User talk:Ravivundavalli

From OSGeo Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search


NIRD Hyderabad, Open Source WEB-GIS June 2017 Event

Asst Professor Harish Solanki an Open Source data collection and Watershed management exponent, and Charter member of OSGeo designed this well attended WEB-GIS course, supported by Dr Shailesh Chaure, Charter Member OSGeo and Asst Professor Holkar Science College, Indore. Dr Narendra Prasad introduced the Spirit of Open Source and OSGeo to participants.

Briefly: Event Event's Circular. Photos:


On 5th May 2017, Science and Technology Park, Pune and OSGeo had a Memorandum of Understanding for mutual collaboration. It is heartening to note that The STP uses Open GIS software for many a project and Qgis is used extensively. MOU and Photos:

OSGeo and Pune STP -3- Day event 2 to 4th May 2017

This -3- day event was well attended by keen professionals who have projects to use the training. 2 May 2017: Prof Venkatesh Raghavan, President OSGeo gave an account of OSGeo and it's philosophy. My humble self introduced

Mobile GIS data collection using Open Data Kit. Participants practised on various forms created in the afternoon around Pune University.

3 May 2017: Mapmint was extensively demonstrated and installed for working both on Laptops and Android Mobiles by Gerald Fenoy

Abhinay introduced the eager participants to IOT kits supplied to each participant.

4 May 2017: Dr Saurabh of STP demonstrated the GIS work being done for various municipal corporations by STP using Qgis. Mapmint: Installation was demonstrated by Gerald fenoy. My humble self demonstrated PARYATAN an application resulting from, 'Code Challenge' of FOSS4G Asia 2017. Dr Ashok Sharaf gave a presentation on Project Design and Management and inspired the attendees.

PARYATAN Documentation

Android Mobile Application (this is now on line.. to be made offline soon)


OSGeo India Mobile GIS event at Telangana University Kamareddy 21-22 April 2017

Prof Sudhakar Gaud, Department of Geoinformatics, Telangana University arranged a well attended -2- day Open Source Mobile GIS event. Sri S.Rama Murthy, and Asst Prof Harish Solanki Charter members of OSGeo conducted this event. Attendees learned Open Data Kit (ODK) building Forms and activating on Mobiles. A well spirited group of attendees collected data of Kamareddy City initiating Societal GIS.

OSGeo India APN Project for Western Ghats Biodiversity: Mobile GIS and Crowd Sourcing, 18 March 2017. Alva's Institute of Engineering and Technology, Vidyagiri (Moodbidri) Karnataka

A Very Well attended event for Mobile GIS using Open Data Kit (ODK) was held for engineering faculty and students. The 'Alva's Institute of Engineering and Technology', was mapped with final output on Qgis.

Dr S.N.Prasad, and S.Ramamurthy of OSGeo India conducted this event. Photos:

Recent Trends in GIS with Special Reference to Mobile GIS and Crowd Sourcing, 27 and 28 Feb 2017. Andhra University Visakhapatnam

This Lively -2- day event was muted while meeting Prof Jagadeeswara Rao and GWF 2017, Hyderabad. We met at a Session on 'Smart Cities' (in GWF 2017) where in a discussion about, 'Reality versus Hype' was raised by my humble self. The fact that unless we make the disadvantaged areas of a city, Livable, all the GIS planning will remain cosmetic.

About -60- odd students filled all the available space in a computer-room with desktops and laptops. They took to ODK and OSMand as fish takes water with infectious enthusiasm. A drill of collection of data using ODKcollect (an Android app) under hot sun (Day-1) lead to a two hour operation of mapping (Day-2) of Andhra University. OSMand a wonderful android app was used to travel-digitize even foot paths and so called short-cuts. Collegues Ramamurthy and Harish Solanki acquainted the enthusiastic and young boys and girls through ODK form design, Populating the form on Mobile app ODKcollect and plotting the data collected on Qgis with an OSM background. Travel-Digitization by OSMand was also added to the Qgis canvas making the begining of a very informative GIS of Andhra University Visakhapatnam.

Press Coverage:


Presentations ODK


OSGeo India

FOSS4G Asia 2017

26th Jan 2017 Indian Republic Day: Started with Indian National anthem Janaganamana Workshops: 10 were held in different lecture halls. Dr Swarna Subbarao, OSGeo India Chairman and Surveyor General, Survey of India, visited each workshop and also presented mementos to all the resource persons. A private icebreaker was held at our modest Service Apartment, 15' drive from venue. 27 January 2017 Inaugural started with Lighting of the Lamp (of Knowledge) by OSGeo India Executive. A Key Note by Dr Choi, OSGeo Korea, about Smart Cities initiative. Presentations: 70 in two separate Lecture Halls. 28 January 2017 The Presentations continued up to lunch time after which the Key Note presentations, Valediction and Plenary discussions concluded. Key note Lectures: Vicky about GSOC Venka about OSGeo foundation Maxi about OSGeo insight Plenary: Invited experts gave their opinion about OSGeo Initiatives. Participants interacted with the Panel of experts including Dr Kausalya Ramachandran, Dr Choi, Nimalika Fernando ,Maxi, and Dr Narendra Prasad.

 CODE CHALLENGE OVER Pl... What follows is for memory..     29 January 2017: Code Challenge. 

This was attended by a good crowd of enthusiasts and all the Executive of OSGeo India. Maxi,Meir and Vicky were present to pep-up the young group.

FOSS4G Asia 2017, attendees included 145 participants from national (Indian) and International (9 countries).


FOSS4G Asia 2017 ....Code Challenge..Explained--> 5th March 2017 )


NOTICE to Participants

Important points: 1. Code to be released as 'Open Source' (A MUST)

2. Teams are to submit

                     (a) A Flow Chart of design
                     (b) Open Source Code of App 'Paryatan', generated, with explanatory text included
                     (c) Presentation of how it works on the Android mobile
                     (d) Photos and Videos added must be with Creative Commons License
                     (e) Please send a letter signed by surface mail (send an advance scan email attachment)
                         that you agree to give the code to, 'OSGeo India', which in turn will release it as Open Source
                         after testing.

3. DATES: Pl send by 5 March' 2017 PRIZE INR 30000 to be Won.

4. OSGeo India may Change the dates above.

Cantact: V.Ravi Kumar, Email: Pl use SUB:Code Challenge in the email

There were -4- groups active on 29 Jan 2017 in the code challenge room at IIIT Hyderabad


Meeting with Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Area, Vijayavada 14 Dec 2016’

Building a Capital City for Andhra Pradesh, has many facests and GIS is one well projected by a Computer savvy Chief Minister at the helm. My humble self and Prof Suresh Verma of Adi Kavi Nannaya University presented the case of Open Source GIS and also smart phone mobile data collection. The day long interaction presided by Dr N.Prabhakara Reddy of APCRDA had many learned speakers. Prof Raghavendra Rao University of Hyderabad and several from universities at Vijayavada. was demonstrated such that a similar webGIS can be made for APCRDA for further planning etc.


Pune University: Mobile GIS and OSM 25,28 Nov 2016’

Savitri Bhai Phule University Pune: Had the pleasure of imparting acquaintance with Mobile Data collection App; Epicollect. Students of Geology, Environmental Science, Geography and Zoology benefited from this interaction conducted by Geology Dept Pune University. Using Open Street Maps, Open Street View and Mapillary was also grasped with ease. This was part of the after-noon practical sessions of Gian-Program by Prof Venkatesh Raghavan, OSAKA city University. Prof N.J.Pawar presided in the event arranged by Dr Meshram, HOD Geology. Dr Natraj along with me helped the practicals. It is really refreshing to mingle with young and budding talent who have plans to use the applications learned.

A Meeting with CDAC Geomatics group (28-11-2016): Prof Madhav Gadgil arranged this well attended meeting. Prof Venkatesh Raghavan of OSAKA CITY University Chairman OSGeo International touched upon the Open GIS software stack of OSGeo while my humble self touched upon the Potential of Crowdsourcing for Urban GIS data ccollection, in connection with Smart and Amruth city projects. Prof Gadgil narrated an account of Georeferrencing Trees in Pune city which can be achieved by Crowd sourcing. The CDAC group gave an account of their on going projects around the country. Pictures:

Geoforum: Adikavi Nannaya University. Inaugural 26-10-2016’

Vice Chancellor, Prof M.Mutyalu Naidu,a Adi Kavi Nannaya University, inaugurated Geoforum at their lecture hall. On Dais were Dr D.S.N.Raju, Kamaraju (ONGC Rajahmundry Head), Seshu Babu (Retired Dep Director AP Ground water board), Science College Principal and Registrar. A packed lecture hall (200 attendees) heard the VC praising the initiative of Geoforum where in Geology department and others can benefit from invited lectures. Each one on the dais spoke their experience and advised the students for a good two hours. The crowd reduced soon after the VC excused himself due to a very busy schedule. With just those who are interested remaining, I have given my invited talk (not really invited as I muted the idea), started with 'Geologist the Sleuth', pepping up the students about Rajahmundry and the celebrated Geology that is so inviting, with the longest volcanic flow of the world. The students were shown that in the present IT era, how they can benefit from Free Geospatial data and Open GIS Applications on the mobile as well as lap-tops. Presentation: Web pages: Deccan Traps: GSI (Retired) and students group face book page: Youtube videos used Colliding Continents to show how Gondwana Land was (at 25 min on Video)

Gondwana sand stone nearest to Rajahmundry

Remote Sensing: Enabling Our Future”As a part of “World Space Week –(7,8 Oct) 2016”.MSUniv Vadodara, Botany dept’

‘Phool aur Paththar’. “Remote Sensing: Enabling Our Future”As a part of “World Space Week – 2016”.MSUniv Vadodara, Botany dept conducted by a dynamic Prf Sandhya Kiran. Been there to propagate OSGeo India, and Mobile GIS. In just a fortnights gap this is the second event by a Botany department for me. Enjoyed interaction with a highly motivated faculty and student crowd with luminaries from ISRO, as invited speakers. Gave a talk ‘OSGeo (Open Source Geospatial) and it’s relevance to science and society’. Sneaked into the Geology department where I studied 43 years ago. Prof Chamyal, HOD provided an oppurtunity to address students and researchers. Prof Deovta, arranged a quick lecture followed by hands on practice of Epicollect, for field work with Android mobile. Amazed to see how the young crowd could learn it so fast, and by the time I returned from the plenary of the actual event for which I was at Vadodara, there they were with forms and collected field data, photo and location too. Luckily for those who asked me questions on Epicollect in the Plenary, I just toed, them across to Geology Department (the Botany and Geology departments face each other), to show them ‘How It is Done’. इसी बहाने, फूल गई पथ्थर से मिल्ने in a lighter vein. When I was there we used to call the departments, ‘Phool our Paththar’.

