Tag Archives: Maps

Home for All our Maps

Over the years DataMeet community has created/cleaned lots of maps and made them available on GitHub. One of the biggest issue we had was visibility. Larger community couldn’t find them using google or couldn’t figure out how-to download maps or use them. Basically we lacked documentation. Happy to say we have started working on it

The home of all the projects will be


From there you will be able to find links to others, This is the link you can use to share in general. More links below.

Most documentation have description of the map, fields, format, license, references and a quick view as to how the map looks. For example check the Kerala village map page.

There is a little bit of work left in documenting the Municipality maps. I am working on them. Otherwise documentation is in a usable state. P

lease add your comments or issues on GitHub or respond here. Each page has a link to issues to page on Github. You can use it.

In future I will try to add some example usage, links to useful examples and tutorials and also build our reference page. I am hoping

Thanks to Medha and Ataulla for helping to document these projects.

A few days back I also wrote about Community Created Free and Open Maps of India, let me know if I have missed any projects. I will add.

Map links

On github they remain same, We have mainly three maps repos

Happy Independence Day and Open Indian Village Boundaries

One of the longest and most passionately discussed subject on the Data{Meet} list is the availability of Indian Village Boundaries in Digital format. Search for Indian Village shape files and you can spend hours on reading interesting conversations.

Over last two years different members of community have tried to digitize the maps available through various government platforms or shared the maps through their organizations.

A look at the list discussion tells you that boundaries of at the least 75% of the states are available in various formats and quality. What we need at this point is a consolidate effort to bring them all on par in format, attributes and to some level quality. So some volunteers at Data{Meet} agreed to come together, clean up the available maps, add attributes, make them geojson and publish them on our GitHub repository called Indian Village Boundaries.

Of course this will be an on going effort but we would love to reach a baseline (all states) by year end. As of now I have cleaned up and uploaded Gujarat. I have at the least 4 more states to go live by month end. Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Goa. I will announce them on the list as they go live.

The boundaries are organized by state using state ISO code. All the village boundaries are available in geojson (WGS84, EPSG4326) format. The project page gives you the status of the data as we clean and upload. Data is not perfect yet, there could many errors both in data and boundaries. You can contribute by sending the pull requests. Please use the census names when correcting the attributes and geojson for shapes. Please source them to an official source when sending corrections.

Like everything else community creates. All map data will be available under Open Data Commons Open Database License (ODbL). This data is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. If you find issues we are more than happy to accept corrections but please source them to an official source.

On this 70th Independence day, as we celebrate the historic event of India becoming Free and Independent, Data{Meet} community celebrates by cleaning, formatting and digitizing our village boundaries. Have a great time using the maps and contributing back to society.


Picture: Kedarnath range behind the Kedarnath temple early morning. By Kaustabh, Available under CCBYSA.

Analysing Bangalore’s Bus Network

Open Bangalore has been a pioneer in opening up several data sets that help understand Bangalore city. This includes the network of Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC). The BMTC operates over 2000 routes in the city and region of Bangalore and is the only real mode of public transit system in the city. Some of us at DataMeet took to time understand its network better by performing some basic analysis on the gathered dataset. The data set had bus stops, routes and trips. We inspected frequency, coverage, redundancy and reachability.

Longest route

BMTC is known for its many long routes. Route 600 is the longest, making a roundtrip around the city, covering 117 km in about 5 hours. There are 5 trips a day, and these buses are packed throughout. It should be noted that while the route traces the edges of the city in the west and north, it encircles the larger industrial clusters of the east and south.

View the map full screen.


Next, I wanted to look at the frequency of different routes. In the image below, stroke thickness indicates how many trips each route makes. The relationship of the bus terminals with neighbourhoods and the road network can be easily observed. For instance, the north and west of the city have fewer, but more frequent routes. Whereas, the south has more routes with less frequency. Also, nodes in the north and west seem to rely more on the trunk roads than the diversely-connected nodes in the south. One can easily trace the Outer Ring Road, too.

View the map full screen.


I tried to define reachability as destinations one can get to from a stop without transferring to another bus. The BMTC network operates long and direct routes. The map shows straight lines between bus stops that are connected by a single route. The furthest you can get is from Krishnarajendra Market (KR Market) to the eastward town of Biskuru: roughly 49 km as the crow flies.

View the map full screen.


Which directions does BMTC run? It is interesting that BMTC covers the city North – South (blue) and East – West (brown) with almost equal distribution.

View the map full screen.


BMTC routes are classified into different series. Starting from 1 – 9 and A – W. I analysed coverage based on series 2 (blue) and 3 (green) and they make up almost 76% of the entire network.

View the map full screen.


Tejas and I took turns to try and figure out the redundancy within the network. Redundancy is good to absorb an over spill of bus commuters. Redundancy is a drain on resources and makes it hard to manage such a vast network with efficiency. So, we looked at segments that overlapped different bus routes.

View interactive map.

Node strength

This map by Aruna shows node strength – number of routes passing through a particular stop. You can see that the strength decreases as we move away from the city center with the exception of depots.

View interactive map.

Just like the data, our code and approach are open on Github. We would love to hear from you, and have conversations about the visualization, the BMTC, and everything in between!

Map of Electoral districts of Sri Lanka

SriLankan maps for Electoral districts are available for download now. I initially made this for a friend who wanted to analyze the election results. The Electoral districts are derived from the administrative maps.


You can check the diff on github to see how the maps were changed.

