11/26/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Serious Civics Apps a Big Deal in San Francisco


People are using the Net for civic purposes in increasing numbers for all sorts of useful stuff. Now, the City of San Francisco has a civic apps store, check it out at

I already use a bunch of these, including EcoFinder, Routesy, and Everyblock.

This is real, and useful stuff, like telling me when the next train or bus is coming.

Mayor Gavin Newsome is pushing this hard, check out his pitch at Mashable:

A number of apps have already been created from government data and
are featured in the Showcase with others in development. Check out an
interactive crime map with San Francisco Crimespotting, or EcoFinder, an iPhone app that helps residents recycle based on their location or Routesy, an app that helps people find their way around the Bay Area's transit systems in real time.

This is just the beginning. We hope creative developers will build countless more apps never dreamed of in City Hall.

We understand the key to creating more apps is making more City data available to the public. The initial phase of DataSF
includes more than 100 datasets, from a range of City departments,
including Police, Public Works, and the Municipal Transportation
Agency. This is just scratching the surface. We are working with
departments to free as much city data as possible.