Category Archives: Delhi

Investing in Data: Pre Budget Consultation with the Finance Minister

Last Thursday DataMeet was lucky to be invited to a Pre Budget Consultation with the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. We were invited to attend with the IT sector group and give some suggestions on how the next budget could invest in open data.

After some consulting with the various city chapter organizers we came up with some recommendations that could appeal to this audience.  We decided to emphasize that government data is a financial asset that needed to be invested in, in order for it to reach its optimal economic impact.  A stance the US government made in it’s open data policy.

You can read the note we submitted here:

The meeting was Thursday morning in Delhi at the Finance Ministry offices, Sumandro came to represent CIS and I attended to represent DataMeet.

The Finance Minister was there along with the Secretaries;
Shri R.N. Watal, Finance Secretary, Shri Shaktikanta Das, Secretary, DEA, Dr. Hasmukh Adhia, Revenue Secretary, Ms Anjuli Chib Duggal, Secretary, Financial Services and Dr. Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic Adviser (CEA).

It was a round table and the participants were organized by software and hardware, and we presented in the order we were seated.

  1. Shri Ramadas Kamath, Infosys,
  2. Shri P.V.Srinivasan, WIPRO,
  3. Shri Anil Chanana, CFO, HCL,
  4. Shri Pauroos D Karkaria,TCS,
  5. Shri R. Chandrashekhar, Chief Economist, NASSCOM,
  6. Ms Nisha Tompson, Founder, Datameet,
  7. Shri Vinod Sharma, Chairman, Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council,
  8. Shri Nitin Kunkolienker, Vice President, Manufactures Association for Information Technology (IT),
  9. Shri Rajoo Goel, ELCINA Electronic Industries Association of India,
  10. Shri Hari Om Rai, Co-Chairman Task Force on Mobile Phone Manufacturing,
  11. Shri Suraj Saharan Ajit Pai, COO,Delhivery,
  12. Shri Sumandro, the Centre for Internet & Society and
  13. Shri Vikas Jain, Member, Task Force on Mobile Phone Manufacturing

While most of the suggestions were related to tax breaks, subsidies, and trade issues, I was able to introduce the idea that the Government of India’s data is an economic asset that can help create markets, increase innovation, and allow for more accountability in scheme implementation. In order for the data to do these things it has to be opened up and that means the government must invest in the NDSAP policy and focus on data standardization, cleanup,  and collection. Also policies need to be reviewed and revamped in order to keep up with demand and use of data. Like the mapping policy should allow for more contributions from private sources and crowdsourcing so the Survey of India can keep up with demand for geospatial information. The Copyright Act also needs a clarification on the status of data and the Ministries must be willing to release data under open licenses.

In all the meeting was short, with the main focus being toward how to encourage manufacturing sectors because of the Make in India initiative. I was happy to be there and mention ideas and concepts that were not being discussed in rooms like that one and to also offer a perspective on open data.

We hope to keep in touch with the Ministry and continue to take advantage of any opportunity to share our experiences and views on how an investment in data can be a huge economic asset to India.

You can see the Government’s Press Release here.

2nd Open Data Camp Delhi!

Last Su23024327289_8965388572_znday DataMeet Delhi hosted their 2nd Open Data Camp!  60 people decided to spend their Sunday with us to discuss Digital India and find ways to make this programme more Open and Transparent.

The Delhi chapter decided to examine the role of openness in Digital India, especially how the open data agenda should be integrated into the initiative.  Digital India is the flagship programme of the Government of India to harness the possibilities of information technologies for accountable governance, effective citizenship, and a productive and job-creating digital economy.

This event also explored the recent international push towards better global availability of interoperable 22569224613_8e3f363c28_zand comparable data, such as the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development initiative of UN and the International Open Data Charter introduced by the Open Data Working Group of Open Government Partnership.  The discussion looked at these wider conversation in the keynote and the morning panels.

 

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Keynote: Honourable MP from Sikkim P.D. Rai.

The MP from Sikkim started off the day by talking about his experience setting up the first state level Open Data Policy, Sikkim Open Data Acquisisiton and Accessibility Policy (SODAAP),, and why it was important for them to take control of the state’s data through openness.

