Category Archives: DataMeet-Up

Ask Us Anything – Updated

It has been 5 years and we are now at over 1500 members and we thought it would be a good time to do an Ask Us Anything Hangout with DataMeet Central – Thej, Anand S, and me.

It will be Tuesday September 20th, at 6:30pm. We will be doing a broadcast Google Hangout will send the link out half hour before.  Bring your thoughts and questions about DataMeet, data in India, things we have done, things we should do, etc. It would be helpful to have some questions beforehand so feel free to comment here, if not you can ask during the hangout!

Hope to see you then!
Thanks to everyone who joined the hangout! Here’s the video.

Open Access Week 2015

Late post

Open A20151024_190330ccess Week is used as an opportunity to spread awareness of open access issues throughout the world. It was Oct 24th to the 30th last year. Shravan and Mahroof from the Ahmedabad Chapter suggested we do the first every multi city hangout and bring together different groups working on openness issues throughout the country.

For the event we had a Google Hangout with:

Data.Gov.In started us off with  Alka Misra and Sitansu participating from Delhi. They spoke about new features on, new datasets and visualizations available. They were also there to extend invites for more participation from the community.

Rahmanuddin from Access to Knowledge then spoke about Wikipedia and their community dedicated to local language knowledge sharing. They also had pertinent questions to Data.Gov.In regarding using open licenses. Since Wikipedia can’t use any data from Data.Gov.In since a license isn’t specified.

Ahmedabad Chapter went next. Ramya Bhatt, Assistant Municipal Commissioner from Ahmedabad, came and gave a brief talk about their plans for open data and smart cities. Alka from Data.Gov.In offered assistance. Then some students from Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Technology’s machine learning program used some data from to do analysis at the event. They looked at high budget allocation per state and drop out rates.

Open Access India’s Sridhar Gutam briefly went through the plans OAI has for the upcoming year to promote open access science and journals.

Hyderabad DataMeet is a new and yet to really take shape meet up but we were happy to see a first attempt. Sailendra took the lead as the organizer and brought together some people from IIM Hyderabad. Srinivas Kodali was there to talk about all the data he had made available that week.


20151024_184755Banalore DataMeet was there to share what has been going on with DataMeet and any new iniatives in Open Access



It was a great event, and as with all online events there were some technical difficulties but everyone was patient. It was awesome to see how the open culture space has grown, and to see so many new DataMeet chapters.

You can see the event below:

I hope we do one again soon minus the technical difficulties.

DATA{MEET} PUNE, 5th Meetup – Roundtable

-article by Rasagy Sharma

On the 16th of January, we hosted the fifth Datameet event for the Pune chapter at the Symbiosis School of Economics. The focus in this event was more on enabling discussions and initiating collaboration, so a Roundtable format was selected with three main speakers: Padmaja Pore from Door Step School, Jinda Sandbhor from Manthan Adhyayan Kendra and Nikhil VJ (Centre for Environment Education).

The session started with everyone introducing themselves. After that, Craig — co-organizer of the Pune chapter — talked about what Datameet is, how it started, and the aim of city chapters. He then explained how the Pune chapter is focused on connecting data-enthusiasts from various disciplines — such as NGOs, Data Analysts, Engineers and Designers — to help collaborate and spread more awareness about how data can be used.

Every Child Counts – Education of migrant children

The roundtable started with Padmaja Pore introducing Door Step School, an NGO that runs several projects around primary education. One such project is Every Child Counts (ECC) that was started in 2011 and focused on ensuring that  every child goes to school at the right age of 6-7 yrs. Through ECC, Door Step School seeks to understand and address barriers  to the schooling of kids of migrant communities such as those engaged in nomadic professions,workers at construction sites, factories, brick-kilns, etc. in the vicinity of Pune city.  When parents move their home several times in a year itself, how can it be ensured that their kids remain enrolled in schools?

