“That may sound dull. But tech geeks transform banal local government spreadsheets about train schedules, complaint systems, potholes, street lamp repairs and city garbage into useful applications for mobile phones and the Web,” Sutter reports. “The aim is to let citizens report problems to their governments more easily and accurately; and to put public information, which otherwise may be buried in file cabinets and Excel files, at the fingertips of taxpayers.”
Sutter reports, “By some accounts, the trend is turning the government-voter relationship on its head and could usher in a new era of grassroots democracy.”
“Residents of Washington, for example, can use the DC 311 iPhone app to take photos of graffiti, potholes and other trouble spots,” Sutter reports. “The photos are paired with GPS locations and then uploaded straight from the street into a database that local officials can see.”
Full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dale E.” for the heads up.]