This is technology on the path to David Brin's transparent society
Researchers are working on a system that allows sensors to track information and create up-to-date, searchable online maps The project, which is called SenseWeb, will someday enable people to browse online maps for up-to-the-minute information about local gas prices, traffic flows, restaurant wait times, and more. By tracking real-life conditions, which are supplied directly by people or automated sensor equipment, and correlating that data with a searchable map, people could have a better idea of the activities going on in their local areas. Other research groups at the University of California at Berkeley, UCLA, Stanford, and MIT are working on similar projects for tracking environmental information. For instance, UCLA has a project in which sensors -- devices that measure physical quantities such as temperature, pressure, and sound -- are integrated with Google Earth, the company's downloadable mapping software. In addition, companies such as Agent Logic and Corda process real-time data and can correlate it with a location, mostly for businesses and governmental organizations.