In India, there are more than 1 million kids out of school (18 million in Southern Asia and 69 million globally). The Right to Education Act has ensured that free and compulsory education is available, but no systematic process of finding and enrolling out-of-school not been actively implemented, with no definite count of the number of migrant children denied education. Surveys have been focused on children already working/street children, whereas the need is to focus on children who are 6-7 years old so that they are enrolled into schools before they get drawn into employment. There have been no active steps to put in processes at schools for ensuring migrant children can transition smoothly to another school when they migrate. .

The ECC Project has the following Implementation Methodology, which is volunteer driven

1. Surveys: Volunteers conduct surveys of construction sites in partnership with NGOs
2.Preparatory camps: Through the medium of preparatory camps, awareness is spread amongst parents of children on the importance of schooling. After working with the children, the team realized that these kids are not aware about the concept of formal education, and are not used to sitting at one place for a few hours to study. Thus the focus in the preparatory camps is on interactive activities to get kids more accustomed to the environment.
3.Admission/ Enrollment: The children and parents are accompanied to a local public school and assisted with the enrolment process. Parents are made aware of the provisions of the RTE act.
4.Support and Follow-up: Arranging transport to school wherever needed, tracking attendance and addressing reasons for non-attendance

The ECC project is currently running in Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad, Fringe areas of Pune & Nasik. The project uses various types of data:

  • Unified DISE data on schools, which is comprehensive but lacks spatial aspect
  • Crowdsourced spatial data of public schools
  • Spatial data of construction sites – Both crowdsourced and taken from real estate portals & builders websites
  • Spatial mapping of volunteers in the field
  • Children at each construction sites, spotted by volunteers and NGO staff

Data sources: &

Currently the data is collected using a mobile app based on ODK (Open Data Kit) & KoboToolbox/ONA. The team is developing a Web based Platform for scaling the ECC Program pan-India and engaging NGOs and CSR groups in this cause. One of the key features of this Website is envisaged to be to engage volunteers actively with children to help motivate, enroll and track their continuity for larger impact.


Padmaja then talked about the way forward and the challenges they were facing w.r.t developing the ECC Platform as well as actually reaching all children in the project areas.

  • No formal source available for school locations, hence data is still partially incomplete and dependent on crowdsourcing of school locations.
  • Need a systematic way to predict locations of existing and future construction sites to find migrant labourers.Set up an ERP like system to record a child’s details, so they can be tracked after migration as well
  • Create a mobile friendly website for the Platform
  • Create more interactive maps and chart visualizations, showing schools, sites etc (heatmap or other suitable format) for providing an aggegation/ disaggregation of data on migrant children. This can help in advocacy efforts.
  • Explore ways to track migrated children Find ways to dynamically update the databases and see changes in map/chart visualizations after a volunteer makes an entry on the mobile survey form.

After the talk, everyone pooled in with their ideas and suggestions such as connecting with Trekking communities to pair up as volunteers to reach out to any schools/kids on the outskirts of the city, and collaborating with initiatives like Sagar Mitra (Recycling plastic). Few problems were taken up by individual attendees for further discussions, like finding ways to automate the data entry into excel which is done manually right now. Interested attendees were requested to volunteer and also reach out to their community to spread the word.

Village level Mapping


For the second talk, Jinda Sandbhor from Manthan Adhyayan Kendra spoke about village level mapping of tanker water supply in Maharashtra. With 14,708 drought affected villages in 2015 and 148 drought prone blocks, there is an immediate need for collecting data to analyze the reasons for drought and what can be done to better prepare for the future.

Most villages facing drinking water shortages due to lack of piped
water supply or lack of drinkable ground water. For such villages,
there is a tanker water supply from the Maharashtra government. The shortages are most severe just prior to and during the monsoon, some of these villages get return (North East) monsoons which reduces the demand of tankers by the end of the year. Jinda showed some aggregate data that has been collected that shows blockwise, the number of villages requesting the tanker supplies during
various months in the past few years.