GADM database of Global Administrative Areas is the source of administrative data. I used three simple online tools

  • GeoJSON.io for converting from KML to GeoJSON and adding attributes.
  • MapShaper for merging the areas
  • GitHub for storing the map files.

Note: I don’t provide any guarantee on the accuracy of the maps. So don’t use if you want accurate maps. I have made notes on how these maps were derived. Use it if you think the process is right. Raise an issue if you find anything.

Latlong’s story of mapping India

The July edition of GeoBLR featured Rahul RS from Onze Technologies. Onze is the prefered store locator infrastructure by several businesses in India including TVS, Dell and Cafe Coffee Day. The store locator is powered by Onze’s very own Latlong.in – extensive, web based points of interest and map data interface.

2015-07-30 18.23.40

Rahul shared the story of Latlong.in, their infrastructure and challenges mapping Indian cities. They started out in 2007 at a time when there was no reasonable geographic data source available for India – commercial and non-commercial. Rahul’s team gathered toposheets from the Survey of India and georeferenced boundaries to incorporate into their maps. Rahul pointed out that these are inexpensive but high effort tasks. Plus, tools to do these are expensive.

In order to address India-specific mapping needs, geo-rectification needed to be inevitably supported by field surveys. Each city is unique and people entirely depend on landmarks and hyperlocal information to get around. Rahul brought in experts from different areas to gather local information. “The idea behind Latlong.in starts by saying that addresses don’t work in India”, says Rahul. When OpenStreetMap picked up, Latlong.in moved to a mix of their data and OSM that was maintained on their own. It is a complicated effort. Conflation and dealing with multiple revisions of data is tricky and there aren’t great tools to deal with it effortlessly. Latlong.in follows Survey of India’s National Map Policy. They avoid mapping defence and high security features.

Owning the entire data experience is critical to win in this market. Remaining open and improving continuously is the only way to keep your datasets upto date.

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.

Francesca Recchia on Redressing Geopolitics

Among other goals this year for GeoBLR, we want to engage conversations that drift away from technical details of making maps and working with spatial data. In March, we featured Francesca Recchia to talk about geopolitics.


Francesca is an independent researcher and writer who has worked and taught in different parts of the world, including India, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine. She is interested in the geopolitical dimension of cultural processes and in recent years has focused her research on urban transformations and creative practices in countries in conflict.

Francesca spoke about her work in Kabul over the last two years around the Little Book of Kabul – exploring cultural practices by following Kabul’s own artists. Geographical and political borders and the construction of geopolitical imaginations have a profound impact on the way people think about and define themselves. She drew stories out of Mappa Mundi and Alighiero Boetti trying to connect how they reflect the geopolitical transformations of the world.


Francesca says that the only way to understand politics and geopolitics and what this means for people in areas in conflict is to be amidst of it. This, she thinks is why one should work with artists and photographers.
Photos by Lorenzo Tugnoli

The GeoBLR Sprint 1 – July 3, 6pm – 8pm

I’m excited to announce the first GeoBLR Sprint! The event is happening at The Center for Internet and Society on July 3, 6pm – 8pm. (RSVP)

During the July meetup, we are asking participants to bring their problems around maps and spatial data to the event. Some of Bangalore’s own data experts will be at the event, who will engage in a two hour problem solving exercise with the participants.

Have some map data that needs cleaning? Trouble with map projections or data formats? Looking for some data but not quite sure where to find it? Difficulty choosing colours for your map? May be we can help!

We encourage participants to get in touch with us prior to the event to talk about the issues that they would like to preset. Write to us on hello@geoblr.in, or post a comment on our Meetup group, or write to me (me at sajjad dot in). We will select couple of  challenging problems and will recommend solutions for others.

GeoBLR Sprint 1!

Thursday, Jul 3, 2014, 6:00 PM

The Center for Internet and Society
No. 194, Second ‘C’ Cross, Domlur 2nd Stage

10 Mappers Attending

The July meetup is the first GeoBLR Sprint. We are asking people to bring their problems around maps and spatial data to the event and we will collectively try and solve some of them.Unlike a casual discussion, we will engage in actually doing something that’s meaningful for all of us and learn from everyone around us.If you have an interesting…

Check out this Meetup →

See you at the event!

The Center for Internet and Society

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The Center for Internet and Society 12.964689, 77.637873 The Center for Internet and SocietyNo. 194, Second \'C\' Cross, Domlur, 2nd Stage, Bangalore - 560071, Karnataka, India Ph: +91 80 4092 6283 Fax: +91 80 2535 0955


If you are curious to know more about GeoBLR and why we are doing it, I wrote about it here.

Parliamentary Constituency maps of India

One of the most often requested data on DataMeet email list is PC boundary maps of India. Election commission of India has it, but part of it is old and also is in PDF format. In the recent ODCBLR hackathon coming up with PC boundary maps was one of the biggest hackathon tasks. A group of talented hackers worked on it. Just after the hackathon Sajjad released it on our email list. Its available on GitHub in the form of shape file.

Repository: https://github.com/datameet/maps
Download: https://github.com/datameet/maps/archive/master.zip

You can contribute to the project by verifying it, correcting it if required. It’s generally good idea to fork the repository and send the pull request. You can also download the files directly if you are not interested in repository.

The shape files are very detailed and hence very huge (~30MB). It’s a great source if you are importing into PostGIS to do any kind of processing. If you are looking for online usage, then try to simplify it before using.