Here are some quick stories and proof points about how governments have used open data: Spatial Data Department of Communications & Nicta: National Map The National Map is a website for map-based access to Australian spatial data from government agencies. The National Map is an initiative of the Australian Commonwealth Government's Department of Communications and the software has been developed by NICTA working closely with the Department of Communications, Geoscience Australia and other government agencies. The National Map is a fully open architecture and when you access data through it, you are typically accessing the data directly from the government department or agency who is the custodian of the data.
More here: http://nationalmap.nicta.com.au
Mass Collaboration Australian Gov 2.0 Community: GovHack GovHack is a yearly weekend event to draw together people from government, industry, academia and the general public to mashup, reuse, and remix government data. The national weekend hackfest has grown from a small government funded event in 2009, to a volunteer run and community driven annual event.
More here: http://www.govhack.org
Public Safety San Francisco: Crime Spotting Map San Francisco Crimespotting is an interactive map of crimes in San Francisco and a tool for understanding crime in cities, built using open data from the city. Crimespotting lets residents find out what's going on in their neighborhood with interactive maps and customizable RSS feeds of crimes in areas that they care about.
More here: http://sanfrancisco.crimespotting.org
New York City: Targeting Illegal Building Conversions Inspections In New York City, dangerous illegal building conversions are a big problem and public safety risk. The government opened and integrated data that had previously been siloed within by several departments and analyzed it to increase accurate inspection targeting and better allocate scarce resources where they will do the most good.
More here: http://beyondtransparency.org/chapters/part-4/beyond-open-data-the-data-driven-city/