There are multiple reasons for the demand of tankers:

  • Less rainfall & resulting drought is the main reason
  • Anthropogenic contamination of ground water
  • Dumping of mine water into the river


Jinda highlighted his efforts to collect village specific data in some districts on the reason for request of the tanker. He mentioned that there is need for a village-level base map for Maharashtra that can help visualize and analyze this issue.
The discussions after this talk were focused on GIS related topics, with everyone agreeing for the need for detailed village level maps. While there are village level maps available in PDF as well as as a Web Map Service by Bhuvan, these need to be converted into shapefiles so they can be used for further analysis. This will enable visualizing with great accuracy, not just drought related data but any number of socio-economic parameters of Maharashtra for analysis.

It was also recommended to connect with Prof. Ashwini Chhatre from Indian School of Business (ISB) who has been working on Millets & Irrigation data and would have more detailed maps of the state. Another suggestion was to use GIS to take Land Revenue maps and convert into public-domain data.

Tools for participation in city governance


The third talk was by Nikhil VJ who is the co-organizer of the Pune Datameet chapter and has been working on multiple data-centric projects. He also showed his work on cleaning and mapping Pune’s Budget sheet, which was originally available as a 600 page PDF and now has been converted to excel and cleaned up considerably. The Pune Municipal Corporation has now agreed to bring in some reform in its budget book format and Nikhil & CEE are working on possible ways to take such tasks forward. Nikhil also covered several tools and methods described below that are easy for anyone to pick up and can help solve some interesting data-related problems.
Some of the resources mentioned by Nikhil were:
The newly launched website — Participatory Urban Governance in Pune — Maps & Datasets of Pune posted online by Nikhil — Collecting & mapping of data with the power of crowdsourcing
Localizing Pune’s budget data by Nikhil & other volunteers:
Map form — An experimental method that Nikhil has craeted to collect location data using WordPress plugins — Using maps that are currently as an image to wrap on
an actual map

With this, the session was formally concluded.


Open Access Week 2015 India Events

It’s Open Access Week! This week there are events around the country to celebrate openness and explore how far we have to go.

MapBox is putting up an amazing Open Data Gallery Tuesday the 20th in Bangalore. Come and hangout look at incredible art and projects from around the country!

In celebration DataMeet is doing its first MULTI CITY EVENT!

Join us Saturday 24th at 6:30pm for talks from Data.Gov.In, Ahmedabad and Bangalore with livestreaming between the cities!

  • Data.Gov.In will talk about the latest updates to Open Data in India.
  • Bangalore will discuss open access in general and open data projects.
  • Ahmedabad will talk about the status of Open Access in their part of the world.
  • Srinivas Kodali will talk about releasing datasets.

Bangalore’s event will be at Centre for Internet and Society.

Ahmedabad will be at CEPT University. 

Please RSVP on Facebook or Meetup.

Let’s celebrate all we have been able to accomplish as a community and look forward to continuing to promote a culture of openness, sharing, learning and collaboration.


Data{Meet} Pune, Second Meetup – Let’s talk Mapping

The 9th of August, 2015 marked 11 years of the OSM project. On the same weekend Datameet Pune fittingly held its second meetup, ‘Let’s talk Mapping’. The session was led by Devdatta (Dev) Tengshe, a veteran of the Bangalore Datameet group who has several years of experience in GIS and remote sensing having worked previously for ISRO. Dev initiated with a primer on what spatial data is and what can be done with spatial data, then followed with an introduction to GIS, a demonstration of OSM and information on sources for spatial data in the Indian context. His presentation can be found here. Below are the highlights of the session.

What is spatial data? Its uses?

