Summertime Maps.

Maps have the ability to narrate great stories. They convey patterns, trends, and preferences over time. We are always on the lookout for maps that tell us such good stories. This month, in particular, we want to understand our summers in the country through maps. A great story is only as good as how well it is narrated, though. So, we want you to share your stories with us.

Join us on a beautiful summer afternoon in Cubbon Park and bring a map that tells us something – a story – about the summer in India. We are keen on stories on a wide array of topics and issues that relate to the season, and hope for a rich storytelling session.

RSVP on our meetup page.


Photo by prashantby.

Redressing Geopolitics

This edition of GeoBLR is very special – we will feature Francesca Recchia, long time friend and writer, to talk about her work in parts of the world that are in conflict.

Over the past ten years, Francesca Recchia has mostly lived and worked in countries in conflict – among others, Palestine, Iraqi Kurdistan and now Afghanistan.  She is interested in the ways in which people imagine the space they live in, the challenges they face, the world around them and the possibility of the future in contexts where life seems to be reduced to mere survival.

In her talk, she connects examples from daily life in places at war with the images and imaginations that come from geopolitical analysis and the media. With this, she hopes to open a conversation around definitions of geopolitics and representation.

Francesca Recchia 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. She was the director of the 4th Afghanistan Contemporary Art Prize and is the author of three books The Little Book of Kabul (with Lorenzo Tugnoli), Picnic in a Minefield and Devices for Political Action (with a photo-essay by Leo Novel). Francesca tweets @kiccovich.

Location data at Olacabs

Location data is at the center of Olacabs. The February edition of GeoBLR will feature Vijaya Raghavan, Director of Engineering at Olacabs. Olacabs is a popular nation-wide call-taxi service. Vijaya focuses on collecting real-time location data, the devices used and the challenges around it.

Vijaya will introduce the technology that help Olacabs scale real-time data collection, how they analyse some of the data and introduce some driver training strategies. He will focus on some specific questions throughout his presentation:

1. How Ola is collecting location data from the devices in real-time, some of the challenges in this space.

2. How Ola is using the data for projecting/predicting high traffic areas and customer locations.

3. How Ola is carrying out training for drivers, challenges and ideas.

We will open the space for questions and then networking right after.


Map Unmapped Places along Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor

In January, we are going start putting some unmapped/less mapped villages/towns along the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor on OpenStreetMap.

Like –

1. Shendra-Bidkin, Aurangabad
2. Dholera, Ahmedabad
3. Mhow, Indore
4. Greater Noida, NCR

As usual, we will start the mapping party with an introduction to OpenStreetMap, editing using iD and JOSM.

Come out and help us map!


OSMGeoWeek Mapping Party

It’s OpenStreetMap GeoWeek, Nov 16-22!

Teachers, students, community groups, map lovers, around the world, join together to celebrate geography and make maps with OpenStreetMap, the free and openly editable map of the world.

Right after talking about OpenStreetMap in Action, we will get together and map! This is the ideal event to learn how you can create your own maps with OpenStreetMap or if you already know, a great opportunity to connect with like-minded folks.

Bring your computer! And RSVP!

OpenStreetMap in Action!

For our November edition of GeoBLR we’ll talk about OpenStreetMap as infrastructure, and will have folks from Mapbox in town.

• Eric Gundersen + Alex Barth – How OpenStreetMap, the world’s largest open repository of spatial data powers Mapbox maps, and how they are improving it.

• Sajjad Anwar –  Moabi project  – using OpenStreetMap for monitoring natural resources extraction in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

• Nisha Thompson  – Datameet and how the community is helping address geodata problems in India


And we’ll open the space for questions and discussions over some beer!
Eric Gundersen – CEO, Mapbox – Eric coordinates product and business development. He got his start in the mapping and open data space at Development Seed, building open source tools for international development agencies.
Alex Barth – Mapbox – Alex is an open data expert with years of practice in developing and implementing open data strategies and solutions on behalf of multinational organizations like the United Nations and World Bank. At Mapbox, he leads the data team to raise the availability and quality of freely accessible open data such as OpenStreetMap or OpenAddresses.
Sajjad Anwar – is a hacktivist and programmer based in Bangalore. He works in the research and design of data infrastructure, analytics and infographics. He hearts maps and often makes one. He is found working with other technologists, social activists and, researchers in education, human rights and policy making.
Nisha Thompson – has a background in online community organizing. She has worked for the Sunlight Foundation in Washington DC, with online communities to use US government data to hold elected officials accountable. She moved to Bangalore in October 2010 where contributed to a research report on Open Government Data in India for the Centre for Internet and Society. Then was manager of the Data Project for Arghyam, a Trust that funds water and sanitation projects around the country.  She believes open information and data sharing can bring people together and allow them to better understand their society and how they can improve it.

GeoBLR #5: Armchair OpenStreetMap Mapping!

During the June meetup of GeoBLR, we will do some armchair mapping of Bangalore in OpenStreetMap. We will focus on improving the road networks, fixing problems, and tracing buildings.

If you are new to OpenStreetMap, don’t worry – we will have a quick introduction of the basics right at the beginning of the meetup! Please make sure that you create an account on the OpenStreetMap website before that.

We will trace from satellite imagery using the iD editor which works in the browser. Please bring your laptops and your favorite pointing device!

Write to us if you have questions.

Please don’t forget to RSVP on the meetup page.

Special Edition with Gary Gale and Ed Freyfogle.

Two map enthusiasts are in town end of the month and they will speak and interact with us during this special edition of GeoBLR. Gary Gale and Ed Freyfogle are part of a location services company called Lokku based in London and the OpenStreetMap community. Both of them have extensive experience with geospatial data, cartography and building applications and services around location data. Gary and Ed will talk for 15 minutes about two interesting topics –

Gary Gale – How a Map can Go Viral (In 8 Easy Steps)

A self-professed map addict, Gary has worked in the mapping and location space for over 20 years through a combination of luck and occasional good judgement. Currently consulting with Lokku as Geotechnologist in Residence, Gary is helping to advance open geospatial technologies and bring them to new markets. A Fellow of the RGS, he tweets about maps, writes about them and even makes them.

Ed Freyfogle – Challenges in Geocoding Indian Properties on

Ed is a co-founder of Lokku. He has been an OpenStreetMap contributor from the start of the project. Prior to starting Lokku he worked for Yahoo!  for over 4 years. Along with Gary and others he authored the JavaScript mapping abstration library called Mapstraction.

Join us on January 31, 6pm for an evening of maps, technology and drinks!


GeoBLR #2 – Maps for Change

We had a very positive response to our last meetup announcement! Thanks to everyone who attended!

Continuing on, the second GeoBLR meetup we’ll focus on how maps can serve as a medium to support advocacy and activism.

We will present and discuss case-studies where maps have been used effectively to tell stories, record events and visualise information to aid social change.

Participants at the meetup are encouraged to bring their own projects, questions and challenges to share and discuss.

Please note the change of date. The meetup is on Monday, 9th December at 6pm.