The article on Civic Innovations points out the importance of common standards.
Data standardization across cities is a critical milestones that must be realized to advance the open data movement, to fully realize all of the potential benefits of openly publishing government data. More people are starting to realize the importance of this milestone and more energy will be devoted to creating new standards for city data in the months and years ahead.
The best example of what is possible when governments publish open data that conforms to a specific standard is the General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS). Developed by Google in partnership with the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet), GTFS is a data specification that is used by dozens of transit and transportation authorities across the country, and it has all of the qualities that open data advocates hope to replicate in other data standards for cities.
Read the full article by Mark Headd in Civic Innovations