Want a better local search when you are on your smartphone, tablet, or computer? Google does too and the only way you and they are going to get what they want is by getting the local governments to be a little more open with their data.
For those screaming about privacy and security at this point, bear in mind they aren’t asking for exceptionally confidential information. It’s not like Google wants to know the names, birthdays, and social security numbers of the residents of the city. What they want is better data on local jobs, events, schools, and neighborhoods. What would this mean for you? It would mean more accurate information on what is going on in your area, how the schools are doing, and even what jobs are available.
There are some areas that are already forthcoming with their data. It makes it easier for those who live or visit the area to maneuver. However there are some metropolitan areas that are still not so forthcoming. Don’t expect them to be as open anytime in the near future either. It doesn’t stop the gurus at Google from trying to give you the best search experience around.
Oh and if you are worried about the NSA, then don’t be — the NSA probably already has all the data Google is requesting.