As I was catching up on e-mail this morning I was listening to morning news in the background (efficient, no?). What caught my attention was the fact that Channel 7 in Boston is planning to review many of the new MBTA mobile applications tonight.
Yes, stories about the MBTA releasing data is not new, several stories, this one for example ”Taking the guesswork out of taking the subway“, have been written. However, this is the first time I remember seeing television news reviewing applications. This matters. Why?
- Most citizens do not understand what open data is or why they should care.
- Citizens do understand when value is being delivered. Understanding how an inexpensive application can save them time and aggravation will resonate with people.
Ultimately, open data only matters if it is turned into useful information through applications, through journalist in researching stories, or through some other means that goes beyond the 1s and 0s geeks care about. We’re on the right track here, everyone.