Some of the best web apps I’ve seen come out of our government, mining their databases.
I’m pretty sure this is an old application, but just how useful is the Oakland Police Dept’s CrimeView Communty Incident database? Well, go to Craigslist and find a house. Then check out the crime stats here: <strikethrough>http://gismaps.oaklandnet.com/crimewatch/</strikethrough>
(Update: Instead look at Crimespotting. If there was ever a killer Web 2.0 app this is it! http://oakland.crimespotting.org)
You zoom out and can’t even see the city map there are so many icons pinpointing everything from thefts to assault and prostitution.
The Megan’s Law database is more horrifying but equally useful, to find out who’s living in an area you may be thinking of purchasing in.
Then, the classic, my fave, the California DMV’s license plate personalization app:
Real time visuals of what your plate would look like with something like: brn2blg