Saturday, February 27, 2010

Korean Government to Set Up App Store

Why am I not surprised to read in The Korea Times that the Korean government is planning to set up an online app store?  One reason is an incident I vividly remember that occurred sometime last year.  My wife and I were waiting at a bus stop to catch the airport bus on one of our trips to the United States.  Right in front of us, a policeman stopped a black sedan that had made an illegal U-turn a few hundred yards up the street.  However, instead of pulling out a pad of paper to issue a ticket, the policeman punched some numbers into his mobile phone and showed it to the driver.  Within a few minutes the whole process of issuing a traffic ticket was finished, with absolutely no uncertainty about the identity of the driver and other relevant details.
In certain respects, South Korea is leading the world in e-government.  The Korea Times article reports that the government is now looking to set up a government "app store" to improve the distribution of public information such as weather forecasts, traffic updates and job openings.  An official from the Ministry of Public Administration said that the plan is to launch the app store as an internet site and then expand it to mobile platforms.  By allowing the public access to and use of public information the private sector will be given the means to create more value-added services.
It will be most interesting to see how the government's plans work out.

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