While the Obama administration gets most of the attention for its Government 2.0 initiatives, most of the really interesting stuff is taking place at the local level. San Francisco has launched an open data initiative, dataSF.org (beta), which puts city data in the hands of citizens. “The new web site will provide a clearinghouse of structured, raw and machine-readable government data to the public in an easily downloadable format,” Newsom writes in a Techcrunch guest post.

“For example, there will be updated crime incident data from the police department and restaurant inspection data from the Department of Public Health," Newsom writes. "The initial phase of the web site includes more than 100 datasets, from a range of city departments, including Police, Public Works, and the Municipal Transportation Agency."

This is a nice move by the city, which is not as strong in Gov 2.0 initiatives as it should be, given the ecosystem. This isn’t a quantified argument at all, but from what I saw at OSCON’s government track, a lot of the tech/politics innovation on the west coast is coming out of Oregon.

As one of the world leaders in innovation, Silicon Valley should also be a leader in Governance 2.0. Opening the data is a nice step, but it’s the step everyone is or will soon be taking, following the Obama/Kundra model.

Sure, it’ll be great when we run an Apps for SF Democracy contest, but hopefully the area’s social and technological innovations will further converge, advancing Gov 2.0 in ways today unimagined.

By Mark Alvarez