Geospatial Technology Made Simple

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Ragi Burhum
Ragi Burhum, AmigoCloud

AmigoCloud

“AmigoCloud has been named by GovTech100 for three consecutive years as one of the companies that are making a difference in creating technology for governments.”

Based in San Francisco with an extra location in Lima, Peru, AmigoCloud was established by a team of GIS experts in 2013 to harness location data. Since then, they have helped hundreds of groups to analyze their mapping workflows with AmigoCollect and solved highly complex geospatial difficulties through AmigoPlatform.

Stimulated by StartX (Stanford) and Code for America, AmigoCloud has been awarded by GovTech100 for three consecutive years as one of the companies that are creating a difference in creating technology for governments.

Governments can take the help of their software for better decision-making in many ways. AmigoCollect, is their field data collection platform, is being used to map potholes, roads, maintenance holes, assets in parks, sewage pipes, traffic signs, cadaster, government infrastructure, among other subjects. Think about something one may want to collect on the field, and the company is up to it. Using real-time transit information and the position of city buses, they have an AmigoPlatform solution that permits finding optimal public transportation directions. The data collected every day can be conceived public for research and route optimization.

The company has developed a surveillance platform designed to enhance property tax collection in the shortest possible time by utilizing existing data sources and the latest mapping technologies when proceeding to the field.

According to Ragi Burhum, CEO of AmigoCloud, one of the main problems of informality in Peru is property taxes not being appropriately paid. Households may dodge fees, or underpay by claiming to only a one-story home when they have more. The issue for local governments is that verifying property tax returns is a costly process, requiring investigators to go into the field and compare what is on the ground corresponding official records. Even preliminary reviews of locales can be time-consuming and manpower-intensive.

To discuss some of these issues, AmigoCloud has been testing its AmigoCollect field data collection program with local government in Lima, the capital of Peru, to facilitate faster and more cost-effective field data. Unlike related surveying solutions, AmigoCollect only needs inspectors to be equipped with an Android or iOS smartphone and demands no training in GIS. The answer is cloud-based, permitting inspectors to enter data as they travel around a region, uploading data in real-time. The mapping element of the solution is based on open industry types, and the company presents easy-to-use APIs for easy integration between existing arrangements and the AmigoCollect platform.

By employing smartphones as collection devices, the field teams can obtain visual reference data like satellite maps while on-site, accumulate geo-referenced information, and attach multimedia files as required. In the test design, the local government was able to identify and target market areas, where there was the best possibility of increasing tax collection. The solution decreases the number of working hours by about four-fifths, which not only preserves on labor cost but also has a knock-on reduction in reduced travel costs, which were cut by about 30 percent.

Burham says that better field data could bring other benefits to government bureaus: “Having this type of information refreshed can lead to better urban planning and perception of the changes experienced within communities.” AmigoCloud is striving to take the solution to other nations in Latin America and Africa, where informality is a challenge. It has already been deployed in various roles such as road mapping and preservation, asset management, and is also being tested with transportation officials in Santiago, Chile, for trip preparation.

The startup will recapitulate developing current projects, such as a geo-mapping plan in collaboration with Peru’s National Commission of Aerospatial Research and Development (CONIDA).