Swindon Borough Council’s emerging technology team was set up in 2019 with the objective of using new technologies and innovative ways of working to design better public services. One of their first projects, in collaboration with Methods, used object detection and machine learning to enable the streamlining and channel-agnostic reporting of street issues. It was then combined with advanced data visualisation to predict issues and expedite fulfilment. You can view this proof of concept here.
Swindon built on this PoC to deliver the ‘Report It’ project, in response to the challenge of dealing with over 300+ incidents of fly-tipping reports per month. In many of these cases, the accuracy of the location, the type and size of the discarded items would be unknown. The solution was to use open architecture where possible, alongside the council’s existing Jadu forms and case management solution. Amazon Web Services (AWS) was used to apply the Rekognition cognitive service, enabling an understanding of what items would be within an image using its image recognition and machine learning algorithms, as well as open data sources from around the web to provide source dimension and weight data. Finally, open source and free tier tools provided route optimisation and prioritisation of the daily jobs list to Streetsmart team via the Jadu case management solution. What really stood out on this project was that it went from idea to proof of concept in as little as 3 months. You can view the 4 part case study here.
The awards were hosted at the Marriott Grosvenor Square last night (29th September), their purpose is to celebrate the pioneers of technology whilst encouraging excellence.