Spatial (data) is not necessarily ‘special’ as many say. It is simply data with a spatial element to it, this could be latitude-longitude but pin codes and postal addresses could be used as spatial formats too. There are numerous advantages to viewing/analyzing social sector data spatially, whether it is census data, land records, city water supply/sewerage networks or other datasets. Spatial representation helps detect patterns and trends that may otherwise go unnoticed. Spatial data in the social sector also comes with its set of challenges.  Maps of land parcels for example are not recorded in any standardized way across the country, but instead using local landmarks (turn left at this tree, go straight for 50m, then turn right and head towards the banyan tree) Much of census data is also not easily available at the finer local levels, but only at the district level.

Spatial data can be used to solve spatial problems. Spatial data visualizations work with the strength of the human eye, which is to detect patterns visually. In the exploratory stage you may visualize it to detect patterns, e.g. a map of a user’s Facebook friends may unknowingly reveal areas of low internet penetration, a comparison of Bangalore’s bus routes vs Pune’s bus routes show a stark difference in connectivity. In further analysis you may also find spatial correlations. Spatial modelling is yet another application. These processes are in fact the same ones you would use with regular data, and like all other data, spatial data too requires a lot of cleaning.


GIS 101

The real world is infinitely complex. To represent this spatial world in data we have to develop simplified models. These can be either Vector or Raster models. In vector models, we use points, lines and polygons to represent real world features (e.g. bus stops, bus routes, ward boundaries) whereas in raster models we use images of the earth’s surface taken by satellites, or UAVs which are composed of pixels to view the earth’s surface.

File formats for spatial data:


shapefiles are used within desktop softwares (QGIS, ArcGIS), geojson is used for web mapping (these are light, human and machine readable), kml (first developed by Keyhole, later bought by Google) is also a common format.


tiff (multiple bands) format allows for storage of larger datasets.

Spatial databases are now able to handle spatial data, allows spatial queries related to it, so a user doesn’t have to write out the logic for such operations (e.g. of spatial queries: Find the nearest school/hospital to this village?). Spatial databases are used by retail businesses, housing, utilities and many other commercial ventures.

Where do I get spatial data?

The Beg-Borrow-Steal theory


Create it yourself. In the process of field work you can use field kits to collect spatial data for your area of interest. Tools available for this include Locus map free – Outdoor GPS (App) OR Open Data Kit (Software suite). As an alternative, you may also digitize from satellite maps

Borrow and convert it

Data that may be available freely but not in a form that is easily usable and may need to be georeferenced.


Spatial data can be ‘scraped’ from websites that contain this data but do not make it easily available, see github datameet maps for examples of data collected from census websites. Although permission may not explicitly be given for this, since it is already up on the web and no copyright exists on the data it is implicitly understood to be open source.

Open Street Map (OSM)

The Wikipedia for spatial data, OSM, counts more than two million users who voluntarily contribute to the project. OSM was first aimed to collect just street data, but it has now expanded tremendously. City data in OSM is of high quality however for rural areas, only major roads can be guaranteed.

Unlike Google maps which does not allow a user direct access to its data, OSM raw data is available for download as well as editing. Within OSM users can tag different aspects of any object, giving others more information about it. Users can also introduce new key:value pairs if needed. OSM scripts monitor changes and an IRC chat room verifies these changes. OSM updates frequently and is therefore used in humanitarian situations (HOT OSM). Only 12 servers run all of OSM


Wikimapia in comparison is limited, it allows you to draw on google maps, but there is no verification of additions and limited data download.

There are independent initiatives to make available raw data download from OSM [See slide 47] Similarly other apps use and make available OSM data, Map quest for instance gives directions based on OSM data. If you are unsure of the final use of your data you can download data in OSM XML format, since it contains everything. GeoJSON is useful only when you need shapes, not other features of spatial data.


  • Downloading OSM data for a country: Geofabrik
  • Downloading OSM data for any custom polygon: BBBike
  • Raw data based on particular data queries: Overpass Turbo

Spatial data in the Indian context


Shapefiles for districts and tehsils are available on Github, Datameet maps. However maps must be verified against other sources of data. In reality there is dispute even within the Indian government on how many districts India has.

