Making OpenGov useful… and wicked cool

I’ve been railing on the concept that the focus on Open Government needs to shift to effective use of open government data – and creating user experiences that make people WANT to use such applications and WANT to participate and collaborate more.

Came across this great example today…

Vancouver’s “Social Map of Vancouver Open Data”… it does all of the interesting things you’d expect from an open data mapping solution… but adds an extra edge by integrating with twitter… mapping tweets and allowing you to add and rate landmarks (using a very cool wheel UI in Silverlight)

Pasted a picture of it below… it’s a great, creative example of how to mix it up to make the data more relevant to consumers – and how to build a user experience that is compelling and will foster repeat use and participation (the initial map zoom in is really slick... and the birds-eye views along with the wheel and tag pushpins are great).