He stated the the “lack of reliable, structured, and proactively available data is a key barrier to good governance.”  So the SODAAP would allow state legislators to get access to data as they need it instead of having to go through the current structure of asking the Centre for data.  “Why is it that we have fancy phones but we can’t get data on public policy & schemes on it for good decisions.”

When asked how to get government to change he stated, “I’m not the executive, I’m a lawmaker. I don’t represent the government.  I question it as much as you do.”

 

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Open Data and Digital Governance

Anoop Aravind, Konatham Dileep, and Nikhil Pahwa

 

This panel focused on the Digital India from a government and journalistic point of view of Digital India.  The panel had a representative from Telegana, KPMG who is implementing E-Panchayats, and from Media Namma.

Dileep the Digital Media Director for Telegana pointed out that the government is the biggest creator of data but they are not set up to share, and are not encouraged to.  Anoop from e-Panchayats pointed out that there are technical issues with implementation and technology infiltration at the local level.  He said the biggest problem for them is the lack of mapping data that can used to help with planning.

Nikhil from Media Namma made the point that the government should proactively disclose data, “why do we need to get personal relations to get the data?” but this doesn’t replace people’s right to ask for information and not just rely on information provided by open data. Right to Information is still vital and this includes an expanded effort to protect people’s privacy.

When asked what are the challenges of openness for Digital India? That despite the big fanfare there is uneven implementation and issues that have to be solved before the dreams of Digital India are realized, and that people have to work with the government to show them the reason to be open.

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Open Data and Digital Citizenship 

Bhanupriya Rao, Dr. Biplav Srivastava, Nic Dawes, and Shashank Srinivasan

Bhanupriya Rao an RTI activist described out RTI has a pro-active disclosure requirement, however, it is not in practice and without that RTI is the best tool for now.  There is no right to data concept.

Nic Dawes described journalism as a constitutional mandate and went on say that that open data and journalism communities must work together more.  Journalists can deal with biases, data interpretation issues, graphic presentations, and tell compelling stories using tech and design.

Biplav Srivastava spoke about the need to move toward smart data consumption, for policy decisions and  individual decisions. That the next steps are data integration/re-use/standards, and linked data for analytics.

Shashank Srinivasan shared his experience with open data for conservation (WWF), how they consume OSM data for needs of protecting wildlife. What are risks for crowdsourcing for wildlife conservation?  Open data can be a problem for conservation, control over the end user is needed.

Questions to consider:

How can open data improve our work? How can academia and open data converge? Can donors influence on releasing data? What does it mean to be a digital citizen?

Lightning talks

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Guneet from Akvo shared their smart phone app that detects Fluoride levels in water.

 

 

23272573835_0385565697_zManing from  HotOSM shared their work around the world providing maps during natural disasters, including the Nepal Earthquake.

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Transport Working Group shared the work looking at bus data in Delhi.

 

 

 

 

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Bihar Gender Watch shared the work of looking at the gender split in elected bodies.

 

 

 

 

 

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NewsPie is an online news site, they shared the data work they have done in roads and around net neutrality.

 

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Aditya Dipankar shared his work designing information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

23096714180_58a2a19d0b_zAruna from MapBox shared their work mapping road naming.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Turam shared his project that built more data collection tools on the Open Data Kit.

 

 

 

 

 

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Yogesh from Random Hacks of Kindness  (RHOK) on his vision for an open revolution! Also the work of RHOK in India bridging gaps between organizations on the ground and technologists.

 

 

 

23392480785_b93d014558_zMonish Khetrimayum a PHD student spoke about big data, governance and citizenship.

 

 

 

 

 

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Rakesh from Factly describes how they use RTI information and open data to make sense of information for journalists and citizens.

 

 

 

 

Group Activity: Response to Digital India

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Groups were formed to discuss each pillar and come up with questions.

We have gathered all the questions and put them in the DataMeet hackpad, you can find each pillar here.

Please feel free to take a look and add more questions and dataset requests.

After a week’s time we will be gathering everything and writing a letter of request for openness to Digital India and the various departments, DIETY, to ask them to make this information available.

It was a fantastic day! DataMeet Delhi did an amazing job putting together really interesting speakers to make this a well rounded interactive event.

