Scientists Plan "Living Earth Simulator" to Track Disease, Disasters and Traffic

The computers haven't been built yet, so it's not going to happen for a while—but the Living Earth Simulator will be a "knowledge collider" capable of modelling our entire planet when/if it gets off the fantasy drawing board.

Dr Helbing, from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, claims we need a super-accurate model of the planet to help predict patterns in, well, everything, with the LES covering it all—from the weather to the spread of swine flu.

While the hardware required to power a pretend planet is still non-existent the data needed to populated a living model of Earth is already being collected, thanks to the likes of NASA collating and recording stacks of environmental data. [BBC]