A few decades ago I saw a proposal for a National Observatory of the Social Sciences. The idea was to have a few thousand people at randomly selected locations reporting monthly on visible events in their lives and neighborhood.
Examples would be:
- Number and models of cars on one side of your block.
- Number of people pushing strollers in one hour time period.
- Number and types of houses with Christmas tree decorations on both sides of the block.
- Time of day you get up on Wednesday and go to sleep.
Today, with the Internet the cost would be significantly lower than originally proposed. The staff needed to tabulate results would be small. No postage costs. Although observers would get some compensation. They would also change over time.
Now is the time. After a few years the data would already be valuable. After decades it would be the most valuable data in existence.