I first started hacking the haze in 2005 which was when increased smoke levels pushed the NEA to move to a 3 hour moving average PSI .
But I only got into it in earnest when the haze got bad in 2013.
Upset that there was no open data policy on PSI readings, I built a scraper that saves the data in a machine readable format. My scraper crawls the NEA site and saves the PSI readings into a database which is downloadable. So far there are over 15,000 readings. But I am aware of the data being used only once… so far.
Relevant topics driving my interest: Problem Solving, Visualisation, Collaboration, Open Data, Engagement Online
- How can we present the data better in order to help us understand patterns & trends?
- Let’s make the data available to the local hacker community and to see what they do with it. NEA has great data but they are not so great at presenting it. This is a great opportunity to be more transparent with data: it is not a matter of national security and it is a highly complex problem. Letting more people play around with the numbers would generate more conversation and understanding about how difficult it is to predict PSI.
- How can members of the public interested in this topic engage with authorities online in a way that produces a positive outcome? When the haze gets worse, people get upset. Some are positively apoplectic about how the government should be managing the situation. Criticism is often unreasonable, unfair, and uninformed. I hope that more people with the capacity to understand the math and science behind PSI try contribute in a way that models positive engagement online.