When the Lights Go Down in the City...

 Who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters? When will they get a web site? I hate calling people now; but, I’m anti-social like that. Ah, but when the lights go out there is a web site for you to log in to for reporting the problem to your local utility – StreetLightOutages.com. Built by iFactor Consulting, StreetLightOutages.com offers a complete solution allowing reports about outdoor light problems through the Internet…and uses Bing Maps to do it. There are 2 things you can do on StreetLightOutages.com – (1) report an outdoor light problem in your neighborhood; (2) integrate / manage light reports for your organization.



Reporting an Outdoor Light Problem

I was in New Orleans last week for the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, so my hotel address is still in my head – let’s report an outage there. I put in the address, zoomed to the location and right clicked on the map to set my location – a checkmark image appears next to the “Location” attribute in the form to let me know it has been set. I complete the rest of the form – Name; Phone; Email; Local Utility (which I have no idea); Pole Number (which if I was there I could actually tell you); Trouble Type – select from Light Out, Light On During Day (nice energy saver), Light Dim, Light Noisy, Light Cycling On/Off, Animal Nest (ewe), Exposed Wires (you should probably stay away from that); and Other. Fill out the comments and click Submit. After you submit the record, a submission gets sent to the appropriate utilities for fixing the issue.






Integrate & Manage Your Light Reports for an Organization

Now, let’s say you want to add a StreetLightOutages map onto your own web site. Per the web site – with the StreetLightOutages.com platform, light reports can be entered directly on your website or through the public portal, all with no programming or expensive custom integration. Well, I tried this and it was pretty straightforward. You sign up, set some properties for the map, stick an iFrame tag in your web page with some optional properties, specify the domain your application will be hosted on and you’re done (see below – the formatting is a little jacked up because I’m limited to a 520 pixel blog width). And, I like red.





There are also has a set of web services available for you to programmatically integrate StreetLightOutages Maps into your site, update incidents and manage assets. They even provide code samples for integrating (including JavaScript samples) for all you kiddies out there. Powerful stuff for all you energy folks – no pun intended. Now, how cool would Photosynth fit into this equation? Maybe synth the poles themselves? IDK – just throwing out ideas.




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