How to Make All Apps More Civic

Nick Grossman in Idea Lab: “The big idea in all of this is that through open data and standards and API-based interoperability, it’s possible not just to build more “civic apps,” but to make all apps more civic:
So in a perfect world, I’d not only be able to get my transit information from anywhere (say, Citymapper), I’d be able to read restaurant inspection data from anywhere (say, Foursquare), be able to submit a 311 request from anywhere (say, Twitter), etc.
These examples only scratch the surface of how apps can “become more civic” (i.e., integrate with government/civic information and services). And that’s only really describing one direction: apps tapping into government information and services.
Another, even more powerful direction is the reverse: helping governments tap into the people-power in web networks. In fact, I heard an amazing stat earlier this year:
It’s incredible to think about how web-enabled networks can extend the reach and increase the leverage of public-interest programs and government services, even when (perhaps especially when) that is not their primary function — i.e., Waze is a traffic avoidance app, not a “civic” app. Other examples include the Airbnb community coming together to provide emergency housing after Sandy, and the Etsy community helping to “craft a comeback” in Rockford, Ill.
In other words, helping all apps “be more civic,” rather than just building more civic apps. I think there is a ton of leverage there, and it’s a direction that has just barely begun to be explored.”