Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Paradigm shift ... citizen use of open data systems

Dear Colleagues

The paradigm shift to a more functional data driven society is beginning ... slowly, but quite certainly.

I just saw this post ... the URL is
In Seattle, Tracking Buses in Real-Time
Nick Judd | July 7, 2010 - 9:56am

Here's an example of something useful made with public data: One Bus Away, an open-source application that gets data on bus schedules and locations in and around Seattle to show you in real time where your bus is, where it's going to be, and when it should get there.

Local TV news station KING 5, in King County, Wash., had this recent report, including the following exchange:

It's pretty sad to say it [smart phone] has my life on it," Joyce told KING 5.

Every day, Jen saves ten minutes with one mobile app in particular -- One Bus Away.

"I can take either the 10 or 11 bus," said Joyce. 'one Bus Away' lets Jen know in real-time when a Metro bus is arriving or late.

The movement to open local governments using access to their data is taking off rapidly in municipalities, and based on the reports we've seen about apps coming from San Francisco, Boston and other cities, and from conversations over the last few months with some of the open-government and open-data advocates based here in New York, to be gaining particular traction around apps for public transit. Advocates here in New York have described this as the first step in making government more responsive and maybe, ultimately, more participatory — working on projects like this is a chance to build trust between entrepreneurs outside government and staffers within it who are willing to experiment.

Seattle is one of a few notable open-source service delivery testbeds in the nation, alongside San Francisco, Ca., Boston, Mass., New Haven, Conn. — home to the third-party public nuisance management system ClickFix ... URL is — and New York, N.Y., where techPresident hangs out; and tiny Manor, Tex., an Austin suburb which has its own Expert Labs-style think tank on how to use open data and other technologies to make the city better. Here's Seattle's open data repository.
Just imagine what is going to happen when all government funded activities are subject to real time citizen review ... image what would be happening today in countries round the world if governments were being held accountable in a meaningful way for the decisions being made by the leadership ... just image how corporate behavior is going to change when more and more of this style of fact based feedback is the big driver of market performance.

Very exciting. Stay tuned ... a lot more of this is coming.

Peter Burgess

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