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Developers Using Government Data to Create Useful Apps

This is the age of the Internet, where information is king and if you happen to be a crafty, driven, entrepreneur, you can find a way to make money off of the public and private exchange of any and all information. Essentially, it's how bloggers become celebrities (Perez Hilton) and websites become lucrative (FaceBook). Unbeknown to them, the United States government has recently made this kind of endeavor all the easier for those seeking to monetize what to some people may be nothing more than a bunch of boring city stats.

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By: Joe Eitel
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January 06, 2010
  1. · Developers Using Government Data to Create Useful Apps
  2. · Major Cities Participate
  3. · Good Data and Junk
  4. · Progress Continues

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Developers Using Government Data to Create Useful Apps
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Many local governments are currently in the process of figuring out how they can use the Internet to make government data more accessible to their citizens. The intention is for web-savvy developers to find ways to use this date in order to create websites and mobile apps.

Obviously, cities and their governments aren't simply doing this out of the kindness of their hearts. The hope is that releasing this information and having it be transformed into something useful will cause people to view their city government differently, in a more positive light.

The effort being made by local governments to release this information is being referred to as open-data, and advocates of this trend believe that this newly-released information can provide citizens with insight about what is going on in their own neighborhoods -- and also will enable them to create more informed opinions about how their local government is performing in relation to crime, public transportation, and a number of other important topics.

Gavin Newsom, the mayor of San Francisco, is just one of many government officials in support of turning over data to developers. "It will change the way citizens and government interact, but perhaps most important, it's going to change the way elected officials and civil servants deliver programs, services and promises," Newsom said. San Francisco is just one of the major cities pioneering this new movement by releasing a huge amount of government data to web developers.

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