Thank you especially to the sponsors for helping make this event great!

  • SARAI for the space
  • AKVO for travel
  • ICFJ for food and other support.
  • RHOK for travel

The first GeoDel meetup

On the 2nd of September, 2015, DataMeet-Delhi spun off a small side project known as GeoDel. Following GeoBLR‘s example, GeoDel is a Delhi-based group/community that meets to discuss open spatial data in the Indian context.

Akvo very kindly hosted us at their beautiful Delhi office, and we began with a very short talk by me (Shashank) on a quilt my mother made, based on OpenStreetMap data of South Delhi. Riju then spoke about mental maps, using a slideshow with some beautiful maps. He ended his talk with a participatory mapping exercise using FieldPaper maps of Delhi, where everyone who attended the meet had a chance to shout out a random place in Delhi, and everyone else had to mark it on their maps. It was a good way to learn about places in Delhi with arcane names such as ‘Rohini‘ and ‘Patparganj‘, and to end our first GeoDel as well.

GeoDel will have bi-monthly meets, so stay updated on its spatio-temporal coordinates via the MeetUp and FaceBook groups!

Maps For Disaster Preparedness

screensavescreensaveDatameet, Mapbox and Akvo Foundation are organizing an OpenStreetMapping Party on 4th of July 2015 in New Delhi.

We are getting together to map  a few Indian cities and villages – improving road networks and infrastructure data in OpenStreetMap – the largest living map of the world. Join us to learn how to map on OpenStreetMap.

The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team activates in times of crisis to support responding organisations with map data, helping them better plan disaster response. Mappers around the world get together to improve road networks and infrastructure data in OpenStreetMap. The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap team leverages the OpenStreetMap platform in various directions to support crisis management with map data.

The impact we can make during a crisis is entirely dependent on the availability of map data. We will focus on understnding how maps and data can be used in the Indian context through a hands-on workshop, and integrate many of the lessons we learned first hand from the most recent earthquake that struck Nepal where over 2,000 volunteer from across the world came together to support the response efforts to quadruple road milage and add 30% more buildings in the most affect regions of Nepal.

Please visit the event page to RSVP or join the Facebook Event.

Delhi Jal Board and Open Water Data: Report from DataMeet-Up

A DataMeet-Up was held on Thursday, April 30, 2015, at the Akvo office to discuss the Summer Action Plan prepared by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and the data concerns thereof. Sundeep Narwani of Delhi Dialogue Commission presented the Action Plan. Kapil Mishra, MLA and Vice-Chairman of DJB, participated in the discussions and described the planned activities at DJB.

Here are the minutes of the meeting, prepared by Sandeep Mertia.

Sundeep Narwani, started with a presentation on Delhi Jal Board’s Summer Action Plan (SAP) 2015. Some important point from his presentation were:

  • SAP is a short term measure for three months of summer
  • Big problem: 40% of Delhi does not have enough piped water networks, and thus tanker services and unauthorised supply exist
  • They have planned several measures for improving the systems of – tube wells, infrastructure (replacing old lines) and repairs, grievance redressal and sewage treatment.

The details are available in the Summer Action Plan document.

This was followed by a long discussion session on several issues and concerns – related to water problems in Delhi. Some of the important questions, comments and suggestions were:

  • What is the authenticity of data which DJB has?
    Answer: Doubtful.
  • What’s the organisational structure of DJB, and its relationship with the MCD?
    Answer: DJB is a state body, independent from MCD
  • There is no data on bulk supply to colonies
  • Very little end user data. Lack of meter reading and averaged bills are part of the reasons for this problem
  • There is no way to interconnect supply between localities
  • No data on quality of water
  • Dr. Rajinder Kaur spoke about using existing spatial data maps of NCT/NCR, and the research conducted by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute on using spatial data for classifying ground water depth and quality
  • Dr. Renu Khosla, from Centre for Urban and Regional Excellence spoke about using GIS data for slums
  • Mr. Kapil Mishra, the Vice-Chairman of the DJB spoke at length about how they plan to transform the DJB. Also, he promised all data sharing from DJB’s side.

