I like construction web cams. I enjoy watching what is currently happening at the site and seeing what progress has been made over time. But in addition to web cams of construction sites, I think it would be interesting to take a count (a census, if you will) of construction-related items that are out there: traffic cones or barrels, barricades, dump trucks, cranes, cement mixers, (portable bathrooms?) etc. That would be a unique way of determining the amount of construction taking place and would allow for comparisons, such as: “Bloomington currently has 25 traffic cones and 11 dump trucks at construction sites, compared to 1527 traffic cones and 605 dump trucks at Normal construction sites.” Of course, the movable objects are more difficult to count, so perhaps cones, barrels, and barricades are the best measure.
I realize that Normal has a list of building permits, which is one way to count construction activity. But it’s not as fun as a chart with little cones or trucks on it, depicting actual numbers of items. What can I say? I spend too much time looking at tables and numbers on the Census Bureau web site.