I just read this article on CNET about open source mobile phone projects and their potential to revolutionize data collection from phone users. Snippet from the article:
Both companies/projects are interesting because they treat mobile as a data source, not as a computer.
In the case of InSTEDD (Innovative Support to Emergencies, Diseases and Disasters), it's a nonprofit that helps developing nations coordinate disaster relief efforts by helping relief agencies share, aggregate, and analyze data from mobile phones.
InSTEDD's GeoChat technology accomplishes this by enabling mobile phone users to broadcast alerts ("Typhoon has hit our city"), but it becomes even more interesting when combined with InSTEDD's Mesh4x technology
Mesh4x allows information to flow between established applications (like Excel, Access, GoogleEarth, MySQL, Oracle and many others), and between devices (laptops, smartphones, PDAs, and servers) reliably, selectively, and securely in a distributed "data mesh". If necessary, Mesh4X can synchronize data over nothing but a stream of SMS messages, merely by plugging an ordinary cellphone into a laptop.
Seems like this could be a big part of the puzzle involved in developing DIY Cities. I wonder if this will get widely implemented across platforms or if it will wallow in obscurity.