After a general discussion on various water related issues in Delhi, in the last segment we focused on framing the data problems associated with SAP 2015.

  • Need to think about the water data which already exists.
  • Sundeep will put up a list of people and organisations which have data on water in Delhi
  • A suggestion was made to focus on Gram Sabha level data as well
  • Need to prioritize the issue of water access to all, the missing data on ‘access’ related problems and appropriate mechanisms
  • Some private bodies have been collecting data from GPRS meters, let’s try to open this data
  • Need to map the borewells
  • Need to interpret and understand the data which DJB requires.

To Do list

  • We will list out all data sets that have informed the SAP document [Time: 2 weeks]
  • Sundeep will share the data sets already available from DJB
  • Once the list of data sets is prepared by us, it will be submitted to DJB via Sundeep and Kapil, who will then see if the mentioned data sets can be opened up. [Approximate time: 1 month]
  • Once these data sets are available, we will evaluate the quality of these data sets
  • Identify data sets that are missing and the ones that require a better collection process

Resources

We are using a Google spreadsheet to list out all data sets that informed the Summer Action Plan.

We are using HackPad to collect various resources.

Images of notes takes by Namrata Mehta and Sumandro Chattapadhyay at the meeting:

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{Delhi} Jan 28th Planning Meeting

Delhi DataMeet – Jan 28th

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On the 28th of Jan Delhi DataMeet met to discuss their plans for the next year and to pick new organizers since Sumandro is leaving Delhi.

  • Nisha then summarized what was happening with DataMeet central and the other chapters.
  •  Amitangshu – when you think of DataMeet we think about through the sector we work in.  How does translate to the overall goal and become a common idea to all of us?
  • Updates on NIC
    • NDSAP Cell new’s head BN Satyapati
    • Data.Gov.iIn team is the team that is managing MyGov.in – resources have been moved to MygGov – can we push mygov to do open data things?  People have to suggest open data activities on MyGov.in.  Something we can do?

We started out with introductions and with the following questions.

  1. What should be the purpose of DataMeet Delhi?
  2. How can DataMeet Delhi add value to your own work?
  3. What activities/events should DataMeet Delhi do during the next year?

In order to find out the answer to the above questions post it notes were passed out and people were asked what they thought the purpose of DataMeet Delhi should be and what activities do they want to do in the following year.

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Purpose/Value

  1. awareness and knowledge about the global movement of open data – nuances/ policy/politics
  2. open data advocacy intervention in policy decision making, (think about other policies and portals in other ministries) (if you get buy in and it can move it forward) workshops, [bridging to osm – Satya] – advocating with various public officials – important thing to do.
  3.  DataMeet has members with excellent data skills – students what to learn data tools – people interested in teaching and students learning more about data skills – help people use and learn data tools- help students – basic and small workshops – Ravi
    1. when working with students – causes more due diligence – do it with an outside audience  –
    2. hold them in north and south campus – in a college.
    3. focused result workshops with journalists – focused with practical ends – training
    4. Student Workshops – Ravi, Krishnan, Nisha, Guneet,  will work together to plan a few for March, April
  4. open community, talks, organization, regular talks, conference
  5.  act like a platform – teach learn and doing
  6. talks, half day and 1 day hacks, areas to work, data entreauapneirship, public policy (budget state and local) – WASH, tie up with startups  – startups and private sector come in and talk about their issues and using data – start up tie in does help with advocacy – lobbying/legal political advisories – open source data conversation
    1. let’s think about specific audiences, there are so many catalogues – list of all the catalogues of different sources and mash up data
    2. use gov data, collect public data and speak with them about publishing data, data tools service
  7. team up with non for profits and help them solve their problems – break thru -woman’s group – support them  – ashoka, idrc, go thru them and see who needs help  – later in the year – happy to solve them – take them up as they challenging etc
    1. Non Profits –  submit problems and we can take them up as they come up and make that a focus on the DataMeet
    2. helping NGOS – on board with what they want to achieve – figure out the larger things
  8.  data problems – data successes – inspire and learn and connect
  9. work more with start ups – spread open data ideas
    1. side meetings – working with gov, ngo’s and startups – sumandro, raman,
  10. work with lamp fellows, prime minister rural fellows
    1. Government  – we should be willing to help the government as well – government isn’t easy to work with and is time intensive

TEACHING, LEARNING, DOING – The above purpose and values can be categorized under this mantra.

