Government and Transit 2.0


The concept of Government 2.0 is buzzing around the conversations of freelance developers and public officials alike.  The idea is to create transparency of government and to facilitate better communication between decision makers and affected populations. It is such a popular topic at the moment that a simple search of Twitter reveals 45 people talking about it in the last hour alone.  The people tweeting include the CIO of the City of Edmonton, an internet radio broadcaster, a mobile app developer, an issue documenting web service called SeeClickFix, and Katie Jacobs Stanton, Barack Obama's appointee to the position of Director of Citizen Participation.  She worked at Google previously.

Government 2.0 so far has manifested itself in a variety of examples. Routsey is an iPhone app that allows users to access public bus routes and schedules in San Francisco.  It uses data from nextbus.com. BART Droid is a similar app for Google's Android system that connects users with public transit data for BART, the San Francisco Bay Area's regional train system.  It includes a zoom-able system map and fares and uses data from bart.gov.  The State of Massachusetts Department of Transportation hosts a developers' webpage with resources and links to available real-time and static transportation data.  Recently, the Department held a developers challenge to produce software of physical installations using the publicly-available data.  The results were impressive and saved the state tens of thousands of dollars.  A national example is SeeClickFix, which "matches issues and fixes by keyword and geography."

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