Happy to be at Vadodara for Pooja and Garva. Seen the amazing performance of Garva dance by a crowd (Boys and Girls) in hundreds at ‘Department of Fine Arts, MSUniv’, in festive attire, glistening in sweat gyrating to the beat. ThnQ Vadodara. Photos Presentation (download link)

North East Hill University, Shillong, ‘ -3- day work shop on ‘Ecological Niche Modelling ENM (21 - 23 Sept 2016)’ I was there for a one day acquaintance of the researchers from around the country, the technique of Android Mobile based GIS data collection. It was a real pleasure interacting with young students and faculty, who were eager to learn the open source tools. a web-based form generator and Android mobile application for collecting data was practiced in different groups. The participants absorbed the technique easily, and have also acquainted the method of downloading collected data on Qgis, for further preparation. To me, the ENM, is like some fresh air, to know that there are several plant species in the ecological ICU, and ecologists are devising methods to make them survive. A participant from Silcher told me how she does field work along with her retired father, helping her reach behind a waterfall to collect some endangered species negotiating a ladder. The fact that Epicollect on mobiles needs no Internet while at field work was a very strong point in remote areas. A senior researcher admired the application and added how he could have really speeded up his data collection had he been aware of this technique a couple of years ago. Prof Saroj Barik, HOD Botany department conducted the event with aplomb. Prof Kirammai and Senior researchers, Adhikari and Raghu were the faculty along with self and Dr Narendra Prasad my OSGeo India colleague. There was also a one hour lecture for Rotary club Shillong arranged by Prof Barik, and it was a pleasure to showcase, societal GIS and how Geographic information can improve administration.

John Snows Locale.. Trying to capture mid 19th Century spirit

Luckily I picked up a sunny day in London (this year summer is least felt) to Visit Soho. Enjoyed using Maps.Me a simple android app that never lets you down or lost even in a concrete jungle, without internet on your mobile. OSMand is also a great mobile app for this purpose but Maps.Me beats it for Navigation, especially for a Walk.

Some thoughts about Geospatial Regulation Bill 2016

'Geospatial Information' (GI)'

In our country using smart-phones and other internet based activity, a lot of 'GI', is used in the form of Location Based Services (LBS). LBS is widely used for hailing a Taxi, ordering food, tourism, finding your way, letting your loved ones know your whereabouts, and many other similar activity. 'GI', is also widely used for efficient management of town planning etc, and many Non Governmental Agencies (NGOs) use it. Value addition to 'GI', is also done to note new developments, 'Asset Mapping', in urban areas. 'GI', is also used for preparing 'Land-use', 'Land-cover', 'Forest Land', and 'Waste land'. LBS in populated areas leads to transparency of planning and development. 'Swachh Bharat', launched by honourable Prime Minister, and many other similar initiatives also use Android based Applications for garbage management, with crowd sourcing for inputs. This efficient crowd sourcing includes exchange of Geo-referrenced Photos. Seeing is believing and crowd sourced 'GI', can bring in transparency of administration. A road being considered for repairs, can be shown with attribute information of, history of repairs undertaken, and funds spent on it, such that, the common man is aware of any wasted expenditure. An example of a small city GIS can be viewed at GI through was very useful for crowd management during Godavari Kumbh-Mela (Pushkaralu in Telugu). Please see It may be concluded that, 'GI', can strengthen our country, similar to 'Right to Information(RTI)'.

It is here by requested not to stop 'GI', for public utility, as envisaged in the, 'GI Regulation Bill, 2016'. Please encourage, LBS and public participation through 'Crowd Sourcing', of 'GI'. Opening a 'Permit System', for assessing eligibility for 'GI', might lead to a not so popular 'Permit-Raj'.

Goa: Open Source Mobile-GIS initiative

Societal GIS with crowd-sourcing is becoming popular in India. OSGeo India is spreading Mobile-GIS to encourage collection of Free Geospatial data. Western Ghats-APN Project - OSGeo India OSGeo India Goa events

21-1-2016 Dinner: Dr Satish Ramnath Shatye ( the Vice-Chancelor of Goa University had a discussion with Prof Madhav Gadgil, and OSGeo India represented by Narendra Prasad and my humble self. The point of discussion is mainly Wikipedia in Indic languages, after a two day event conducted by Prof Madhav Gadgil, Key partcipants of 'Konkani' (Language of Goa), Wikipedia discussed about the evolution of, 'Konkani Wikipedia'.

22-1-2016 Forenoon: Government Degree College Pernim (North Goa, near Mapusa) Dr Narendra Prasad initiated the event narrating initiatives of OSGeo India. V.Ravi Kumar, showcased the importance of Societal GIS, and Mobile-GIS using, 'OSMand' an Open-Source Android based app.The hundred odd students including budding Geographers were very enthusiastic about using the mobile GIS for mapping their neighborhood. Prof Mendes the principal and Prof. Ishani Roy took great interest in arranging the event.

22-1-2016 Afternoon: Mobile-GIS for Earth Scientists It was a pleasure for me to hobnob with my own kind; Geologists. Prof Antonio Viegas, of Department of Geology, conducted the event with aplomb. The fifty odd young students were very keen to learn the technique of using 'Epicollect (' both on the web and on the Android mobile. TOTs of earlier training program conducted at IIIT Hyderabad, Swapnil and Bindal explained to the students how easy it is to make a form/questionnaire for collecting field data. A simple form was designed as prompted by the participants, and loaded on the mobiles. Out in the open the form built was tested through a mock-field work in which photographs were also part of the data collection. The collected data was 'synced with Epicollect server'. The resultant data was downloaded as a .csv file and imported on Qgis. Many participants were enthusiastic about using skills learned at Field.

23-1-2016 OpenSource Mobile GIS, at Goa University Computer Science Dept Prof Madhav Gadgil initiated this event which was an extension of 'Wikipedia', event held on 21,22-1-2016. He spoke eloquently about the Indic translation of knowledge in Wikipedia. Narendra Prasad (OSGeo India) showcased use of Wikimapia for various themes, of interest like 'Environment', etc. The usage of Wikimapia pics(small maps) to append to Wikipedia articles was explained.

Open Source Mobile GIS: My humble self presented a web-application to create 'Forms/Questionnaires', and use the same on Android / Iphone mobiles for Geospatial-Data collection through crowd-sourcing. The participants were helped by Bindal and Swapnil of the Computer Science Dept Goa-University who were earlier trained by OSGeo India at IIIT Hyderabad. A field work ensued to collect mock data in the university campus, which was 'Synced', with server. Participants retrieved data collected in the mock exercise through Epicollect Website in .csv format. Data collected was plotted on Qgis. OSMand was installed on all the participants mobiles, and enabled for various vector data and satellite images for use at field, without requiring internet on the mobile. Precautions were also given for simultaneous usage of OSMand and Epicollect on the same mobile. The Location (satellite acquisition etc) is to be enabled for both the applications with care. The participants were given the presentations used for the event.


'APN TOT workshop

This highly focused workshop is attended by -12- GIS acquainted researchers. On 13th Dec 2015, we had a day of Mobile-GIS and Qgis indic-translation. Harish Solanki explained at length how using Unicode the most popular Open GIS. TOTs were then introduced to Epi-collect '', which works well on Android and Iphone. For tracking OSMand was acquainted. An field work ensued in the serebe well vegetated campus of IIIT, Hyderabad. The mock data collected was browsed on the net and imported as 'CSV', file to Qgis also. The day ended with a demonstration of Geopaparazzi, a versatile smart phone application (Android only) which can do the job of Epicollect+OSMand together. Making your own form which is not as easy as in Epicollect (drag and drop functionality) on Geopaparazzi through JSON was explained in detail. An informal chat for a feed back showed that several researchers are interested in using Geopaparazzi and many OSMand+Epicollect. Presentations used

Some photos here pl

'HealthGIS' 6th International Conference, 19-21 November 2015 Mysore, India

Prof Venkatesh Raghavan, and my humble self participated in this well attended conference held at the heritage city of Mysuru (South India). The event attended by Expert Doctors of JSS University, and experts of GIS. Prof Venkatesh Raghavan in his key note showcased the entire spectrum of OSGeo software and its history. He has also narrated project of societal GIS being taken up by OSGeo India.

FOSS4G Workshop: 'FOSS4G Tools for Participatory Field Data Aggregation', was conducted on 21-11-2015 with a very learned audience consisting of Academia as well as NGOs interested to use it for data-collection, and 'Students Medicine', of JSS University. Dhritiraj Senguptha from Mysuru University Geography department, was quick to load '3- Mobile applications, OSKcollect, Epicollect and Geopaparazzi', on mobile phones of the attendees. Iphones were used to configure 'Epicollect'. The forenoon event started with the Stalwart Prof Venkatesh Raghavan, introducing,'Spirit of OSGeo' to a very learned crowd. My humble self almost made the attendees to roll-up their sleeves to try the three mobile applications for field data collection. Dhritiraj Sengupth tethering 4G internet through his mobile, left no stone un-turned towards seeing that all the applications are functional and configured to correct settings, for the attendees.