  • teaching students
  • doing advocacy and ngo solves problems
  • compiling casestudies
  • give rewards – push it to happen
  • make sure datameet gets credited
  • open data success stories

CALENDAR 

Feb –

    • Gurgoan budget data – Namrehta – interested in knowing more about what is happening – ongoing – state prs people – ADR – state chapter – city budget – ties into the overall state budget – income into city from state – and vice versa – long campaign – filing a PIL – ongoing – do a non profit – learning training thing
    • Assembly election in FEb

March

  • budget data ramanjit cheema,- bring groups who work on budget together – AI, CBGA
  • out in the open themed pecha kucha

June

  • capacity building with civil society groups
  • session of learning and- need to dismystify the tech heavy agenda of the group

July

  • AKVO event – water sanitation – manifesto what are the data gaps – bring them together – talk about data and shareing and advocacy – formats – INdia Wash Forum

 Oct

  • Public transport data – Guneet, Namrehta,

 Dec

  • Malnutrition

 Nov

  • Open Data Camp

 New Organizers of Delhi Data Meet!!!

Guneet, Isha, and Prachi!!!

Thanks to everyone for a great meeting! If I missed anything please add to the comments!

 

OpenDataCamp Delhi 2014 in Tweets

Filter coffee at #odcdel14

A post shared by Thejesh GN ತೇಜೇಶ್ ಜಿ ಎನ್ (@thejeshgn) on

Vote of thanks #odcdel14

A post shared by Thejesh GN ತೇಜೇಶ್ ಜಿ ಎನ್ (@thejeshgn) on

Notes from first Data BootCamp India

This has been crossposted from Thej GN’s blog.

“First ever DataBootCamp in India was organized by ICFJ in collabaration with Data{Meet}, HT, Hacks/Hackers – New Delhi, 9.9 School of Journalism in Delhi. It was a three-day event hosted by Bridge School of Management. It was an interesting gathering as more than 50% were from journalistic background. I have never seen such a big group of journalists in one place for three days, working in groups with people of different backgrounds.

Major part of the camp was to propose projects/stories and work on them. Group selected ten projects out of all the proposed projects. I have listed the projects below, hyperlinking to end results. If you like to see all the proposed projects then go to HackDash.

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  1. Narendra Modi On Twitter Vs Other Global Leaders – Word Play vs Ground Reality
  2. Crime Agaisnt Women In India
  3. Class Calculator – Think you’re in the middle class? Use the class calculator. Scroll down to find out. You may be surprised. Or Not.
  4. Cashless In India – Is India becoming a #cashlesseconomy?
  5. Terror Statistics
  6. Money poured into Ganga vs pollution levels
  7. India’s Supreme Court Ruling on Under-Trial Prisoners
  8. Media Ownership
  9. Advertising For Online Video To Rise By 30%
  10. Build Hospitals To Kill Cancer

Of course we had hands-on workshops on scraping, data cleaning, data visualization and mapping. I will probably need a series of posts to cover them all here. I have put the relevant links at the bottom for you to explore. Best part was some of the participants used the tools they learnt during the camp for their project work.

Other Interesting facts/links/tools that i came across during the event:

Overall I was surprised at the quality of the projects. At least half of them were executed very well. Two days are actually very small amount of time, so hats off to all the participants. As a participant and duct-tape programmer/trainer I had lots of fun. I hope there will be more collaborations between tech and journalism community in future.”

See Thej’s post for more pictures.  Also if you were at the event and have a post please let us know!

 

Notes from DataMeet-Up in Delhi, 31 July 2014

After a long hiatus, we had a DataMeet-Up in Delhi on Friday, July 31. Thanks to the Centre for Internet and Society for hosting us.

