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APP REVIEW: MyTown
Creating a connected smart city brings many benefits to a municipality, but much of the software available falls short of helping municipalities connect with the residents who call it home and tourists who come to visit. Small and medium-sized municipalities also don’t have access to the same resources and funding as larger cities, so harnessing technology to make smart improvements is another challenge.
MyTown by Realterm Energy is a powerful smart city platform developed specifically for small and medium-sized towns. Its functionality covers many important services, opens up communication tools with residents, and offers a trusted source of information for tourists. In North America, 30 cities covering up to 3.6 million citizens are already using MyTown.
The Starter functionality of MyTown includes:
- News and events: Promote local events, share significant local news, and other information, so citizens stay informed.
- Report a problem: Quickly learn about issues encountered by residents and tourists, such as potholes and graffiti.
- Facebook: Citizens can easily check for up-to-the-minute updates on your town’s Facebook.
- Twitter: Bring your Twitter live feed into your portal.
- Contact Us: Direct citizens to the appropriate contact information for their needs.
- Hotline: This anonymous hotline is designed for reports of sensitive or illegal information so that the appropriate authorities can take action faster. These tips can be mapped to an 800-foot area on smart maps and provide you with valuable data for trend analysis.
- Smart maps: You can report information from your connected sensors and devices for resource allocation. You can also make this data available to citizens through MyTown. For example, they could access temperature sensors to get local weather information before making plans for the day.
Add-on features with MyTown include:
- Active Living Map: Create a points of interest resource for active living, such as cycling and hiking trails, bike lockers, recreational facilities, and libraries.
- Discover: Help tourists find accommodations, things to do, and cultural offers in your town.
- Trails: Create trail maps.
- School and Bus Alerts: Announce important school information, show school district boundaries, and list schools in your area.
- Careers: Help residents find jobs at local businesses.
- Aquatics Schedule: Display schedules for local swimming areas and facilities.
- Skating and Shinny: Provide schedules for arenas in your town.
- Virtual Reality: Offer interactive virtual town tours, photos, and videos to attract new residents and tourists.
- Parks and Recreation: Give citizens schedules for your parks, sports leagues, and other activities.
- Business Directory: Help citizens find local business information through multiple search options.
- Garbage and Recycling: This section details everything relating to waste pickup and recycling.
- Roads and Planning: Keep citizens updated on road work, road expansions, and other information that can impact how they get around town.
- Hospitals: Get a convenient source for citizens to find local hospital information when they need it the most.
- Elections: Encourage residents to engage with local politics by helping them learn more about the candidates, where the voting locations are, and if you’re on the voter list
- Overnight Parking: If parking is at a premium in your municipality, give details about the fees involved in overnight parking, rules surrounding parking, and other information.
- Have Your Say: Solicit citizen comments to get direct feedback so you can improve your town.
- Government: This section provides information about all local elected officials
Why the MyTown App Exists
MyTown provides a centralized portal that local governments can use to connect with residents and tourists. They gain a tool to have two-way communications with citizens, offer many municipal services, and provide town information in a user-friendly format.
Who MyTown is Meant For
MyTown is intended for the local government of small and medium-sized towns and the residents and tourists who need to access information and services.
Benefits of the MyTown App
MyTown has a lot to offer, giving towns an excellent jumping-off point for leveraging the power of smart city technology.
- Residents and tourists can use a single portal for all vital services and information, rather than jumping between multiple department websites and other local resources.
- End-user access to your town’s resources takes place through a user-friendly interface directly from their smartphones.
- Facilitate tourism by highlighting town attractions and showing tourists what makes your town special.
- MyTown integrates with the Smart Maps Asset Management platform, bringing together your town’s Internet of Things sensor data, smart city applications, internet data, and a cloud repository together into a single interface. Examples of sensors you can use for your smart town include air quality, water quality, video, lighting, bus, waste management, traffic light, fleet, noise, vibration, sewer drain level, parking, and soil moisture. You gain real-time data visualizations and analysis and choose which data gets shared to backend and frontend users.
- Learn from other smart municipalities and discover best practices, recommendations, and additional useful information through the Smart City Knowledge Network.
- Reduce operating costs of your town through the productivity and efficiency improvements offered by smart city technology.
- Improve resident engagement by making it easy for them to send in complaints, access essential services, and contact local government agencies.
- Streamline commonplace city services so residents and tourists can quickly lookup standard information, pay fees, and use other self-service options.
- Improve your town’s response time to public safety and security concerns.
- Prioritize municipal resources by leveraging available data from sensors and other sources.
- Make your town more attractive for residents and businesses through your MyTown portal.
Drawbacks of the MyTown App
MyTown and the integrated Smart Maps Asset Management Platform offer much functionality, and some municipalities may be overwhelmed at trying to figure out how to make it work for their town. It could take a significant amount of time to implement fully.
If towns have already invested in a mobile app, large-scale website, or a similar option for disseminating information to residents and tourists, it may be challenging to decide to switch to an entirely new platform.
MyTown App Pricing
MyTown itself is free to municipalities and citizens. If you want access to the Smart Maps Asset Management Platform, you need to pay. The pricing details are not publicly available, but the developer positions them as affordable.
Alternatives to the MyTown App
GovPilot is a cloud-based platform designed for local governments to offer operational and constituent service processes on a single system. It focuses more on the standardization and digitization of local government services than acting as an all-in-one smart city portal with citizen communication channels.
Geoteamze City is a smart city and public safety collaboration platform that helps local governments automate local departments, such as police, fire, utilities, and EMT services. It facilitates cross-department collaboration so city agencies can work together to improve their area.
It leverages a wide range of advanced technology to make this happen, including AI, machine learning, augmented reality, multiple collaborative chat options, cloud-based infrastructure, and smart mapping functionalities. The biggest difference between Geoteamz and MyTown is that MyTown offers a user experience for citizens along with the smart city backend.
MyTown is an excellent platform for smaller municipalities to begin leveraging smart city technology, and better using the resources that they have available.