All posts by Nisha Thompson

Democracy Datablog – Chandrashekhar Raman

So it is done, done and dusted. It has been more than 2 week since the results came in, and quite a couple of weeks it has been, a time of celebration for some and introspection for others. The BJP capped its phenomenal campaign with a final tally of 282 seats, in the process making this the first election in 30 years where one party has been able to win a simple majority on its own.  In the last post, I rambled on wondering what kind of ‘wave’ would be needed to drive the BJP to the kind of victory the opinion polls predicted for the BJP. The semantic debate seems settled now, nothing less than ‘tsunami’ would do to explain the upsurge of support that the BJP was able to muster especially in the keys states of UP and Bihar, a tsunami that has shattered many tenets of Indian politics and left several questions in its wake.


Indian Shapefile Central

With the upcoming GeoBlr next week I thought it was a good moment for you all to take a look and help us build up our GIS data directory.

The most common question on the list is how to get access to geo spatial data.  So we decided to start putting up some resources online. Which, will also include background, policy information, and other resources for people interested in learning more or using geo spatial data.

Please contribute sources you like to use.  Or feel free to ask questions about geo spatial data on the list or request a session to learn some hands on skills.

Also if you are in Bangalore please sign up to attend GeoBlr at CIS on June 5th.

DataMeet Story: S Anand

DataMeet was started on January 26th 2011 by a handful of data enthusiasts. One of them was Anand S, also a Trustee of DataMeet Trust, he is currently one of the founders of Gramener.

In 2011, Anand was working at Infosys in London.  He and a few friends, that he had gone to school with or worked with, were talking about starting a group where people can share tips for working with data. The intent was always to work on data in India and to find others doing the same. Since there were many data groups in London I felt there should be one for India.

The first few members were Thej, Naveen, Bala and Manu, they were all working with data in some capacity either professional or personal. Naveen had just started Gramener a data analytics firm, Bala and Manu had started Report Bee, on data analysis for education,  Thej was working at Janaagraha and Infosys on data projects. They all shared a passion for sharing and open data, and other open source technologies.

They called it DataMeet becauseit was available then invited people they knew to join the list and had Skype calls about sharing data science tips. You can see the minutes from the first meeting here: And a video was taken of Anand S showing people an Excel tip.

Anand adds that he never expected it to reach beyond 100 and that the group is of great value to him because of all the data and ideas that are being shared. When asked what he thinks DataMeet will do in the future he hopes the group doesn’t change too much and that “everyone continues adding their own knowledge and working toward opening up and sharing data.” Anything else? Anand doesn’t want to speculate. We’ll see!