The making of the National Broadband Map broke many traditional government solution development parameters, including the great speed with which it was developed, and the inclusion of open APIs so that others may openly modify the interface and make use of the data. I’ve just posted an interview that I conducted with Michael Byrne, GIO of the FCC, in which he discusses site planning, design, and intent of this groundbreaking work.
This quote is perhaps the most telling in the team’s approach.
“From day one we thought of the developer as a user requirement. The reason we thought that is that we knew we were going to make the first broadband map, and we knew there are all kinds of limits to our collective intellect. The total staff was four, with two people at NTIA and two people at FCC. The four of us could only think of so many things, and we kind of feel like (I’m speaking for myself, but I think NTIA will agree with me) the people out there in the commercial world are collectively smarter than us. If we could develop our application with open protocols to allow developers to do anything they wanted, within the limits of the data, that we would likely see a better application.”
You can read the full interview online here.