Random Hacks of Kindness is a codejam sponsored by the World Bank, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo!, aimed at building useful software for important social/humanitarian causes. The upcoming event in the Bay Area in November is focussed on software for disaster relief.

However, they’re also proposing to run a 4-day codejam at the COP15 meeting in Copenhagen in December, aimed at building useful software for tackling climate change. I’ve submitted a few ideas of my own, plus our categorization of software challenges. Here’s some of my suggestions:

  • Make the IPCC website more accessible. E.g. provide a visual index of the figures and charts in the reports; develop “guided tours” through the material for different kinds of users, based on their various interests; provide pointers into key sections that respond to common misunderstandings
  • Provide simple dynamic visualizations of the key physical processes. Along the lines of the tutorial developed by John Sterman, but perhaps with less text and more freedom to play with the model.
  • Provide a simpler, web-based interface to the Java Climate model, that allows policymakers to quickly see the effects of different policy options.

What else?

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