I think we are on the right track with conversation, but at some point I think we need to move beyond talk.
Our public agencies could provide data to online projects using tools like the Google Transit API.
Google Transit Trip Planner enables users to create efficient travel itineraries using public transportation schedules. This document explains how you can provide public transportation schedules to Google so that those schedules can be incorporated into Google Transit Trip Planner. It explains the types of files that comprise a Google Transit feed and defines the fields used in all of those files.
Also, COTA has a pretty sweet tool to see where on a route current buses are located called RealTime here: http://cota.com/realtime.asp
This actually just gave me an idea… I just bought the domain name beyondtalk.org and I want to use it as an information/data transfer hub. No blog, no conversation. Instead… build a framework that is person/organization/cause independent that allows people to share data and information without regard for proprietary concerns and ownership.
That’s the piece that I think is missing from all of our online blogs and web sites and commissions. It could/should/would implment rss put and get for external organizations, data massage into many different formats, event and resource aggregation (going to the theater, here’s a Deli around the corner and the busline you need to get there- and I have to admit this idea was Paul Bonneville’s and we’ve been working together on it), integration with other external resources like FeedBurner via API, etc.
There are probably lots of other possibilities that I am overlooking. Thoughts?