Health Record / Bimari: This is a collaborative work of Milano University, Osaka City University, and OSGeo India. Thanks to Prof Maria Antonia Brovelli, and Marco Minghini of Milano University for an extensive email exchange resulting in the .'form Bimari (Sickness)'. 'Bimari', the form was created using standard (Indian) National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme Attendees had a feel of the form strolling in the garden campus of JSS University

'Epicollect' which can be used on Android as well as Iphones, is showcased as a simple, form designer (on the Desktop). A form 'Sehat (Health in many Indian Languages) designed was used for exercises in the workshop. 'Geopaparazzi', was also introduced in the workshop, as an Android application that can be used as a versatile mapper, with map display and logging facility ass well as with a scope to design once own, 'Form', on the mobile itself. Other advantages being the scope to send collected data, as a 'Whatsapp message', 'Dropbox file', 'To Google Drive' etc.

A very Lively discussion followed with attendees requesting for further interaction. It gives us pleasure to note that, The Organising person of HealthGIS event, Dr. Nitin Kumar Tripathi of Asian Institute of Technology was one of the attendees showing very keen interest in the workshop.

'Interaction with, a dedicated consumer rights protection NGO of Mysuru 19-11-2015

I have blogged earlier and exchanged discussion with my peers of OSGeo that in India priorities are different. Stress on using Open Source GIS for society deserves to be a priority. With this motto my first interaction with an NGO (common usage in India for agencies that work for societal good) Mysuru Grahakara Parishath (, started in December 2014 when I showed the work we have done for the City of Rajahmundry OSGeo India made a proto-type website showing data from Open Street Maps (pl see item in this blog itself). A few weeks long email exchange with resulted in an afternoon of interaction on 19-11-2015. Prof Venkatesh Raghavan and my humble self, took a break from HealthGIS event to attend this. This well attended event consisting of an audience of very learned executive and members of including some octogenarians was initiated into OSGeo by Prof Venkatesh Raghavan. He also at length explained, 'Geo4all' initiative.

Taking examples of some photos of 'Buildings that violate Municipal rules', from their own website, have tried to explain how it is more informative to tag them to a map on the internet. Ex: All similar buildings (that violate rules) can be shown, such that viewer can analyze juxtaposing this information with administrative (ward) boundaries etc. The learned attendees also were shown a presentation of Collecting Geospatial data with Android Mobiles using ODKcollect and Epicollect. A form was also designed for Schools for this purpose. A nice discussion or brain storming started among the executive for prioritizing which data merits for collection, among the executive consisting of retired professors, Bankers, military officers and a few young (below 30 years) among the crowd. One of the young who already used ODKcollect was gibed into action. It was heartening to note that a member of used ODKcollect. The discussion resulted in an array of Geospatial data for, including 1. Traffic density, 2.Garbage disposal, 3. Schools etc. Probably there was consensus on starting for one administrative block (ward) which includes the office of

After the meeting the young among the crowd loaded the application Epicollect on their smart phones and collected some dummy data to have a feel for it. Hard copies of Ward boundaries was given to, such they can be collected and followed.

Mysuru merits for an Open GIS website for society for various reasons, and the front runner among these is being No:1 city on Swach Bharath a pet project of the central governament Hope we can show that how Mysuru City ranked, Geospatially.



'Afternoon Workshop, at Geography Department, Mysuru University 23-11-2015

Prof H.Nagraj, HOD of Mysuru University Geography department conducted the proceedings of this well attended event with faculty and students. Prof Venkatesh Raghavan show cased OSGeo and the Open GIS it represents and FOSS4G events. He explained at length how, 'Free' of 'Free and Open Source Software', indicates 'Freedom' and not cost. He stressed how 'Open Source', can be a good business initiative, by providing services. My humble self presented the historical roots of GIS dating back to cave paintings, depicting animal migration, probably 'The 1st Ever GIS'. An account of GIS development and usage from GRASS GIS to OSGeo was narrated. Use of Open GIS data collection through Smart phones was demonstrated.

A discussion with the faculty over a cup of Tea, in the HOD Chambers, resulted in an Idea to use GIS of Mysuru City, on the themes of Swach Bharath. Dhritiraj Sengupta the student who was with OSGeo India for several events, extended support through out our Mysuru stay.


Bio-Diversity Initiative OSGeo India

Biodiversity Awareness Workshops using Open Source Geospatial Software (FOSS4G) Tools, were conducted by Dr S.N.Prasad, Joint Secretory OSGeo India, at locations in South India. Press coverage of the same is below.

Godavari Kumbhmela (Pushkaram) Crowd Management using Open GIS (14 to 25th July 2015)

It was a wake-up call for Godavari Kumbhmela (Religious Festival of River Godavari) administration. They have realised how important it is to use technology (GIS) for live crowd management. The unfortunate event on 14th July 2015 ( at Rajahmundry Godavari Pushkaralu (Kumbh) has seen administrators understanding the importance of GIS in disaster management. technology helps pushkara crowd (Telugu) Initially Professor K.S.Rajan's (Treasurer OSGeo India)modest group of young researchers with their servers were in a not so clean room of Police Guest House at Rajahmundry. Even getting live feed of Video cameras was an up-hill task. Come 15th July and people have understood why this Professor (K.S.Rajan) is sweating out in the computer room while Rajahmundry received 40 Deg C temperature. On 15th July Honourable A.P Chief Minister also paid a visit to Rajan's great effort. Kudos to the young crowd of volunteers, who not only work in the computer room but some were sweating it out at Various Ghats for providing vital information through an Android application on their smart phones. KAIINOS an Open Source GIS Solutions company are behind all this. On the website you can find a GIS link too. is link to Crowd management website (for Rajahmundry Religious Festival of River Godavari)

SWECHA summer camp at ANIST Visakhapatnam 16th June 2015

Open Source Software fortnight are a part of Swecha Had the pleasure of introducing Open Street Maps and using OSMand ( on android mobiles for Societal GIS on 16th June 2015. It is good to see a couple of hundred young graduates very interested in Societal GIS. The young crowd was introduced to OSGeo, OSGeo India, Open Street Maps, using OSMand for logging POI and tracks. Upon a call to narrate what they will do, several attendees came on stage giving an account. One of the most interesting of them is a guy in his early twenties, narrating how he is going to make GIS for his village. The session included field work with android mobiles where -10- participants tried OSMand for creating POI of ANIST campus.Conducted at ANIST around Visakhapatnam, India ( by Swecha ( was very satisfying experience. View the photos there on below.

FOSS4G India 2015, June 8 to 10th

An event very meticulously planned for months, finally materialised at, 'The Vatican for RS-GIS in India', The Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS) Dehradun. One of the most memorable in the IIRS campus is a plaque and a quote from a pioneer Indian space scientist. Inspiration This institute has a history of evolving from Indian Photo-interpretation Institute (IPI) 1966, to what it is presently. See

8th June 2015: Two workshops were held to initiate attendees in 'Geospatial Data Processing using R', by AK Jha/Kamal Pandey(Half a day)', and 'Becoming QGIS Power User by Ujaval Gandhi(1 day)'. Both the workshops were well attended, with encouraging feed-back.

The inaugural was a very symbolic event with those at the, 'Helm' presiding over. It was a pleasure to trace the evolution/introduce,GRASS,OS-GIS, and the paradigm of Indian digital technology vis-a-vis OSGeo and OSGeo India. An old caricature of attendees hair, turning GRASS green added to the presentation provided a lighter moment. The presentation is below and one might Hack/Change/Adopt at similar events. Inaugular

OSGeo Live DVD: OSGeo India included all the Conference Proceedings in the Live-DVD and distributed it the participants. My humble self mentioned in my inaugural presentation that the essence of all OSGeo and OS-GIS software are tucked into the live DVD. It was also emphasised that the Live-DVD is a way of seeing all the software run on once computer / Laptop without soiling it by booting with it. Use of Virtual Machine on certain operating systems, which are not boot-friendly to the Live-DVD was also mentioned. As usual the conference acknowledges the untiring effort by ( who keep the DVD afresh with all latest OS-GIS.

The Exhibition: It is normal practice in India to have stalls of allied agencies, displaying their latest products. IIIT Hyderabad (the seat of OSGeo India), Survey of India, Wildlife Institute India, NRSC, CSSTEAP/IIRS, Mapbox and Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology were lined up.

The FOSS4G went on it's busy schedule with two parallel sessions. Societal GIS namma-mysuru Session on Smart Cities FOSS4G India 2015 Front Desk Geo4All Rajan Panchayath GIS from Kerala. Jaisen. Mapbox

Panel discussion: 10-6-2015 at Aryabhatta Lecture Theatre IIRS Members: A.Senthil Kumar, IIRS, Brijendra Pateriya PRSC, Venkatesh Raghavan OSGeo, S.K.Saha CSSTEAP, Kamaljeeth Singh FSI, Vivek Saxena DTRL, Shiv Mapbox, Ravi Kumar OSGeo India as Moderator.

