cities should operate their own public mapping and transit timing programs so that people can get directions without getting spied on by google

capitalism is super efficient because it means we hire 300 bullshit contractors to write the same critical infrastructure 6000 different ways in fucking garbage ass php or whatever instead of establishing an agency to write open source programs that local governments can share

@cant_into @dankwraith Government entities build garbage software that reinvents the wheel all the time, eg: having each and every county build its own online map viewer, plus ancillary webapps to view various types of info about a parcel of land selected.

Ideally, rather than having each county independently figure this out, the NIST would build a walk through on proper plat digitization (name files like this, put the camera 1 ft above the document, etc)

@cant_into @dankwraith Then perhaps the NIST could define how to handle importing said data into OSM and how to run a local instance (for said county) rather than paying one of a myriad of maps vendors for access to their half-witted platform that has never seen serious Q&A.

Otherwise, you get the current mess, where local and regional governments handle the same responsibilities inconsistently, and provide a patchwork of tools from a variety of shady vendors.

@cant_into @dankwraith In today's context, absolutely, but government is partly hampered by and partly the creature of capitalist interests, so examples of bad government tech don't really prove much, either way to be fair.

@dankwraith I'm trying to imagine what Homeland and NSA is for. I'm a retard here, I thought states were built to hemorrhage service-life, regardless the economic system.

Wait are you telling me that it isn't the most efficient way to allocate resources when every autocompany spends billions each year to make essentially the same shitty SUV for white boomer grandmothers, then spends even more on marketing it as being superior and stand out from the rest?

@dankwraith whoa! easy there, Lenin.

without having to re-write these broken systems every 2 years, how will they fool themselves into needing huge budgets? It's the government's job to employ useless contractors, so they can keep justifying their own budgets and keep being the lynch-pins in their own jobs.

@dankwraith I think I first heard Noam Chomsky point out something like this, that capitalist industrial competition means we duplicate our work and can't learn from other people's successes or mistakes. Open-source-everything could result in better tech instead of higher profits. Our whole system is ass backwards.

@dankwraith If you can't see this, I have a psychological argument against communism. Until then google: usury, fugger, pirates, rotshield, jp morgan, reformation.

@dankwraith they finna spy on you either way so just google map that shit

@spicekebab @dankwraith This argument is so tired.

Did you know that it's impossible to keep your credit card number from being stolen? Our system of transmitting the number is so transparent that getting your card compromised is just a matter of luck.

Having said that, could I have yours? It's already compromised anyway.

@spicekebab @dankwraith Time for somebody to learn about OpenStreetMaps and public transport APIs :)

@dankwraith well I mean... they do. Cities supply the time charts in a really ugly format to google. Anyone can access these files if you know where to look. Making an app and running servers is expensive. They try but at this point they don't have much of a choice but to use googles walled garden (plus a large number of citizens prefer google sadly).

It's a hard problem but in my experience municipalities are a lot more "for the people" than regional or federal governments. Lots of corporate shills attempting to sell them worthless shit but generally city employees have a backbone and some morals.

@dankwraith OpenStreetMap *is* a thing if you want an alternative fwiw, I quite like it
@elomatreb @dankwraith It needs to be combined with public data and APIs for the above to work.

Transportr is a great app in those areas where it works.
@clacke @dankwraith In Germany we have Öffi which does basically this, since there's only a handful of public transit associations that each cover entire regions it's feasible to add in API handlers for each of them

The data feeds are generally freely available. And Sydney at least openly encourages non-Google apps for planning and real-time route info.
Also, is open source and used by a fair few cities for official PT services.

@dankwraith I’d rather be spied on by Google than a city.

@dankwraith Trimet in Portland (OR) provides a REST API with really extensive info on transit, actually. They even brag about it on the web site and link to projects and apps using it.

@dankwraith This is done with API interfaces like the public-transport-enabler:

Apps like Transportr on Android use this, for example.

OpenStreetMaps also has this capability.

@dankwraith so like an open wifi mesh net that covers the city? Sort of a CB version of APRS in the Ghz range where individuals could post to maps information and things such as public transit could give automatic position updates. This is the wildly underutilized ham radio version scroll around and see what's doing where you live.

@dankwraith They'll just give the job to a subcontractor who'll vomit out some closed-source buggy nonsense without support.

I was so thankful for Albuquerque's bus app when I lived there.

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