The meet-up had a small but very productive mix of old and new faces. Here is the list of participants:

* Deeptanshu
* Guneet Narula, Sputznik
* Isha Parihar, Akvo Foundation
* Namrata Mehta, Center for Knowledge Societies
* Praachi Misra, Competition Commission of India
* Rajat Das, Contify
* Riju / Sumandro Chattapadhyay, ajantriks.net
* Rohith Jyotish, Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability
* Shobha SV, Breakthrough

We started with a round of ‘what is DataMeet’ and moved into ‘what should DataMeet do in Delhi.’ Here are the suggestions that came up in the meeting:

1. Data Liberartion Strategy: We can work towards creating a strategy and workflow to undertake data liberation tasks. These tasks can focus on two types of data – (1) data that is not available in public yet and needs to be brought out by requesting the authorities concerned and/or speaking to them about it, and (2) data that is available in public but not in an open / directly-usable / machine-readable manner. We of course have done some work towards especially the second type of data, such as with MP constituency boundaries shapefile and with scraping of weather data. It will be useful to prepare and document strategies for such tasks.

Deeptanshu suggested that an important available-but-not-machine-readable data that we can work with in near future is the proceedings of the parliament published in the parliament’s website. We can possibly speak to ADR and PRS if they have done any work towards converting that data to machine-readable formats.

2. Learning and Sharing: We felt that DataMeet should undertake pedagogic functions – from internal training / sharing sessions within the DataMeet members, to public workshops for data and visualisation tools and techniques, to online documentation of the same. It seems that the existing (regular or otherwise) members of Delhi chapter of DataMeet is a good mix of those who look forward to pick up data / visualisation / programming skills and those who can offer to teach that. Often the latter group looks forward to learn about available datasets, ways of interpreting government data (from NSSO to budget sheets), and legal considerations associated with data — all of this the former group (who wants to learn data / visuaisation / programming skills) can offer to help with. Hence it make a lot of sense to convert our monthly meet-ups into short learning and sharing sessions.

Further, we can document the learning and sharing taking place in the meet-ups and put it up as online references. This will slowly create a knowledge base, with contributions from across the city chapters. There was a short discussion if we should use a Wiki to create such a knowledge base or a WordPress blog. The programming group is more comfortable with the former, while the non-programming group is more comfortable with the latter. With WordPress providing detailed ‘edit history,’ I guess it is alright to use WordPress for the sake of general ease of use.

Let us start the documentation over the next 3-4 meet-ups and think of what is the best way to upload it – either as a section of DataMeet blog / wiki / github or a sub-site.

3. DataMeet-Ups as Tiny Hackathons: It was suggested that on each DataMeet-Up, we take up a particular task — either of data liberation or of data visualisation — and focus on a particular topic and dataset, and spend time together working on the task. This will include thinking about the task, creating a workflow, sharing the skills concerned, and doing the task. And finally we showcase the work done through the DataMeet blog and elsewhere.

Further, this will also produce visible evidence of the government data made available at the portal being actually used, and thus to raise awareness of the available data and its demand.

4. Legal and Policy Discussion: It was briefly mentioned that some members of the group often face questions related to legal and policy context of open government data, and also regarding opening of non-governmental data. We should look for resource persons and organisations to advise on such issues. The DataMeet mailing list can also function as a primary discussion space for these topics. However, the mailing list can be too public a space for certain discussions.

Open Data Camp Delhi 2014

We had an initial chat about organising the Open Data Camp in Delhi in November 2014. The date and venue discussion is pending. We will take that up in the next DataMeet-Up.

The two primary objectives of the Open Data Camp Delhi are (1) a social and networking event for open data people (who are talking about and/or working with open data ) in Delhi, and (2) learn about their interests and challenges and prepare the road plan for Delhi chapter of DataMeet. Clearly, the first objective is more community-facing, and the second one is DataMeet-facing.

Here is the draft agenda for the Open Data Camp Delhi:

09:30-10:00 Ice-Breaker
10:00-10:30 Open Data and DataMeet [What is open data? What is DataMeet? Why is DataMeet? Why is open data relevant?]
10:30-11:30 Lightning Talks #1 [6 talks of 8 minutes each]
11:30-12:00 Tea/Coffee
12:00-13:00 Lightning Talks #2 [6 talks of 8 minutes each]
13:00-14:00 Lunch
14:00-16:00 Open Data Matchmaking Session [We set up two boards at the beginning of the day. One for writing down what data project one has in mind and what skills are required, and the other for writing down what data skills one can offer. On the basis of this, people meet up during the matchmaking session and talk about their plans.]
16:00-17:00 Closing and Thanks followed by Tea/Coffee
17:00-18:00 DataMeet Roadmap Discussion [Open to anyone who wants to participate]

It was suggested that lightning talks should be chosen as a combination of directly selected (by organisers) and community selected (through a submission and voting mechanism) modes.