A.Senthil Kumar initiated the panel : Suggested a focus line of activity with theme oriented short term courses. Concerted efforts at software application development, with a special focus on for forth coming Indian satellite and Microwave activity. Involvement of KAIINOS a budding Open Source Software Services and Development company in the event along with OSGeo India was appreciated. Brijendra Pateria appreciated the Panchayath GIS with public participation (Koorachundu Village Kerala) developed and observed that such initiatives can fill GIS in the country. The need for Open Source GIS for smart cities was also mentioned. He highlighted that there is a need to have synergy between various groups and organisations in Govt, Academia and Industry. Also, asked for development of FOSS4G tools for common users like lineman, etc who can use these handheld GIS-enabled devices for their day-to-day activities. Venkatesh Raghavan of OSGeo encouraged participants to join mailing-lists for help from OSGeo community, and also indicated the light hearted ways of OSGeo community without any verticals. He re-emphasized the Geo for All initiative and how all can contribute and benefit from it. Ravi kumar augmenting the panel, indicated how to sign-on to OSGeo India wiki and join OSGeo India by adding (editing) name and email address to feel part of the endeavour. How to add details by indicating error message and instance at which the error pops-out, in seeking help from mailing lists was also mentioned. S.K.Saha indicated the importance to develop tools for data mining and time series analysis for satellite data processing and earth processes. QGIS indic translation of GUI received appreciation. Kamaljeeth Singh observed that knowledge about open source software needs to be improved. It is heartening to note interest of Indian Government is applying Open SOURCE Technology. The conference proved that large data can be handled with ease on Open Source software. More efforts are needed towards further operationalisation and adoption of FOSS4G in various government entities. Vivek Saxena, observed that Defence and allied agencies are using Open Source applications since half a decade. One of the challenges is to support Legacy data. Ex: Microstation Data import in Open Source applications still not satisfactory. Looking into the future scope for 3D-GIS is indicated. Shiv elaborated the power of crowd-sourcing, which goes through a process of, 'improve and adopt'. The prudency of investing in capacity building than software licences is stressed. Also benefits of having no vendor lock-in for large applications were pointed out. A very interesting discussion ensued from audience. Rajan (OSGeo, IIIT Hyderabad) wondered on the frustrating question, 'What is holding us back from adopting Open Source Technology'. An example from Gujarat was mentioned on how schools provided with Ubuntu Linux soon changed to other OS. A suggestion on approaching UGC-AICTE for pushing FOSS4G into the curriculum was pointed out. People want a list of Open Geospatial data links on OSGeo India website. The need for thematic working groups was mentioned. Need for launching On-Line education on Open Source Geospatial Applications is mentioned. The need for standardisation of symbology, a much needed cartographic requirement by GIS users was mentioned. Senthil Kumar, expressed favour for initiating working groups focused with sets of teams for short term meetings / workshops and yearly conferences. He mentioned that it will be good if some of the FOSS4G tools are benchmarked to help people appreciate its capabilities.

OSGeo India, S.N.Prasad's evening meetings: Narendra Prasad was busy hobnobbing with various departments seeking knowledge and acquaintance on OSGeo initiatives. This resulted in two meetings. On 8, 9th June 2015 we had a meeting each with Wild Life Institute India and Forest Survey Institute respectively. Of interest are all OSGeo products as well as mobile android mapping applications like Geopapparazi and OSMand. Venka shined at both places with very informative presentations. I have chipped in with a presentation on Geopaparazzi and OSMand. Rajan and Prasad elaborated on various aspects of OSGeo India activity.

OSGeo India team Hyderabad: Dr Ramachandra Prasad, has dealt with all the required meetings, replies, portal, name it and you have it done with a smile. During the long months with several postponement of dates, FOSS4G India 2015 was brought to a boil with adept handling. All done in-spite of the relentless summer which was terrible through out India without exception.

KAIINOS, IIIT Hyderabad: The three day FOSS4G India 2015 was largely conducted with their help. Trained by Rajan, they are a group of very energetic experts with uncanny ability in Open Source Software and GIS alike. Many of the projects like and the would be projects are nurtured by their team. Right from the word 'GO', the entire event was untiringly conducted by KAIINOS, right from building the website to managing the registration desks.

IIRS team: Team headed by P.L.N.Raju and S.K.Srivastav managed the entire on stage and behind the stage activity with exemplary tact. The very cool nature of S.K.Srivastav received a lot of praise, in the very heated atmosphere of Dehradun which logged 40 Deg Celsius on all the three days of the event.

Rajan OSGeo India's account (from his email) "All, I am just back to Hyderabad after successfully holding the *FOSS4G-India 2015* at IIRS Dehradun [1] with the help of all the co-organisers. We had a very enthusiastic group of about 110+ participants covering researchers, academicians, students, software developers, companies, and Govt functionaries (National and State bodies).

There were 2 Workshops- one on Becoming QGIS Power User by Ujaval Gandhi; and the other on Geospatial Data Processing using R by Kamal Pandey and AK Jha. About 48 papers and 3 talks on - Use of OSM for Crisis Mapping; Use of Open Standards and Open Source in SDIs (and the National Roadmap); and on Geo for All initiative were presented. All the full papers, presentations and also Photos will be uploaded in a week's time onto the conference website [1]. The panel discussions towards the end had some wonderful ideas on building Synergy across various organizations by leveraging their strength, More focus on Capacity Building initiatives, Use and adoption of FOSS4G in GeoSpatial Curriculum, develop and implement focused solutions for Common users like Linemen (utilities management) to City Mayors, focused efforts on tweaking/improvisation/development of FOSS4G tools aimed at specific verticals like Social forestry, legacy data support, etc.

Would like to mention here that IIRS has developed a tool called Trivim-A free and open source Software for 3D Street Model Generation [2], [3] and it was showcased during the event. GPS enabled Photos captured from mobile phones and consumer grade cameras can be used to generate the Street view. Pls do try it out and share your comments with poonam at iirs dot gov dot in. They will soon be choosing an appropriate OSLicence for this product.

-Rajan OSGeo-India

[1] [2] [3]"

Tenth anniversary of the 1st FOSS (+GIS) Workshop in Geological Survey of India 17-18 May 2005

it is now ten years since the 1st FOSS workshop was conducted in GSI. Remember how we were perseverent with GRASS GIS which released it's first Live-CD at GRASS USER Conference Bangkok (2014). Venka (whom I met in-person later on) provided us (GRASS Live-CD) mailing it through Yan Chemin. 512km RAM for running GRASS Live-CD was some scale and few computers passed it. My colleague Satyakumar researched on Vector GIS with exemplary success, while P.K.Sinha made a commendable job out of GRASS Raster operations. For us to do all that, that we are used to on ARC-GIS, was the aim and we proved that ,YES it can be done to a frowning crowd of admirers of all that is not FOSS.

My search for a, 'GRASS expert', in IIS Bangalore resulted in Discovering SACON and all the wonderful persons only a few kilometers from GSI Bandalaguda. Santosh was (is) of a great help. The point was to show GSI, that FOSS GIS is accepted and used in other GOI and allied organisations.

Prasad garu demonstrated the GRASS clone GRDSS. Our effort to bring in people from IIS inspite of my making a personal journey (GSI did not sanction a tour) to IIS Bangalore, culminated into a better result.

By 2007 we experimented and shifted to OpenJUMP and jumped around the country spreading the good word of FOSS GIS. Our 1st leg was Bangalore.. but this time to taste outright success. The training otherwise provided using ARC-GIS was totally shifted to FOSS GIS. OpenJUMP, PostGIS, ILWIS, and Inkscape were acquainted. Ramamurthy, B.KSahoo and P.K.Sinha translated the entire Mineral Prognostication Exercise int FOSS GIS. Training was provided with a few trainers travelling to train around 20 trainees at each region, Bangalore (twice), Jaipur, Lucknow, Visakhapatnam, Shillong making an economical sense. Trainees received training on their own data on computers they use (no further installation required etc).

Ten years on, we are now weeks away from FOSS4G India 2015. The lovely struggle continues. Some photos here

Karnataka Central University Gulbarga; 16,17 February 2015.. GIS OpenSource

A -2- day event on 'Real Time GIS', was conducted at 'Central University Karnataka (CUK)', campus Gulbarga. The OSGeo India were happy to be a resource for this well attended event with a forenoon of lectures and afternoon of hands-on training. K.S.Rajan, explained how real-time data can be used in Open GIS siting example of an award winning software. V.Ravi Kumar, showcased evolution of 'Information Technology in India', and OSGeo India's Open Street Maps (OSM) digitization and using OSMAND an android mobile application for capturing real-time data were the hands on experience on 16 th February 2015. D.Shenguptha a promising student of Geography from Mysuru university also helped in acquainting participants using OSMAND android mobile (GIS) application. P.S.Roy, Narendra Prasad, R.C.Prasad and G.Gowtham made their presentations and conducted hands on experience on 17th February 2015. P.S.Roy elucidated various spatial-data available siting Indian examples while Narendra Parasad explained environmental projects of Western Ghats eco-system. Prof Priya Srihari CUK organised the event with very enthusiastic students and faculty attending the lectures and hands-on with equal gusto. It is worth mentioning that the hands-on for OpenStreetMaps and OSMAND was taken like fish taking water. The out-door experience with OSMAND was very enthusiastically done with some girls preferring a run for real time tracking. Dean Prof. Ali Raza Moosvi showed us various departments of, The School of Earth Science and an array of well established class rooms and laboratories.

Videos Photos Presentation link

Freedomfest K.L University Vijayawada 6,7 Feb 2015.. GIS OpenSource

Introduced to a very young crowd Societal GIS through Openstreetmaps and OSMand application. The talk became a lecture for 1.5 hrs (due to delayed lunch). The young crowd was shown a comparison of the Googlemaps with OSM, and explained why they should share Geospatial data. was show cased and how societal GIS benefits for a transparent administration. Pl download useful Open Source GIS presentation and exercises material from link Photos of the event

Popularising Societal GIS through a Quiz

On the offer are 'TWO Android Mobiles with OSMand app installed', which are detailed in the above website (Quiz-FAQ menu). There was an enthusiastic crowd at Rajiv Gandi Educational Institutes Rajahmundry, to listen to 'How and Where' etc to participate in the Quiz. Hopefully the three rounds of Quizzing will harvest a crop of budding enthusiasts, to help society through Open GIS and Open Geospatial Data. Some photos of the event are below.

