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New app gives Goa`s potholes a digital address, location pin

Goa's potholes just got a digital address, complete with a GPS location pin. Thanks to a unique collaboration initiative by the ActforGoa, a social platform, NineStack a local tech firm and road safety activist Cecille Rodrigues, a new app, PinIt, may have just given Goa's vigilant citizenry a tech upgrade.

The new app helps users thematically identify assets as well as problem areas in local neighbourhoods and flags them for either promotion or trouble shooting.

"It could be used to pin black spots and areas where trash has accumulated and needs to be cleaned up. It could be used to pin important cultural landmarks that we want to preserve and celebrate from within our communities. Currently we have 11 categories outlined in the app," according to founder of Nine Stack Aaron Fernandez.

PinIt allows users to crowdsource data on issues or assets from within their neighbourhood, and engage with residents from across villages in Goa, whether they are pothole-ridden roads to garbage black spots and heritage sites, football grounds, parks, or recyclers in the area.

It has been successfully piloted in Taleigao village, a Panaji suburb, via Cecille Rodrigues, a social activist who has been spearheading the #Rosto campaign for over a year, campaigning for repair of Goa's pot-hole ridden roads.

The campaign has gone viral thanks to her innovative memes and dance videos with potholes as the focal theme. With the help of PinIt, Cecille claims, she has been able to map 284 road safety issues in the area alone. Each road safety issue mapped by Cecille and local residents has been identified with a GPS indication pin, giving even a pothole on a road a specific address of its own!

"We have submitted the road safety red flagged data which we have collected, to the Taliegao Panchayat and to the Public Works Department for initiating correctives," she said.

According to Fernandez, Pinit could be used to help resolve local micro governance issues.
"The app is designed to help collect data sets on things that are most important for the development and empowerment of communities. For example, when we have complete data sets around road safety or waste management then we can put together accurate budgets for resolving these issues," Fernandez said.