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.