The city of the Hague (Den Haag in Dutch) faces social challenges with robotisation taking away work that has traditionally been assigned to people requiring help with social inclusion (people with low education or immigrants). Keeping the city clean is progressively improving in efficiency through mechanisation, automation and AI. As a consequence less people are needed. The role for social inclusion that The Hague was providing through these positions is not possible much longer. Finding alternative jobs for these people is difficult and the city of the Hague is addressing the situation.


Mapgage was selected to consider ways to integrate digitalisation in the daily work of these people in an accessible and usable manner for them. A consequent expectation was for value to be created through learning of digital skills and generation of data.

We spent a few weeks of observation; asking questions and looking at the way the sweepers work. The point of this observation period was for us to gather knowledge and avoiding any pre-conceived judgements. We realised that there was much more to sweeping and keeping the city clean. These are people (270) who spend at least 6 hours per day walking throughout all the avenues, streets, sidewalks and alleys of the city .

The Hague’s sweepers cover 25,000 km by foot each week !
That’s over 1 Million kilometers each year.

They are familiar with each stone, tree, road sign, bench of the city that they come across repeatedly day after day. They are also the ones we as citizens go to when there is a garbage, degradation or any other issue we want to share with city administration. They are the faces of the city administration. We have seen that they go through great efforts to forward your requests back to the city administration. They are proud and appreciate being empowered beyond the mere act of sweeping. They love and care for their city. There is already more to their work of sweepers, we considered how to help them by staying within our objectives.
This is where we, as Mapgage, with our knowledge on transforming intelligence into data and our solution for digitalisation of field operations provide value.

Mapgage: We transform intelligence into data.

We realised that they are the city’s customer service equivalent for citizens as well as for city assets.

They have a job as sweepers whereby they keep cities clean, but there is much more to that, they have knowledge. They are the eyes and the ears of the city.

As eyes and ears of the city, the sweepers have incredible value to city administrations. Ask any city administrators how many empty shops they have in their city. Where are those shops located? No one can provide you with an answer to those questions – except for the city sweepers.
Ask any city administrators where they have defective manholes in their town. A sweeper can provide that answer.
As eyes and ears of the city, the sweepers can provide answers to numerous questions that are essential to correctly administrating a city.

They can supply data to the city, and this is where we helped them with transforming information into data. Not only is their job extended to creating data for the city, that data has value. This is a new service of data generation that can be sold to all departments within the city.

Mapgage devised a tool that would respond to an array of constraints some of which are -usable by people who do not speak the language, -avoiding private browsing, -requiring limited time from their main job, -upgradable to custom data needs,… Mapgage extended its cloud platform with tablet or mobile apps to integrate a smartwatch app; MapgageWear.

MapgageWear as a concept for creation of information by sweepers has been developed into an operating MVP. MapgageWear creates geo-referenced images associated to field categories for the Mapgage platform.

Conscious that multiple stakeholders can have various expectations and use cases, we are searching for more launching customers. As a launching customer, this is an opportunity for you to learn from our knowledge on digitalisation of field operations and collaborate in the creation of a product.