With the commoditization of voice, mobile operators need to think about supplying info services over the mobile that people will pay for. Is better, more accurate weather info marketable? In our disaster early warning work we found that while scientists were qualitatively improving detection and monitoring systems (based on buoys too), the weakness was in the last mile of getting the information to the citizen/end user in useful actionable form. Is there a parallel here?
Scientists said Monday they had reached the halfway point in a project to set up buoys across the Indian Ocean, helping farmers predict the monsoon in some of the world’s poorest areas.
The buoys measure wind, rainfall, temperature and other figures around the Indian Ocean, which has lagged behind the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans in data collection.
The international project, which began in earnest in 2004, has moored 22 buoys so far, with plans to put down all 46 by 2012, said Michael McPhaden of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
McPhaden, who is based at the NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle, said the data would provide a major boost to farmers who rely on monsoon rains.
“If you know it’s going to be a year of heavy rain or deficient rain, there are different seeds you can plant, different timings and types of fertilizer,” he told AFP. “There are all types of strategies you can implement.”