One of the worst factors of the Fukushima crisis is clarity of information—and the distinct lack of it since the quake first hit. The people behind RDTN say to hell with the government and TEPCO—let citizens report radiation.
The idea has yet to crack from its Kickstarter egg ($9,700 out of $33,000), but its ambitions are pretty huge. The RDTN (radiation!) team wants to distribute 600 geiger counters to ordinary citizens to fill in the pretty massive data holes about how much radiation has made its way across Japan. How ordinary? RDTN says:
We want to provide the device to someone who has an above-average understanding of technology, but not necessarily an expert. This should be someone who knows how to install an app on their iPhone or Android device, and is familiar with filling out forms on websites. No programming skills or engineering degree is required. Knowing how to set up a wifi-router is a plus.
That's probably you! The data from the counters would then be shared on the radiation data-aggregating RDTN.org, where it could be used by scientists, journalists—anyone, really. But at a time when trust in the government and private institutions is at something of a nuclear nadir, an alternate source of empirical insight can only be a good thing—let's hope they hit 33 grand. [Kickstarter via The Atlantic]