New Service Locations mobile app helps clients find public sector service locations
The Population Register Centre and Cybercom have teamed up to develop an augmented reality mobile app to make it easier for citizens to use public sector services. The name of the app is “Service Locations (beta)”. This is the trial version of the service, which will in the future be included as part of the Suomi.fi mobile app.
The app displays the locations of public sector services and uses the augmented reality features of smart phones to make it easier for you to find them. The information is retrieved from the Suomi.fi Finnish Service Catalogue, which contains details on the services and service channels provided by public sector organisations. The same information stored in the Finnish Service Catalogue also forms the base for details on Suomi.fi services and service locations.
“The app shows public service locations on the map. These locations include government agencies, libraries, indoor swimming pools, parking meters, sports fields, day-care centres, schools, health centres and other services financed from public funds. When you turn a mobile device, the device’s camera opens to show the landscape in front of you and the locations of near-by service locations will be displayed on top of this view,” explains Joonas Kankaanrinne, Director of the Population Register Centre’s Development Unit.
In its initial phase the Service Locations (beta) app will be available for Android devices. The version for iOS devices is in development.
Data from the Suomi.fi Finnish Service Catalogue to be made available to other actors
“The Service Locations app, which utilises data from the Suomi.fi Finnish Service Catalogue, is a fantastic example of how new innovative services can be built by using the Suomi.fi services, in this case, the service descriptions registered in the Finnish Service Catalogue. I encourage all organisations to keep information related to their services up to date, as the number of services that utilise service descriptions from the Finnish Service Catalogue and make it easier to find other services is likely to increase in the future,” Kankaanrinne continues.
It is also possible for other actors to build new innovative apps on top of the Suomi.fi Finnish Service Catalogue’s data, as anyone can use the data since it is available via an open interface.
“This is an excellent example of how agile and bold the public sector is in trying out how new technologies can be used to develop innovative services. The entire Cybercom team is thrilled that the Service Locations mobile app will be available to all Finns before the end of this year,” says Harri Salminen, Business Unit Director for Connected Solutions.
You can find the Service Locations (beta) app in the Android app store by entering “Service Locations” and “Suomi.fi” into the search box or go to web address: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.suomifi.palvelutietovaranto
Population Register Centre, Joonas Kankaanrinne, Development, Director, tel. +358 295 535 233, firstname.lastname[at]vrk.fi
Cybercom, Harri Salminen, Business Unit Director, Connected Solutions, tel. +358 50 549 6572, firstname.lastname[at]cybercom.com
What is Suomi.fi?
Suomi.fi is an online service which contains all public administration services and communication channels collectively. The service is intended for citizens and companies. The service allows citizens to check their own data in the registers of various authorities, to use the public administration’s e-services with one log-in and to receive mail from authorities in electronic format.
You can switch, for example, from the Finnish Transport Safety Authority's services to Kela's services without signing out in between. You can also use the service to search for information on situations in which you have to use the services of various authorities. These kinds of situations include, for example, the birth of a child, divorce, becoming unemployed or the death of a relative. In addition to this, the service provides information and guidance on entrepreneurship.
The Suomi.fi web service includes an electronic mandate service Suomi.fi e-Authorizations, which will make it much easier for older people and people who are staying abroad for an extended amount of time to grant a mandate to another person to act on their behalf when using the public administration services. An entrepreneur can also grant a mandate to another person to act on behalf of their company.