Public Distributed Sensor Networks
I remember talking with Phil Windley about one of his ideas to leverage OnStar as a distributed sensor network. He posited that all of these cars tend to have temperature sensors, some form of GPS, and the wireless communications ... they could be used to create a nationwide temperature map.
Now here is another article about taking this further to use cell phones as the source of distributed sensor information. Very cool idea. Everyone carrying the right kind of cell phone could opt-in to providing sensor data to one or more servers. A huge variation on SETI@Home!
Let's see ... what would someone pay me to participate in this? And protect my identity ...
Saving the World With Cell Phones. Scientists work to turn mobile phones into a distributed network capable of measuring pollution levels -- and possibly detecting biological weapons before they can be launched. By Rachel Metz. [Wired News]