Great article on why governments should operate as data stewards and focus their resources on making data open so that third parties can incorporate it into their apps.
The civic entrepreneurs behind Open Counter recently launched a new service called Zoning Check that lets prospective businesses quickly and easily check municipal zoning ordinances to determine where they can locate a new business.
This elegantly simple app demonstrates the true power of zoning information, and underscores the need for more work on developing standard data specifications between governments that generate similar kinds of data.
In a recent review of this new app, writer Alex Howard contrasts the simple, intuitive interface of Zoning Check with the web-based zoning maps produced by different municipal governments. Zoning Check is obviously much easier to use, especially for its intended audience of prospective business owners. And while this certainly is but one of many potential uses for zoning information, it’s hard to argue with the quality of the app or how much different it is than a standard government zoning map.
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