INCA-34 International Congress, Hyderabad, India (16 to 18th Dec 2014)

OSGeo India has been participating in the Indian National Cartographers Comngress since 2007 and as usual we are thankful to the organisers for offering a Stall and a few registrations. This very well attended -3- day conference attracts all the 'Whos Who', of Indian Cartography and Geospatial domains. Our Stall is a hit with the young and the matured alike with Free DVDs of OSGeo Live exchanged for answers to a questionnaire. The Surveyor General of India, who is also OSGeo India's chairman, announced about the Open GIS and Open Data project of He has also hinted the luke-warm response shown by the administrators and end user of the project, namely Municipal Corporation Rajahmundry. The very colourful poster came very handy in showcasing as the underground venue of the event had a slow internet connection.

In the panel discussion, the role of Free and Open GIS being propagated by OSGeo India in bringing GIS close to the masses of India is explained. Photos and a video are below. D.V.S Sharma, researcher of Rajahmundry project, Gowtham and Mahendra of KAIINOS an, Open GIS Company, attended along with the executive of OSGeo India. OSGeo India at Panel discussion of INCA-34 (Pl Excuse this jerky cell phone video)

OSGeo India Event: Societal GIS for the city of Mysuru (3,4th Dec 2014)

Mysuru the princely capital of Karnataka State (South India) is one of the well developed OSM cities. Thanks to the efforts of Physics Professor Dr Sridhar, we have a very good database of Mysuru city. The plan is to tune it for societal GIS; Ex: being mentored by OSGeo India. The 1st day and 2nd day forenoon were dedicated to acquainting the participants with Open Street Maps and using OSMand (and android mobile app). The last afternoon was used for brain-storming towards, and the data that has to be further generated.

In essence it was decided to collect data for, ward-boundaries, slums, angan-wadis(cresche), sewage, garbage dumps/bins, water-supply, bus-stops. An NGO grahakara-vedikai (consumer forum) was also part of the discussions who will ultimately be using this Open Source and Open Geospatial data effort for 'Grievance Redressal' and other societal causes.

Some photos and video of the event are below. Enthusiastic participants Prof Sridhar acquainting participants with OSM and OSMand

Societal GIS with OsmAnd and GPSessentials

Ooty is a great cool place in south India to be in the month of May. This year wanted to actually go mobile mapping in Ooty for Societal GIS. Googlemaps and Openstreetmaps are full of information about Hotels, Bazars and roads etc. Ooty on the web has little information about, Toilets, Gutters, Slums, Schools (Govt schools for poor people) and hotels for a budget tourist. Also there is less information about the rich Tribal heritage, and a very fragile ecosystem. There is a need to develop Eco-Tourism, where in tourists can be conducted through all heritage sites and also explained how important it is to preserve the environmental balance.

CPREEC This organisation helped us a lot by providing guides on our traverses. We have made a presentation of work done emphasising the usefulness of GIS and societal GIS. Hope we can do a more concerted work in these lines in time to come.

We have found both OsmAnd and GPSessentials useful for this work. The Samsung Android phone worked quite well. A DellSTREAK-7 Android tablet was comparatively slow in acquiring GPS. It also helps having an extra power source, as mobiles use power quickly. I used an Iball external power source. We have also used a Holux GPS tracker just to compare with tracks of Android mobile.

Self and Ajay of Rajahmundry GIS project enjoyed the work in the company of Thrimoorthy and Shivdaas who helped us guiding through our traverses. Mr Kumaravely of CPREEC, Ooty was very cooperative and helped us through our work.

OSGeo India at Training Institute, Geological Survey of India, 'OSGeo Live Initiation' February 11th 2014

OSGeo Live DVD was demonstrated to a crowd of trainees (students) from Developing world and to Post MSc diploma students. After a brief account of Philosophy of FOSS, GNU-Linux OSGeo Live was demonstrated show casing Qgis. Open Data concepts were showcased through Open Street Maps(OSM), and also how Qgis can allow setting a background of OSM. A lively discussion followed and a couple of notable interactions are below.

1. Seeing maps (background) for generating data for Societal GIS, a trainee quipped, 'drawing some lines wont make GIS but having several Layers of Information'. I totally agreed with him and suggested that the depth of an open GIS data set, is what you make from it. Do a thorough job, have layers of: Roads, Sanitation, Schools, Hospitals, Government property, waste disposal .. digitize as KML outputs from OSM, import them in Qgis for a thorough attribution and, there you have a model for Societal GIS. Teach administrators how to benefit from it.

2. It was emphasised that customisation of GIS was only possible in Open Source GIS, and that one can run a thriving business and sell Open Source GIS. A trainee quipped that, ARC-GIS, a proprietary GIS, can also be customised. I have at length explained that 'YES', but only by those who can access to the source code. In contrast, the Open Source GIS can be customised, Ex Open Source GIS can be translated to a local language, by any one conversant.

The lecture also included, how, joining a mailing list of each OSGeo GIS software can help solve problems.

It was nostalgia for me, to be back where I retired six years ago. Meeting colleagues, Aneel, Ramamurthy,N.R.S.Reddy, Durgarao, Nageswaran, Samuel Sukumar, brought back memories of teaching Open Source GIS going around the country, which again is only possible with Open Source GIS (no issues with available licenses.. a big stumbling block for closed source proprietary GIS). Exercises and data for acquainting with Qgis and OpenJUMP. Use link to download pl. All the best to trainees who visit this. Data,,,, PDF of OpenJUMP exercise PDF of Qgis exercise

OSGeo India Winter School at IIIT Hyderabad 2014

UNDER DRAFTING.. Will be out soon.

OSGeo India and Adi Kavi Nannaya University Training workshop 23 - 25 January 2014

The training workshop is focused on 'Societal GIS', showcasing Rajahmundry Open Source GIS project, which is sponsored by Department of Science and Technology(DST). OSGeo India Chairman and Surveyor General of India, Swarna Subba Rao spoke at the Inauguration, along with Rajahmundry City administration, District Collector,East Godavari, Revenue Development Officer (RDO) and Municipal Commissioner Rajahmundry. The well attended inauguration of the training workshop was held at Central Tobacco research Institute (CTRI). The Registrar AKNU presided over the function, with Director CTRI and Science College principal and HOD Geology Dept attending the same. My old self showcased GIS data of Rajahmundry a 2nd tier city of Andhrapradesh. Queries showcased the importance of GIS for administration, focusing on financially weaker localities of the city and reach of societal welfare measures like Fair Prise Shops. A Query to initiate planning for a twelve yearly religious event namely 'Godavari (river) Pushkaralu (a 12 day once in twelve years holy dip event)', where nearly a million pilgrims descend on the anceant river banks of the city streaching the administration to it's limit, was also shown. The District collector spoke high of the importance of GIS data and wanted it for all the cities of the district. Dr Raghu of APSRAC, Prof Rajan IIIT(treasurer OSGeo India), Prof K.V.Swamy, Prof Venkatesh Raghavan (OSGeo International, ZOO project), Mahalakshmi Narayanan (NIC Chennai), Goutham (MD Kaiinos a FOSS GIS Company), researchers of Rajahmundry GIS Project, Sharma and Ajay and self conducted the training. The training mainly focused on 'Societal GIS', how with every thing, 'free', from GIS software to spatial data GIS can be created. Vector data was created using OpenStreet map (OSM) for the trainees area of interest using JOSM. The data was attributed with field work and further improved with a tracker GPS. GPS Tracks and JOSM vector data were fused on Qgis with proper attribution. Qgis was initiated through 'India Nuclear Plant exercise' by Sharma and Ajay. Dr Raghu showcased Watershed creation, while Rajan elaborated of customising FOSS4G tools. Gowtham showed how to tweak FOSS4G tools, while Mahalakshmi Narayanan narrated tools on android smart phone about garbage disposal in Chennai. Venka summed up the spirit OSGeo and FOSS4G tools, touching the entire gamut of OSGeo. Prof Victor George Vice Chancelor of AKNU (university)and Venka distributed certificates to the trainees. The trainees are from AKNU Geoinformatics, Yogi Vemana University Kadapa, Geoinformatics Dept Nizamabad and SRTM University Nanded.

Some photos of the event are at the following link.

OSGeo India Booth at Visakhapatnam, India

Indian Society of Geomatics and Indian Society of Remote Sensing conducted a National Seminar on 'Remote Sensing and GIS for Environment with Special Emphasis on Marine and Coastal Dynamics. OSGeo India had a booth at the exhibition of this well attended 3 day event (4 to 6th Dec 2013). OSGeo India Chairman Swarna Subba Rao spoke at the Inauguration, along with 'Who's Who', of Indian GIS big wigs, while K.S.Rajan (treasurer OSGeo India) received an award for outstanding contribution to GIS and remote sensing in the country. The booth attracted a bee line of students who were eager to experiment with OSGeo software. Copies of OSGeo Live-DVD were distributed to all those who have answered a questionnaire quizzing about OSGeo and FOSS GIS. My old self, R.C.Prasad (executive of OSGeo India), Goutham (MD Kaiinos a FOSS GIS Company), researchers of Rajahmundry GIS Project, Sharma and Ajay also attended and organised the booth.

Some photos of the event are at the following link.

OSGeo India Training FOSS GIS at SRTM University,Nanded, India

Open source GIS software training workshop from 03-10-2013 to 05-10-2013 was conducted by Mr. M. Ajay Kumar and Mr. D.V.S.Sarma in Sri Ramananda Teerth Marthwada Univesity, Nanded. Researchers, Students of P G Diploma Geoinformatics and some of faculty members of school of Earth Sciences participated. OpenJUMP, QGIS and ILWIS software are acquainted by Ajay and Sarma. Vector analysis (Creation of Point, line and polygon, Overlay operations and Topology building) was explained in OpenJUMP and QGIS. Raster analysis (Geo-Referencing, Image to Image rectification, Layer stacking, Supervised and unsupervised classification) was introduced using ILWIS. Prof Krishnamachari, of SRTM organised this event.

