It’s not quite The Jetsons, but Lafayette Consolidated Government is utlizing new Web technology to bring citizens live traffic video and accident updates. Today, LCG introduced its first Google Gadget. On the iGoogle home page, residents can now add in a gadget from LCG that shows traffic cameras and real time 9-1-1 working accidents and alerts. LCG Chief Information Officer Keith Thibodaux says the application came out of a $5,000 contract with local Web service company Bizzuka to explore ways local government can tap into utilizing Google and smart phone applications. He calls LCG’s new Google Gadget “the tip of the iceberg” of what may be to come in the way of LCG apps on Google, Yahoo, Facebook and your iPhone or Blackberry.
“We’re adding on to our philosophy,” Thibodaux says. “We’re going to put out other gadgets. Now that we have kind of the framework built it gets a lot easier. we’re going to certainly do iPhone and Blackberry applications and I’m pretty sure we’re going to do something on facebook. Our goal is to find wehere people are and push information to them. “
Other gadgets in the works include an iPhone application to allow residents to report potholes. “The iPhone has a GPS in it and so do the Blackberries,” Thibodaux says. “So literally you could be driving down the road see a pothole click your iPhone a couple of times or your Blackberry and boom, it’s reported. It’s done.”
“It’s a little bit more challenging environment for us,” Thibodaux adds, “and we’re discussing of course right now with anybody that’s want to discuss it really, the kinds of things that we could do that would be of value.”