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Urban App-Fitters

Last week Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced the creation of OpenBaltimore, a web site that makes certain city records—from 311 calls to property taxes to crime stats—available to the public. After launching a similar site, Washington, D.C., followed it up in 2008 with a contest called “Apps for Democracy.” The first round brought in nearly 50 iPhone, Facebook, and web application ideas based on the data. Might Baltimore do the same? A few examples from D.C. (though not all the ideas listed below were actually built):

D.C. Pedestrian

Devises safe walking routes using accident, crime, and road construction stats, plus a map of streets lacking sidewalks. Maryland, one of the worst states for pedestrian fatalities, could use this. Just don’t consult it in the middle of an intersection.

Person of Interest Tracker

This app’s description reads: “This page can be used by an organization to track a person of interest and cross reference known activities with suspected ones.” Useful? Creepy? Probably both.

“Where’s My Money, DC?”

This app lists orders made by the city totaling over $2,500. Forums for ranting about said orders also available.

Red Light Watch

Learn exactly where there will be consequences for breaking the law with this app, which maps all the red light cameras in the city.

Gives you info tailored to your location: the nearest shopping center or post office, say, or the neighborhood’s demographics and a list of recently reported crimes.

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