OSGeo India @ INCA-33 International congress, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India

OSGeo India participated in INCA-33 congress 19th to 21st Sept 2013, with a booth at it's exhibition. Our main theme was 'Interoperability between FOSS GIS and other (Proprietary) GIS', mainly to erase the inihibitions of those who use Proprietary GIS. So we had a server with PostGIS, connected with Proprietary GIS and CAD on one side and FOSS gis on the other, talking to each other.

OSGeo India's booth also sported young talent from an Open Source Geospatial company, , represented by G.Gowtham it's co-founder. There was a query from an adjoining booth, on providing support and maintenance for Post-GIS server. Incidentally the booth belongs to ESRI.

OSGeo Live DVDs: As usual the OSGeo India booth was prepared with a hundred Live-DVD copies with attractive labels. The DVDs were to be won by all those who answer a questionnaire on FOSS GIS and OSGeo it self. An accompanying pamphlet of OSGeo India provides all the necessary guidance to the questionnaire. As you can see from the photos a lot of young GIS enthusiasts thronged the booth to win the DVDs, and were keenly studying the OSGeo India pamphlet. Thanx to OSGeo Live project, we the OSGeo India could keep young talent interested in FOSS GIS. 'Cat Herding...OSGeo Live style, is great'.

OSGeo India, Chair Swarna Subba rao, felicitated V.Jayaraman who gave a spirited lecture on Cartography and GIS citing examples from John Snow to Beck's Map of London Underground ( ), as part of, 'Todarmal Memorial Lecture'. From OSGeo India, R.C.Prasad, G.Gowtham of IIIT Hyderabad and Ajay, Sharma of AKN University Rajahmundry and self participated. Prof Solanki, NIRD, Jaipur,Charter Member of OSGeo, participated and presented his paper on 'Training in FOSS GIS'.

The INCA is an affliate of ICA, and ICA has an MOU with OSGeo. OSGeo India had it's presence right from 2007, with a booth to spread the good word of Open Source GIS.

Photos are at the following link.

SWECHA (Free Software Telugu UBUNTU) OSGeo India Workshop Godavari Institute of Engineering Technology, Rajahmundry, A.P, India

An Open Source Software -2- day event was held 19,20 July 2013 at Godavari Institute of Engineering Technology (GIET), Rajahmundry. The very well attended event (more than 60 attendees) dealt with various Free and Open Source Software subjects, including Installation of Ubuntu on the attendee laptops, Python and PHP programming besides an Introduction to Open Street Maps (OSM). The feed back spoke highly of training imparted on all subjects with particular reference to Python programming, PHP and OSM.

The venue provided by GIET and convened by Prof Rama Sundari is quite convenient with attendees sitting on round tables with their laptops. WIFI provided was weak and it could not meet the OSM online digitization. OSGeo India helped by researchers Sharma and Ajay (Adi Kavi Nannaya University Rajahmundry) went around installing OSM and GIET image on laptops for the hands on exercise.

Swecha and OSGeo India team included Prof Pratap reddy (JNTU, Hyderqabad), My self, Naveen,Abhinay, Sandeep Sashi, Suneel Mohan.

It is felt that preparing Subject wise LIVE DVDs that can work with 'Localhost'(without internet) for PHP, Python etc can improve the training performance. Link to Photos and Video

FSMI (Free Software Movement India) Workshop Chirala, A.P, India

As part of this two week programme, OSGeo India conducted a session on Open Street Maps on 5th June 2013. Researchers of Adi Kavi Nannaya University, Rajahmundry Sharma and Ajay introduced tyhe audiences to OSGeo and FOSS GIS, along with distribution of OSGeo Live DVDs.

Stressing on FREE Spatial data generation, they have introduced the young (twenty ish) audience to JOSM The Openstreetmaps GUI, for mapping neighborhood. The attendees who are already aware of the FOSS revolution were thrilled to generate maps using FOSS GIS. Sharma and Ajay experienced through the Rajahmundry FOSS GIS project have demonstrated the ease and power of Openstreetmaps for societal benifits, like City Planning, Garbage removal sanitation, Traffic management etc.

National Workshop and Brainstorming Session on Geoheritaze, 'Need for Activism' 30,31 May 2013

Organised with the collaboration of INTACH and Geological Survey of India, by Geology Deptt, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, India.

As a Geologist I always thought about my field work, photos and the scribbled field notes there on right from the early 70s when computers were not in vogue (at least around India); How all my work is translated into shades of various colors on a map (Geological) and all the details of my Geological reports nearly vanishing into thin air. Always wanted to put finer details on a webpage well illustrated with photos.

Then came this workshop (above)and I thought I will exchange ideas with the crowd that is going to attend. I retraced my very first field work (as a B.Sc student 1966) trying to see what ever is the present status of Inter-trappean beds. Armed with a Blumax GPS and a Smart Phone I rode on my bike with Dr Peter a Geologist from Adi Kavi Nannaya university, Rajahmundry. Field Work: Peter could show me the intertrappean beds but on the quarry walls which are dangerous to approach. We found a few chunks of the calcareous rock with Turritella, Phisa fossils still intact. I wished that at least a portion of this must be preserved as Geological Heritage and Geotourism.

Field Work and GIS: The track along with photos are converted to KML and KMZ for Digital globes Openstreetmaps and Google-Earth respectively such that every one can see. Pnaromio ( is almost a Postbox for Googlemaps while the Kml file that can be generated works well with JOSM (an Openstreetmap Dessktop GUI).

The Workshop: Seeing Mr Bhargava's (Google *himalayan geology bhargava*) photographs of Himachal Pradesh, Lahaul Spiti was a treat indeed. All those locales can be considered for Geoheritage sites. But Alas, If only these wonderful photos are Geo-Tagged and become accessible to rest-of-the-world like in, the point will be nailed further.

Summary: I felt that the brainstorming is indeed a little push to awaken a somnambulist society to preserve Heritage. Funding: Do your bit, blog and Geotag photos with small notes for the community. Do not wait for funding. Geotourism: Make Geoheritage tours popular. Combine Geology, Archeology, Anthropology and even mythology together to make tours. Train Geoguides (a source of generation for employment). Decorate a website with all notes and photos.

Restive crowd: I found the crowd (learned later that many young attendees are from INTACH) nearly admonish a speaker 'Not to Read the Slides'.

FYI INTACH = The Indian National Trust For Art and Cultural Heritage

Presentations: Mine is at Hope other presentations will be put on the web too. Wish all the nice photos shown are geotagged, and personally I extend help needed, in geotagging (email photos with location, and will set them on Panoramio).

SRTM University Nanded June 2012

It was my pleasure to accompany Prof Venkatesh Raghavan to SRTM University Nanded (29th June 2012), for show casing FOSS GIS. The Head of earth Science Department and Prof Krishnamachari arranged a well attended session of lectures and hands on practice. Prof Venkatesh Raghavan Showcased 'Mapmint' a webgis tool based on FOSS4G tools with a live example of Rajkot (Gujarat India) Urban GIS. A hands on exercise using OpenJUMP completed the event with enthusiastic students and researchers acquainting with the userfriendly GUI of OpenJUMP.

Our visit to Saraswathi temple, BASARA A.P and Gurudwara at Nanded were vey memorable.


Rajahmundry GIS May 2012

Prof Venkatesh Raghavan, of Osaka university Japan, has spent 19 to 21st May at Rajahmundry, as a guest to Adi Kavi Nannaya University taking up a project to add more content and web-enable Rajahmundry GIS, funded by Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Rajahmundry Municipal Corporation (MCR). Interacted with Honourable Member of Parliament Vundavalli Aruna Kumar, who initiated Rajahmundry GIS project in 2007 the basis for present endeavour. Discussion about the power of FOSS GIS for transparent administration and Citizens grievance redressal was very interesting for all attendees.

Prof Swamy and researchers Sharma and Ajay showcased collection and collation of latest data, including intutive ways like georeferrencing street electric poles for location and crime mapping in particular.

Lok Pal Bill, and Citizens Grievance Redressal Mechanism (March 2012)

Mass movements seeking transparent administration are sweeping right across many parts of the world, and India is no exception. Free and Open Source GIS that can be translated to Indian languages and customised to specific needs can really help such an endeavor. Both the houses of Indian Parliament have constituted committees to for 'Lok Pal and Citizens Grievance Redressal Mechanism'.

How Free and Open Source GIS can be of Help

Grievances can be recorded digitally using Geographic Information System (GIS). This provides a way of recording and visualising the grievance along with the adjoining information on a digital map enabling a quick analysis and redressal. Free and Open Souce GIS can be used for this with the screens (front ends) translated to regional languages, making it accessible to urban and rural areas with equal ease. Copy of the grievance can be provided along with a map/ image. This approach can help in quick redressal of cases as an analysis can be done using spatial relation. Cost of the system is almost free except for the cost of the computers needed and training of personnel, which OSGeo India can plan and provide on a relatively low budget.

The adage "A picture is worth a thousand words" refers to the notion that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single still image. It also aptly characterizes one of the main goals of visualization, namely making it possible to absorb large amounts of data quickly.

Location Based Service (LBS) and Citizens Charter:

What is LBS and how it helps in identifying or pin-pointing grievance with a location, such that other related issues can be understood. Location Based Service is “any service or application that extends spatial information processing,or GIS capabilities, to end users via the Internet and/or wireless network”.

How Grievance redressal is helped by LBS and GIS:

Receiving Grievance: Typically a Grievance is recorded as a note or a memo submitted to the authority concerned. With GIS as an additional information, the location of the grievance, is pinpointed on the concerned Digital Map, and a print of the memo along with the portion of digital map is given as a receipt.

Collation of information of grievances:

The grievances are collated on the GIS to support analysis and suggest posible remedies and redressal. Data base of grievances collected earlier and redressal there on are also visible on screen in the GIS. Ex: A grievance about the spread of gastroentitis in an area and action taken. Incidense of the decease when shown on GIS shows the related data like, sewage, waste disposal and hospitals. The concerned departments of the governament can also view the GIS for quick action. The internet enabled GIS can make the grievance visible to all the departments of the governament at various levels,for a quick action there on.

