Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Fifth Elephant 2014 is here

HasGeek has been a great contributor to DataMeet/ODC community. They are running Fifth Elephant for a while now. I have been to couple of them and they are great. Zainab Bawa the lead organizer of Fifth Elephant 2014, sent us a note about the event and why its a great event for our community.


Facebook has 100 million users in India. You know who has a billion?
The Indian Census.

Varsha Joshi, Director of the National Population Register, was present at The Fifth Elephant 2013 to explain on how the census team collects and processes such a vast amount of data.

Each year, The Fifth Elephant conference brings consumers and producers of technology to understand how data is processed (via available technologies), insights mined from datasets in different domains, and opportunities that data presents for economy and society. The key differentiator of The Fifth Elephant conference is that the content is crowdsourced and carefully curated by a panel of experts.

HasGeek, organizer of The Fifth Elephant, also shares a strong commitment to open access, open knowledge and open data. We ensure that every edition of The Fifth Elephant has representatives from the government –– either officials themselves or technology teams working on important data projects –– addressing citizens’ concerns around privacy and protection of data.
In 2012, we had Pramod Varma and Regunath B. speaking about the Aadhar project alongside Lucy Chambers’ presentation on the OKF’s work with data journalism, Nikhil Pahwa’s on RTI and Sumandro’s on NSSO data.

In 2013, Varsha Joshi talked to participants about the challenges that the census faces in collating data.
This year, we have invited Mr. Ram Sewak Sharma, secretary of Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITY), to talk about the state of government data and how citizens can participate in strengthening government’s efforts.

Why should datameet members attend The Fifth Elephant?
The Fifth Elephant is a relevant event for datameet members not just from the immediate standpoint of open data. This year’s edition also brings talks from finance and healthcare where speakers will talk about the challenges of working with complex financial datasets, data security and privacy concerns in the field of genomics, and related concerns. S. Anand will speak about what it took – in terms of technology infrastructure and data visualization – to do real-time visualizations for the recently concluded Indian elections. Participants will also get a flavour of frameworks – Lambda, Julia, OSM – and how these are used for building tools and platforms for mining data.

We welcome you to participate in the discussions and enrich interactions at the conference.

For more information, write to

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.