A wonderful post capturing the essence the social good that is possible through the use of data.
I would like to share some thoughts around using the data to optimize traffic conditions and environmental resources.
I have seen that as a major thing in Bay Area, lot of people who stay in south bay area travel to north for work and vice-versa. If we can find ways to optimize and optimally utilize routes I believe we can save significant resources like gas, save time, reduce accidents, etc. Tracking or collecting data to organize car pools or better, frequent public transport may help as well.
For the environment resources, I feel there is lot we can do to educate people about reducing usage of paper cups, tissue papers for hand towel, saving water (car wash, lawns, etc. )
I feel bringing the stats and presenting them in a way so as to motivate people to take necessary actions can make a huge difference for the planet. Data representation is a key facet to data science for it to result in meaningful action by public — BRING THE CHANGE.
I always feel motivated by your words and thoughts. Would be great if someday I get a chance to meet you in person.
Hope my thoughts are not out of context.