If Boston is anything like New York, the city is busy dealing a massive number of potholes this winter. But before the city can fill them, they need to know where they are, so Boston is testing a clever cellphone app that reports the potholes automatically.
Street Bump uses the phone's accelerometer to sense when your car hits a big pothole, then geotags the spot using the phone's GPS, and then forwards this information automatically to the local authorities. This means no direct human action is needed to report a problem, unlike here in New York where we are told to call the city's 311 hotline.
For the now Street Bump is in its initial testing phase, and its developers admit that they're having a tough time differentiating between actual potholes and other road irregularities. Thousands of developers are beta testing the software, lured by a $25,000 prize for the person who can solve these problems.
This all sounds very cool, but at least here in New York, finding potholes really doesn't require this level of technology. You can simply pick any street at random and start counting.