The governor has launched a website for proposals for how to use any federal stimulus money that comes Virginia’s way, where anybody can suggest infrastructure that is in need of improvement.

That’s not particularly exciting, though: the awesomesauce is in the licensing and the back end. Any submitted ideas are released under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license, allowing anybody to reuse them with credit. And anybody can download the submitted ideas, right now as an Excel file, but soon as more useful formats (CSV, XML, etc.) So these suggestions aren’t going into a black box where they can be ignored by the government, but made available to anybody and everybody. But not just for reading, but even re-appropriation. These could be mashed up with maps, census data, state finance data, legislative data…you name it. Which means that tax dollars aren’t going to making a fancy website, but instead the free market can take care of it. That’s my kind of government.

By way of disclosure, I had a (very) limited role in the planning and development of this website.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

3 replies on “”

  1. I’m all for the web 2.0 stuff but I’m not sure how seriously we’re taking this. Here’s my fave so far…

    Project 515 Giant Friggin Map

    “I think we should build a giant friggin map of Virginia. Like, a life sized map. I know what you are thinking, where would we store this giant map of virgina since it will be as big as virgina we won’t have anywhere to store it. Well, how about Maryland, no one likes Maryland except for my buddy Sung. Maybe we could cut a hole out of the map so he could still live in his apartment and have wii parties.”

  2. How many folks realize this is available publicly when they make the submission? I mean, it may be in a disclaimer, but is everyone reading that?

    I’m happy to see it’s open, though. Interesting to see who’s trying to game the system in the early days.

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