This idea, in a slightly different form, did well in the first News Challenge. Here is is again retooled a bit. The more I think about it, the more we should all be uncomfortable with the government being the sole source of data journalism.  

newschallenge:

1. What do you propose to do? [20 words]

To develop a wireless network of sensors to feed a data backend and visualizations for DIY data gathering.

2. How will your project make data more useful? [50 words]

The vast majority of data journalism is based on data collected by the government. What…

(Source: newschallenge2)