FixMyStreet: The geography of citizen reporting

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Peter Matthews, Alasdair Rae, Elvis Nyanzu, Alex Parsons

This project includes a short report and a set of online maps and data produced as part of a collaboration between researchers at the University of Stirling, the University of Sheffield and mySociety. The work was funded by the Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC), which was established by the UK Economic and Social Research Council as part of phase two of the Big Data Network.

In this report we provide commentary on our attempt to understand spatial patterns of citizen reporting on local issues though mySociety's FixMyStreet app and website over an eleven year period.


  1. Introduction
  2. What is FixMyStreet?
  3. What do we know about citizen reporting?
  4. What do we know about local environmental issues?
  5. FixMyStreet outputs: an overview
  6. FixMyStreet: methodological FAQs
    1. What do your maps tell me about the quality of my local environment?
    2. Why do your maps cover an eleven year period?
    3. There are a lot of dots in my area: does this mean my neighbourhood is worse than others?
    4. Doesn't the pattern of reporting say more about the underlying urban fabric than anything else?
    5. What about duplicate reports? Do you include them?
    6. What does a high level of reporting indicate?
    7. Why are there no map outputs for county councils?
    8. What do the maps and data actually tell us, then?
    9. Does a high reporting level of dropped banana peels suggest a superhero lives nearby?
  7. What does all this tell us and what have we learned?
  8. Acknowledgements

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Cite this

Matthews, P., Rae, A., Nyanzu, E. and Parsons, A. (2018). FixMyStreet: The geography of citizen reporting. [online] mySociety Research. Available at: [Accessed 15 Nov 2019].