Village boundaries

In reality, in many cases no fixed village boundaries exist, the Census uses blocks and settlements for reference. Some states however make available static maps showing village boundaries that can be georeferenced.

Pin codes

Can we divide the country into pin codes? Pin codes do not represent an area, they are points along a line where the postman will deliver. Hence the assignment of addresses to the last  three digits of a pin code is a decentralized decision. The lowest level of post offices decides. Pin codes also do not cover the entire country. Post offices to Pin codes do not have a one-to-one relation.

Census data

Census data at the finest spatial level comes down to census ward boundaries. Nobody outside the census department actually knows these boundaries. Pune city has 700 census ward boundaries (which do not correspond to administrative/electoral ward boundaries) mostly hand drawn. District level offices may have maps with these boundaries as hard copies.

Nothing in national policy disallows them from sharing them, but nevertheless government officials aren’t inclined to share such information. Certain limitations however do exist on government data sharing, protected military areas, areas near the national boundaries, topography maps etc. are prohibited.

Basemaps and DEMs (Digital Elevation Models)

The Open data initiative of the Government of India has created some 5400 odd ‘Open Series maps’ i.e. toposheets without height information. None of these are done digitally or printed. They can however be used with gps data since the lat-long is accurate.

Since GoI topography data isn’t made openly available, alternatives available are SRTM, ESTER and Bhuvan Cartosat. These are good for example for larger rural areas, but not feasible for urban areas. Private companies work with UAVs for very high resolution elevation data. For satellite imagery as basemaps, Landsat imagery, going back to 1970 is available.

Closing Remarks

In following up with our discussions on mapping, for those of you who are interested, we have several Pune specific mapping tasks that individuals can contribute to. E-mail us at for more information. We hope that everyone found the discussion useful and thank you for coming, thanks to Dev for the informative session! Thanks to Shraddha and Thoughtworks Pune for hosting us. Do connect with us via social media [Twitter] or join our mailing list for information on the next meeting.

{Ahmedabad} – 3rd Meetup

This meetup was special as this was on my way back from the long drive. Since I was doing quite a bit of Open Data work on my trip, I thought I would talk about the same. So we had a long conversation about how we can contribute while on a long drive.


The presentation is embedded below or you can check the presentation.

We discussed in detail about the following services to which any one can contribute

We also discussed about the Apps for Android that can be used to collect and submit data.

Data{Meet} Pune – First Meetup

Datameet Pune, hosted its first meetup last Monday, the 13th of July at Thoughtworks, Pune. The idea of DataMeet which originated in Bangalore as a community of data enthusiasts, working on civic issues has now spread to several cities across the country, Pune being the latest.

Datameet Pune - First Meetup (1)

Twenty-six people of diverse backgrounds, both from the programming world (students and professionals) as well as those conversant with social sector issues (NGOs and citizens) attended the meeting (including 3 via Google Hangout). A icebreaker and a game of Pune related trivia got the meeting off to a start. Participants introduced themselves and their broad areas of interest. Ideas revolved around public transport, voter registration, land use change, water and sanitation, waste management, education, mapping, data visualization and more. The organizers then gave a brief presentation on the idea of DataMeet, examples of data successes in the social sector elsewhere and the possible scope of projects that can be explored within the Pune group. Nikhil welcomed those interested to pitch in on some of his projects related to Pune’s bus routes management system and Pune’s budget sheet.

Datameet Pune - First Meetup (2)

The floor was then open to the participants to QnA and ideas. Participants discussed the format of further engagement within the group. They agreed that it would be best to start off with monthly meetings organized around topics (related to data and civic issues) where a speaker could initiate discussion based on his/her experience. Topics suggested were mapping, basic statistics, R/Python, better data analysis with Excel, etc. Dev, Vinayak and Rasagy originally from the Bangalore DataMeet agreed to initiate discussions on possible topics. Rahul, urged that the topics taken up by speakers should have a practical orientation rather than being more theoretical, since seeing practical applications tends to interest people more. Sanskriti also suggested sector specific meetups for example on transport, since the Pune public transport service (PMPML) is launching a new BRT route. Participants were briefed about hackathons and Open Data Camps (ODCs) which have happened in other cities and it was suggested that Pune could explore these formats as well.

