Aerial views and location codes

We’ve recently introduced two new ways to locate yourself, and your reports, on FixMyStreet.

From up in the air

You might have noticed a discreet little ‘aerial’ button on the bottom of FixMyStreet’s map pages recently.

The 'aerial' button on FixMyStreet map pages

This toggles the view from the usual Ordnance Survey maps to a Bing aerial satellite view:

Map and aerial view on FixMyStreet

We hope this will make it easier for people to locate their reports accurately, in those cases where it’s a bit easier to identify landmarks from above.

This isn’t an entirely new departure for FixMyStreet: as far back as 2013 the site we made for the City of Zurich had a satellite view as default — and indeed, it still does.

At the moment, this feature is available on the nationwide fixmystreet.com, and on fifteen client authorities’ sites. Why not all authorities’ implementations? It’s basically to do with whether they have their own map servers: where we host the maps, it’s obviously more straightforward for us to deliver the alternative view.

Open Location Codes

Another option to help you find just the right spot for your report comes with the introduction of Open Location Codes, also known as OLCs or Plus Codes.

Coincidentally, these also have a connection with Zurich, as they were developed in Google’s offices there. They’re basically a more convenient and quicker way of entering latitude and longitude, and can be used to identify any spot on the planet (though of course, each FixMyStreet site has its own bounds).

As their name suggests, OLCs are open source and available for anyone to use. Want to try it out? Google Maps on mobile gives you an OLC when you drop a pin: see more details here.

This function adds to the number of ways you can search for a location on FixMyStreet from the homepage search box, which include inputting a postcode, a street name, an area, a town or city, latitude and longitude, and allowing the site to auto-locate you.

So here’s hoping these developments will allow for ever more accuracy in report locations.

 

Image: William Hook

 

FixMyStreet Pro blog

FixMyStreet Pro is the street & environment reporting service that integrates with any council system.

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