A basic understanding of the principles and culture of open data are often the most critical elements needed to catalyze broad data release by a government, but having a vision for how that data can be part of a global ecosystem of applications and analysis is also important to help sustain and guide an open data initiative into the future. This long term vision is particularly important to graduate to higher classes of data release: from PDFs and HTML to raw data and then on to standardized APIs and linked data. The reality is that sometimes the value of open data isn't even realized until it's made available in standardized machine readable formats. This talk will examine a few case studies including Open311, the General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS), and DemocracyMap to demonstrate how information that was already publicly available can help bring transformative change when made available in standardized formats by governments around the world. Ultimately, we can begin to sketch out a civic network that connects us to common datasets across borders in a decentralized way just like the web itself.