The forum for online engagement of the Pune group, suggested by Vinayak, was, to which everyone was agreeable. (a Slack channel was later setup for the Pune group on the main Datameet Slack). For in-person meetings, everyone agreed to meeting once a month, and Saturday was the day agreeable to most, early evening or morning were suggested as possible timings. Additional venues, including CEE, Drive Change, Flame University and Indradhanushya were also suggested. A meetup page was setup by Anurag, for updates about future meetups.

Participants were also strongly urged to fill out the DataMeet Pune Interest Form to hear about future activities, available here. The meeting was overall a great success,the participants showing a lot of enthusiasm for actively collaborating together. Please stay tuned for announcements of future meetings. In the meanwhile you can find the Google Hangout recording of the meeting here. For Pune specific queries please email or contact Craig/Nikhil.

Craig D: 7276085960, or Nikhil VJ: 9665831250,

{Ahmedabad} – 2nd Meetup

Data{Meet} Ahmedabad – 2nd Meetup

Data{Meet} Ahmedabad - 2nd Meeting

Data{Meet} Ahmedabad – 2nd Meeting

Our 2nd meetup was held at IIM-A, under the aegis of the RTE Resource Centre, with 20 participants; half of them had attended the 1st meetup.

Talk #1: All walls come down – by Ashish Ranjan, RTE Resource Centre, IIM-A

The first talk in the 2nd DataMeet of Ahmedabad Chapter brought forward the efforts being put together by the team RTE, working out of IIM-Ahmedabad. The team members present at the venue were Prof. Ankur Sarin, Ashish Ranjan, Advaita R and Nishank Varshney. Ashish presented their journey of supporting the implementation of RTE in the state of Gujarat.

The Right to Education (RTE) act Section 12 requires schools to enrol a certain number of children from economically weaker families. The RTE Resource Centre ( organises pre-enrolment campaigns for the benefit of prospective students and their parents, and has enlisted NGOs for hand-holding the children post-enrolment. The talk gave a glimpse of their experience in Ahmedabad, observations from Maharashtra, and the data-related challenges they faced.


The management of this important activity was being done manually. This threw up many problems:
The registration of beneficiary families was often incomplete, with partial addresses – recording just the area of residence e.g. “Jamalpur”. This lead to many parents complaining about non-receipt of allotment letters..
There was no mapping of schools or beneficiary families, which could have aided better matching of children and schools.

A study by the team RTE revealed how a large number of schools were finding their way around the RTE mandate. These methods include making demands of un-required documentation of the parents to, tricking the MIS systems which enable applications from parents, into counting the ages of the children eligible for the schools as ineligible amongst various others. Nishank pitched in with instances from Maharashtra, where the minimum and maximum permissible age limits were deliberately entered by schools in such a way that potential students would be under age during an admission year, and over age the next year, effectively excluding them. In some particularly bad cases, the difference was one day: the child would have to be born on a specific date. For lack of efficient and transparent allotment processes, there were cases of candidates getting multiple admissions (as much as 18) while some did not get any. To bring out all these analyses, though, the school and student data from the Maharashtra RTE website had to be painstakingly downloaded, manually. Many DMers offered support to gather this data more easily.


The team was quite inspired by the school map of the Karnataka Learning Partnership ( and wants to build such a comprehensive tool for themselves, with features to find schools within a specified distance, and help match students with schools. Unlike the Karnataka programme, there still is no MIS in place to facilitate the enrolment and selection process. Shravan suggested that it might be possible to use the codebase of KLP and adapt it for use in Ahmedabad. Hopefully, the D{M} folks will volunteer for the necessary support.