Open Source WEB-GIS capacity building Workshop (22 to 26th Feb 2011)

This workshop with a -5- day duration was organised by OSGeo India in collaboration with Adi Kavi Nannaya University (AKNU), Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh South India.

The 1st two days were for an introduction to Open Source GIS including Open Jump and Database GIS PostGIS. Two days were used for OpenGeo Suite, with the last day for rendering layers of interest for the participants. OpenJUMP exercise, included, acquaintance through a mock exercise locating a Nuclear Powerplant, digitisation of a raster map attribution, and rendering a suitable cartographic output using Inkscape. PostGIS exercise included the same mock exercise used for OpenJUMP in a database GIS format, where a few SQL queries and give the result thus creating an impression on the power of PostGIS. Making a PostGIS database table, importing comma delimited files, projecting Long Lat data into a choice of projections was also explained. The GIS data of the city of Rajahmundry was used for the exercise. OpenGeo suite was explained through all it's components, Geoserver, Geostyler, Geoexplorer and Open Layers using GIS data of the city of Rajahmundry. An account of using Udig for editing webserved GIS data was also touched upon.

The training included installation of all the software.

The Participants included teachers researchers and professionals of Geoinformatics, Computer Science, Maths and Life Sciences.

This is the first capacity building workshop of it's kind by OSGeo India and the notes and material prepared make the basis for future endeavours.

The resource persons included Subhakar a researcher of AKNU, Santosh Gaikwad, Achari from SACON Hyderabad and myself.

The workshop was inaugurated by Vice Chancelor of the university. The validiction, was attended by Aruna Kumar Hounarable Member of Parliament who funded the first ever project in Open Source GIS for the city of Rajahmundry. Swarna Subba Rao, Surveyor General, Survey of India distributed certificates to the participants. Prof K.S.Rajan, of OSGeo India gave a good account of OSGeo and how millions can be saved by shifting to Open Source Software.

Prof Bhargava registrar, Prof Verma and Prof Swamy of AKNU spoke eloquently about the event.

All the participants expressed their desire to put to use skills learned.

Some photographs of the events may be viewed from the following link.

OSGeo India at Geospatial World Forum (GWF), Hyderabad, India January 18 - 21,2011

The Geospatial World Forum is a mega jamboree with the, 'Who's Who' of Information Technology (IT), India's Remote Sensing (RS)Industry, socialising with leading business companies of the GIS.

OSGeo's Open Source Initiatives (19th Jan) Just to see how Open Source GIS is received, have Googled, 'GWF 2011 Hyderabad' and found that the 1st five show, 'India: Mission GIS for billions of people can be achieved with Open Source..'. On The 61st Republic Day of India, am blogging, to show the world that 'India needs FOSS GIS for transparent administration and Indic translation for a sustainable GIS'.

Arnulf attired in a white tie and suite, quipped that,as a manager, in this event, he is wearing clothes as other managers, and that he is more comfortable in a T-Shirt. He also took a break from the Session he chaired, 'Open Source Initiatives', to attend a Seminar 'Spatial Data Infrastructure', to presnt, 'ESDIN - Best Practice European SDI Network'. A bulletin by 'GIS Developement', can be seen in the link below.

Arnulf's presentation about INSPIRE gave the inspiration for FOSS GIS, in the session. Dr Shiv Kumar, CEO NSDI, Chairing the session participated in the active discussion, with a query (hazard summing up for brevity), 'Is Open Source GIS, Dependable / Powerful enough for an SDI', to which Arnulf answered, 'Yes it is.. for sure and INSPIRE depends on it'. But for this inadvertent planning error to send a Session's Chairman tip-toeing in and out of another Session, by the organisers, we wouldn't have an audience that uses proprietary Software, and received a proven message/example of an alternative.

'OSGeo's Open Source Initiatives', session(Jan 19th 14 to 1800 Hrs) continued with -8- presentations in a packed house. Two presentations from Indian space Research organisation by Dr Diwakar and Dr Harish Karnatak, three from academia by Dr Raghavan, Dr Rai and Dr Rajan, one by environmental agency SACON by Dr Prasad, one from a Commercial company k-Cube by Kuamaran and lastly by a full time OSGeo Evangelist my self. The audience included Mr Swarna Subba Rao, Surveyor General, Survey of India, Dr Moorthi, Director General, Geological Survey of India, and Dr Ayyasami, Deputy Director General G.S.I, Hyderabad, Kiran Chandra of Free Software Moment India (FSMI), Prf Swamy of AKN Univ, Prf Krishnamachari SRTM Univ, and scores FOSS GIS users, academics, professionals. OSGeo international was representated by Arnulf, Prf Maria, Charter member, and Prf Giuseppina Vacca (Italy Sardinia). Prf Suchith Anand of Nottingham University (OGIS event U.K) was present for the Open Source Initiatives seminar.

WEB-GIS: Prf Maria, Politecnico di Milano, Italy prsented 'A Voxel 3D tool for WEB Visualisation of environmental variables'( using FOSS GIS). Heard that it was well received, and very interesting.

Jan 19th Evening 'Icebreaker': Dr Rajan OSGeo India's treasurer arranged a party in a decent joint round the corner from his IIIT Hyderabad. There was fun and socialising between the international representatives of OSGeo.

Jan 20th Fore noon at IIIT Hyderabad: Dr Rajan arranged an interaction with his FOSS GIS researchers. Many of us also used the occasion to present ourselves and work initiatives. For Maria and Vacca the luncheon was special, with young students squatting on suitably designed tables.

Jan 20th Developers Forum: It was a pleasure to watch FOSS GIS tools and their customisation being presented on 'Spatial Cloud Computing', Prabuddha Ghosh, Customizability of FOSS GIS, S.M.Moorthi and 'Java plugin for Geoserver', B.Dhanapal. 'COTS'= Commercial Off The Shelf software, is used to describe various software, and I explained at length that FOSS GIS = COTS and Proprietory GIS = COTS but FOSS GIS -NOT EQUAL TO- COTS. You can make a living selling and providing services for FOSS GIS.

Jan 21st Geospatial Science Forum: Prf Venkatesh Raghavan, gave a very well received presentation 'ZOO' his pet project that can even accept FORTAN code (Oh FORTRAN-4 nostalgia). He started explaining WPS to a rapt audience as 'Why Pay for Software', breaking them into laughter.

Open Street Maps (OSM) at GWF: It was the third lecture at the Geospatial Science Forum, by Dr Alexander Zipf, who eloquently introduced OSM and the path it is breaking, going 3D etc. He said 'At Least in Europe', explaining OSM's popularity in Europe, for various developments and use. I have communicated to Zipf, that OSGeo India has a grand design for using OSM, and a session for FSMI is going to be initiated in the after noon By Prf H.S.Rai.

Jan 21st After noon ' Location Intelligence and Emerging Trends: Prf Giuseppina Vacca, presented LBS with Open Source Software, through a well illustrated presentation focusing on tourist information.

Exhibition: The Stall of Assam and Jarhkhand, states that are using Open Source Tools, and GRASS GIS, were of great interest. GARIIASI is the FOSS GIS software they initiated. Hope such novel attempts will multiply in future making GIS sustainable, for various states of India.

Open Stree Maps for FSMI: Prf H.S.Rai, acquainted -6- enthusiasts of FSMI in using OSM for developing maps for Hyderabad. The focus will be for Water supply, Toilets and Tourism initially. This will provide a tool for administrators to help planning in backward and slum areas of the city.

Feed back to GWF organisers: OSGeo gave a telivised feed back to GWF. We find the event very nicely coordinated, with exceptional hospitality and good food. We are thankful to the organisers for allowing OSGeo India members and admirers alike for the Jan 19th OSGeo event, without any registration. The exhibition was well organised and stalls full of viewers hearing explanations intently.

Arnulf's INSPIRE presentation at FOSS4G2010

Geological Survey of India's impressive STALL: Felt at home visiting the GSI's stall, displaying GSI's progress in their portal. Director General, GSI, Dr Sundara Moorthy, Deputy Director General, Dr Ayyasami, received Surveyor General, Sri Swarna Subba Rao. P.Vijay Kumar, Director Geodata, and P.K.Sinha explained to Surveyor General, the progress GSI has made in it's web-portal and the ported spatial data. Venkatesh Raghavan also met his old friends at The GSI's stall. The STALL with it's impressive displays and an on-line computer displaying GSI's portal was a 'Crowd puller', and it was very satisying the way GSI is progressing under very able and dedicated guidance.

CRITICIZER WELCOME pl login creating a Username and password and dissect this blog.

Training Workshop on 'Open Source Geospatial Tools Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in Asia and the Pasific (CSSTEP)Affliated to the United Nations January 12 - 14,2011

This well attended event catered to students from various countries of Asia. Among various Open Source GIS tools, Dr Narendra Prasad (SACON) explained web-GIS initiatives on Wet Lands, GRASS GIS was by Uttam Kumar, IISC Bangalore, OpenJUMP was acquainted by me and Prf K.S.Rajan of IIIT Hyderabad, PostGIS Open Layers and Geoserver by Dr Harish Karnatak and Santosh Gaikwad Map Windows by Dr Hanumantha Rao, NRSC Hyderabad and Geonetwork (Metadata Catalogue)by Dr Sameer Saran, IIRS. The training was totally hands-on and installation of Software was part of the training for sustainability.

Maj Gen Dr Shiv Kumar, NSDI graced the Inauguration of the workshop, while Mr Swarna Subba Rao, Surveyor General, Survey of India and Dr Negi, Director Forest Research Institute gave the certificates during Validiction.

Dr P.S.Roy, The representative of OSGeo India who is also Dean of IIRS heading CSSTEP maticulously planned the event giving leadership. Dr Minakshi Kumar made all the necessary arrangements to make the event a grand success.

