make a list). I’ve now made some very simple instructions for anyone who’d like to add stuff but is struggling with Google Maps (don’t worry we’ve all been there). Follow this link to the post to find out more.
View Twitter map for Brighton in a larger map
Oh – by the way – if you want to put something on the map or edit it please do. I’m not going to get this done on my own!!!