The RTE team also wants to build a tool to track the performance of enrolled students. They discussed about the potential privacy issues involved in this. It was suggested that the performance reporting to be published on the website could be at an appropriate level of aggregation which safeguards privacy and preserves discernible performance stats. The possibility of using ODK for volunteer led data collection was also discussed.
Getting together at the meetup opened up many possibilities for collaboration from the participants as a few of them came forward with suggestions and also extended their support to this cause.

Talk #2: Public Transport of Ahmedabad

Jayesh Gohel is not your everyday architect. He dropped out of his course at CEPT because he got too interested in code and soon enough he started enjoying making websites. Being an Amdavadi, he noticed the lack of infrastructure, both digital and non-digital in supporting the commuting that AMTS enabled in the city and so he decided to work on – the unofficial official support and information website for the Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Service.


At the 2nd Datameet in Ahmedabad, Jayesh inspired the audience with his experiences with developing the website with the sole aim of solving the information problem related to the rather important and convenient network that AMTS is. Jayesh’s talk was simple and spoke about his personal motivations and learnings in the course of the development of this app. It also brought to the light the issues that plague the archaic systems that govern our modern lives, which can otherwise be so easily solved with the use of digital technology. However, ‘there’s hope if all of us take initiatives’, Jayesh said.

{Ahmedabad} – First Meeting

Data{Meet} Ahmedabad chapter was initiated on 7th March 2015. 25 souls attended the first meeting. The venue was SAATH Charitable Trust.

The meeting started with an introduction of the organizers, and a quick round of introductions from the attendees. We had a mix of students, researchers, professionals, and entrepreneurs. The idea and importance of a community built around open data, as we at Data{Meet} represent, was described to the members. Shravan and Mahroof, co-organizers of the chapter, shared the brief history of how Data{Meet} came to be, and how Thej and Nisha were instrumental in initiating the community.


Shravan gave a lightning presentation about community mapping using OpenStreetMap and briefly explained the editing features. Apart from OSM, Shravan was also found promoting {;-)} mapbox. Aditya (the third organizer) shared a few Infographics on sanitation in India, the Indian railways, and the military capabilities of Asian countries that he created at Folo (

The meeting itself was quite active, with people wanting to know more about how we as a community would work, what platforms we would use, privacy issues, possible data applications for Ahmedabad etc. Arun was eager to know whether OSM could be used to map customers privately. Mahroof mentioned the data initiative of the Indian government and how some additional work is needed to bring all the disparate data for them to be more useful to the public. There was a general agreement that lots of data is available from various sources, but not in an easily usable form. Some discussion also happened around voters ID, Adhaar, the Social Security number of USA, and the possible privacy issues. We ended up discussing various issues for about 2 hours, until we closed at 9 PM. For a first meeting of strangers, our event was a huge success with small discussions happening even after the meeting was formally closed. Everyone was urged to join .

We had shared a form with DMers to collect ideas for future activities of D{M}Ahmedabad. Suggestions have come for conducting data workshops, and apart from opening up data, using data in some way to help decision making. It was also suggested to have sessions for people who are not well versed in data technology to learn from. I guess we are looking ahead for some interesting workshops and data parties. A few members have indicated that they could conduct sessions in future meetups. Gentlemen, we will be knocking your doors soon !

On another note, the group was almost entirely made of men, with just three women in attendance. Thank you Vishakha, Tanushree and Bhuvana for joining. We hope that our next meetup will have more of you.

A big thanks to Mr. Niraj Jani for agreeing to host us at SAATH, and for the tea. Thank you Aditya@Folo for bringing us yummy samosas.

Please stay tuned for our second meetup in April !!

{Delhi} Jan 28th Planning Meeting

Delhi DataMeet – Jan 28th


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 – resources have been moved to MygGov – can we push mygov to do open data things?  People have to suggest open data activities on  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.



  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


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


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


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


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


  • Public transport data – Guneet, Namrehta,


  • Malnutrition


  • 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!