The CTO for Washingon DC government ran an "Apps for Democracy"
contest for online tools that really help people with getting help
from the government and getting on with their lives. This is a crowd
sourcing model that has real, useful results that can be generalized
throughout the country and maybe beyond.
Normally, in real life, it would take far longer and been much more
expensive to have developed these. Check out dps.dc.gov for the list. Here're a few good results from the contest.
Point About (iPhone app) Do you find yourself in a hurry, walking
down Connecticut Avenue wondering where the closest Metro is, Dupont
Circle or Farragut North, and what time the train is coming? Point About is a real-time, location-aware D.C. alerting
tool for the iPhone, which includes crime reports, building permits
and more, all from where you are standing.
DC Historic Tours, for folks
ready to tour our nation's capital. You can create a custom map, for example Inauguration Route, identify
the walking distance and points of interest. Planning for lunch on
the way, you can research restaurants, etc, in the area, and
save it and reference it later when you're ready to tour the city. DC
Historic Tours is a Google Maps mashup that combines custom
tour creation with Flickr photo feeds and Wikipedia entries.
Enter your address and iLive.at will present you with information
tailored to that exact location, cleanly organized into categories.
The "Errands" category indicates how far the nearest shopping center,
post office and convenience store are, among other things. "Crime"
tabulates recently reported offenses in your area, and "The People"
displays colorful pie charts giving demographic information that
includes age range, ethnicity, and marital status.