I spent yesterday in Chicago giving a talk on Web services to the Illinois Data Exchange Affiliates (IDEA). IDEA is a group of seven northern Illinois counties and over 200 municipal governments that was formed to promote data exchange for eGovernment. Greg Sanders of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning is one of the chief instigators of IDEA and asked me to come speak. I had a blast and really enjoyed the trip.
The basic idea: simple, inexpensive design rules for Web sites can lead to big data exchange opportunities. Start with public data, do simple things, and work incrementally. I also stressed POX (plain old XML) for easy starts. Here are my slides (PDF) minus two quicktime screencasts that I did to demo how Jon Udell's Library Lookup project works and to show how Sex Offender registry mashups work (I didn't have 'Net access). I've included those here and here (warning--they're big). There's no audio on them since I was talking over them in the presentation.
CMAP is in the Sears Tower and I took an hour to head up to the observation deck. I took some pictures.