DataMeet-Up in August 2014

We planned the next Delhi DataMeet-Up to take place on Wednesday, August 27, afternoon, where we will work on visualising datasets related to budget 2014. Rohith from CBGA, and his colleagues, will help us select the datasets and interpret them.

The venue is yet to be decided. Possible options are Akvo, CKS, Sarai, and Youth Ki Awaaz. Maybe CBGA can host it too.

Further, this also works as a warm-up session towards the Hack the Budget event being organised by World Bank in September.

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Notes from DataMeet-Up in Delhi, 22 November 2013

We had DataMeet-Up on Friday, November 22, 2013, at the Akvo office in Yususf Sarai Community Centre, Delhi.

Here are the notes from the meet-up [additional information in square brackets]:

Election Data Hackathon

  • We will undertake a collaborative mapping of datasets relevant for election data hackathon, using GitHub and Google Drive. More details about this below.
  • Datasets that we are trying to locate include: election results data (total vote count, vote count per party/candidate, etc), total utilisation and composition of utilisation of MP Local Area Development funds, parliamentary activities of MPs (presence/absence, questions asked, bill discussed, committees joined. etc), crime data corresponding to constituencies, etc.
  • We will identify organisations who might hold additional relevant data, such as PRS Legislative Research, Association for Democratic Reforms (and MyNeta.info), Gramener, and Hindustan Times [Anika used to work at HT].
  • Two caveats: (1) we may not get unique and standard identifiers across datasets, and (2) calculations may get difficult in case of by-elections [Lok Sabha Secretariat will have details of all by-elections, which can be accessed through RTI request].

Hack for Change on Women’s Rights

  • Shobha, Breakthrough.tv, led the discussion on the planned Hack for Change event being organised by Breakthrough and Hacks/Hackers, as part of the 16 days of activism against violence against women.
  • The hackathon is organised around urban safety data from Whypoll , multimedia evidences of early marriage practices in Bihar and Jharkhand gathered by Gramvaani , etc. It will also include a Wikipedia Edit-athon facilitated by Noopur Raval.
  • There were multi-directional discussions around other datasets of relevance for the hack event, which I have not kept track of very well. Overall, there were discussions around datasets available from , those published by National Crime Records Bureau, FIR and call database of Delhi police (and how to access that), and data on violence against women gathered by Tata Institute of Social Sciences from police stations across seven states.

Presentation on iPython

  • Konark Modi presented a detailed introduction to using iPython to undertake data cleaning in a very organised manner, as well collaboration features/workflow of iPython.
  • There emerged a demand for a tutorial on OpenRefine (previously Google Refine), which will be organised in a later meeting.

Mapping Indian Election Data

  • We will start documenting publicly available datasets relevant for studying past General Assembly (Lok Sabha) elections in India and the activities of the elected members at present. One can contribute to this mapping exercise in two ways, as mentioned below.
  • GitHub: We have created a repository for this data mapping exercise under the DataMeet organisation at GitHub. The organisation page can be accessed here, and the (india-election-data) repository can be accessed here. In the repository, I have created a draft format for documenting the identified datasets. This draft format can be accessed here. Please feel free to suggest changes to the draft format by opening an issue.
  • To document a dataset, use the format given in the repository, fill up the details, and rename the file according to the dataset’s name, such as “election-results-delhi-1995.md”. Then if you notice any requirement of data cleaning/reorganisation or lack of clarity regarding the dataset, open an issue (where the name of the dataset is mentioned) to note that task.
  • Google Drive spreadsheet: Alternatively, you can access this spreadsheet on Google Drive and add the relevant information about the dataset documented by you.

Please comment here or post to the DataMeet mailing list for any clarifications and suggestions.