Sunday, February 27, 2005

Proposal: Baghdad Grid Monitor

A graphical gizmo or gadget we'd like added to this control room: some quasi real time refreshing interface, perhaps a Java applet or XML-backed Flash widget, that gives an accurate picture of rolling brownouts in Baghdad. If traffic signals are affected, per Inside Iraq: The Untold Stories, this should receive special mention.

This web service could easily be expanded with more graphical gizmos as time goes on, e.g. it's not just Baghdad we care about. There'd be no special authorization required to view it. This information is public, not classified (which doesn't mean the CIA couldn't serve it and/or source the information).

Once this new web service is in place, we might think of various applications for it. For example, I might propose that for every hour some part of Baghdad is without power, that the annual income of each USA congressperson automatically drops by one dollar. Of course that's way too forgiving, plus Congress'd find a loophole in about 10 seconds. So my proposal has symbolic value only. Still, I'd like to see the numbers.

Related blog post: FAQ: So What's Global Data?


Dan Rather got it right on David Letterman (2005.3.3): infrastructure, and the state of the Iraqi electrical grid in particular, is the barometer, the key parameter to watch (paraphrasing)