On a personal note I found all the students enjoying the workshop, and two vietnamese in particular who braved bad weather and hail, on a holiday to spend much of it learning Mineral Prognostication using OpenJUMP and PostGIS.


WINTERIM program Univ of Iowa and Gandhi Gram Rural Univ Dec 2010/Jan 2011

The program started at Madurai from 31st Dec 2010, through an interaction with 'Envirocare', an award winning Organisation of repute dealing with pollution study / control / remedies.

From 4th Jan 2011 to 8th Jan 2011, the students of Iowa university were acquainted with Open Source GIS. GIS data sets were digitised pertaining to Dindigul District of Tamilnadu, including Soil, Roads and Settlements, such that students can use the data to plot their locales / areas of interest and benefit after environmental studies. OpenJUMP was used for Vector GIS while ILWIS was used for 3-D visualisation, using SRTM data of Dindigul district. Inkscape was the CAD introduced. Some photos can be seen from the following link.

Department of Geinformatics Gandhi Gram Rural University (GGRU). 15th December 2010

The ease with which GIS can be achieved using FOSS GIS was demonstrated. Phylosophy and priniciples of OSGeo was explained in this well attended event. The students were advised not to help piracy but only use Licensed software. Presentation of FOSS4G2010 were shown to give them the depth of FOSS GIS's ability. Prof Mani HOD presided over the event, with Prof T.T.Renganathan of Department of Agriculture giving the finishing lines. Some photos of the event and GGRU are below.

This visit of mine to GGRU was in connection with, 'WINTERIM program University of Iowa and Gandhi Gram Rural University Dec 2010/ Jan 2011'. Could get lot of information for preparing base maps of Dindigul District, to prepare for Open Source GIS initiative.

Department of Geography Andhra University. 27th January 2010

A lecture come demonstration was held for the students and faculty of The Geography department of Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, explaining the aims of OSGeo and FOSS GIS software propagated. The ease with which GIS can be achieved using FOSS GIS was demonstrated on screen through a simple exercise. Phylosophy and priniciples of OSGeo International were explained in this well attended event arranged by Dr.Suneetha,HOD. Photos of the event are in the following link

Department of Geography Mysore University. 18th November 2009

'Demistifying GIS, through FOSS GIS', a demonstration was held for the students and faculty of The Geography department. 'Locating a nuclear power plant in India, querying a set of data of Geology, drainage, indian boundary and state capitals, was demonstrated using OpenJump. The ease with which GIS can be achieved using FOSS GIS was demonstrated. Phylosophy and priniciples of OSGeo International was explained in this well attended event.

Open Source GIS in India: Present Scenario Indian Institute of Science(IIS), Bangalore 16th November 2009

The OSGeo-India participated in the following event of CiSTUP jointly with KSCST at IIS. About the institutions browse here.

The participants were from various departments of IIS and Centre for Ecological studies in Particular. IIS Bangalore is a Tier-1 mirror for GRASS, and is one of the pioneers in FOSS GIS development in India. GRDSS, a flavour of GRASS GIS with routines added for using Indian satellite image formats, is more than 9 years old They not only keep GRDSS updated as GRASS is updated, but also add numerous other functions.

After an initial introduction to OSGeo and it's phylosophy, projects taken up using FOSS GIS were presented. An account of GIS datasets generated for Rajahmundry and the WEB-GIS of the same with Telugu (an Indian language)front end was demonstrated. Using Googlemaps in WEB-GIS for Wet-Lands of Kerala was also demonstrated at length.

Development of GRDSS and it's future was presented by it's principal developers Prf Ramachandra and Mr Uttam Kumar of CES, IIS. The ease with which FOSS GIS is learned and implemented for village administration was demonstrated by Jaisen who was from a humble village background. Jaisen who was a village Clerk, joined in a course of environmental science and then learned to use GRASS for village administration. A presentation from CES IIS, also demonstrated how research on wetlands around the city of Bangalore, and urban sprawl was done using FOSS GIS with MODIS, ASTER and SRTM Free data. Seismological study and microzonation of the city of Bangalore was presented with illustrative maps which are due for convertion into GIS.

Private entrepreneurs like K-Cube, who run their business using FOSS GIS have participated and also indicated their aims and hope. A discussion on how best FOSS GIS can be implemented and lessons learned completed the event. Some photos of the event:

The Indian GIS scene -- Hype and reality

In the late nineties and early in the present millenum Geographic Information System saw a boom in the Indian market with millions spent on acquiring proprietory GIS software, hardware and digitisation of existing paper maps. Many universities started offering courses exclusively in geoinformatics as a seperate subject. Most of the metro cities have embarked on GIS projects to initiate use of GIS in administration. Many Journals specialising in Mapping and GIS also flowered and forcasted an exponential growth in GIS as public utility.

In reality, presently GIS is more used by the academia than by administrators. Many of the governamental agencies are unable to spend for upgrading proprietory GIS software and also lack trained human resource.

So the prevailing scenario is one which shows the need of sustainable GIS. There are many situations which are true to India unlike the developed world.

FOSS GIS to fight corruption: The maxim 'Knowledge is power' is very true in grass route administration. The district administration for example is most important in India. The very able administrators at the top, have to depend on lower level officials for actually running the administrative machine. The lower level officials have all the ground knowledge and any public distribution of funds etc is directly dependant on their efficiency. A corrupt low level official can make a mokery of the most novel of welfare measures. This is where FOSS GIS can help. Among the many possibilities with FOSS GIS, it can be translated to indian languages and customised.

How FOSS GIS can help: District level administrative GIS with all the requisite information can do the trick. Being in their own language, the citizens can in fact correct erroneous data. With this the top administrator can monitor the situation, and so are the benificiaries who can actually see any scheme functioning on a computer screen.

Examples: 1. Ration cards: In India ration cards distribution is vital for giving welfare for the poor. Georeferencing each ration card holder can show their actual spread in various localities such that anamolies can be corrected. If all the ration card addresses are georeferenced, it can be a boon to the administrator thus reducing chances of bogus ration cards and corruption.

2. Water bodies: The water bodies like lakes and ponds etc are desilted every year spending tax payers money. In fact many ponds have become cultivated lands and just do not exist any more. This can be seen by the latest imagery and even better visualised by seeing periodical images showing change. Quite a lot of research material is generated on this but very little of it is for helping administrators, as the test cases mostly canvas use of costly Proprietory GIS.

How Open Source GIS can help Citizens rights: The state of Andhra Pradesh pioneers in E-Seva which is a Governament to Citizen (G2C) concept. E-Seva centres are spread in all the towns and can add GIS terminals using Open Source GIS. Citizens can lodge complaints showing on the map (GIS) sites that require attention from Sanitation to road maintenance etc.

GIS is nothing new but what can be new, is its extensive use for civil administration. Only Open Source GIS can provide extensive use of GIS by administrators cutting down costs. In India GIS initiative is in the hands of academia giving it an aura of high and costly technology. This scene can change for the better with proliferation and mass usage of Free and Open Source GIS.

OSGeo India has done a project for the town of Rajahmundry (presented in FOSS4G2008 involving local students for collecting and analysing data. Now the second phase of this very project will tune it for actual usage and benifit of society, by focusing on themes like, sanitation, water supply, roads and civic ameneties. Hopefully this example will be emulated for societal benifit.

Project GISDA for Pune City: This is a shining example to emulate in other parts of India. This project uses Open Source software for public administration.

OSGeo-UK : A begining

Open Source Geospatial and The OSGeo Foundation Talk by: Jo Cook, of Oxford Archaeology, 22nd Jan 2009

It is a very nice occasion that a few weeks old OSGeo-UK, has started with a, 'curtain raiser' initiative. The talk covered the OSGeo's aims and goals, along with several other allied topics, like "Overview of the open source geospatial stack and the key packages within it". The material is available at But for a lack of OS of her choice on the laptop at BCS, Jo could have demonstrated gvSIG using ,openmoko phone, with flexible keyboard, for mobile GIS. Jo, mentioned that there are about 50, members in the OSGeo-UK. There was a mention of the very first conference on 22nd June 2009 at Nottingham ( The talk also included lighter moments with a mention of, Open Source Beer project '', a news to me. The talk ended with a lively discussion. I asked about status of free availability of Geospatial data in the UK, and learned that, is still faraway. I was all the time scribbling notes on a piece of paper, which is actually, a map (google-graphic-dump) of the venue, and a route from Covent-Garden, the tube station. I wondered, is this not free spatial data.. where is the glitch.!! The refreshments were so nicely served that, the talk was slightly delayed for the attendees to finish munching.

'You wont get a cent'

The magic landscape of the Table Mountain welcomed the geologist in me, while the Gandhi in the soul kept my eyes open for anything that can relate to the great man's experiences in this land that made a Mahatma out of a simple law practitioner.

Thanks to the mix up of airport pickups, My arrival was memorable. Coming out of the south African immigration, I searched for the FOSS4G2008 sign, and failed to find any. Squinted at all the Signboards held by persons waiting, to receive various persons. But no sign of my Indian name or OSGeo or FOSS4G2008 appeared. With some hesitation I was at the help desk with my suitcases on toe. The Help-Desk lady called the conference's location, but no one answered. It was 6-30 in the eventing and I was advised to take a taxi to reach the venue, which I eventually agreed after I was assured that the taxi accepts dollar payment too. At the International Convention Center I found the event managers very busy and the lady almost accused me that why I missed the pickup. The lady was so confused that she almost opened a door adjoining the counter she was attending, only to quickly close it after finding that it was actually a fire escape door. The taxi driver was advised to take me to The Fountains Hotel after the event managers gave me an approximate taxi fare of 300 rand. The next morning I returned the unspent amount of 30 rand to the same lady but received no courtesy in the form of 'Thank You' etc. I thought may be this is not reason enough in South Africa.

The conference schedule was so busy that days went like minutes. The Grand Gala dinner at Moyo was wonderful, but I wished the male singer made more of those 'Tongue in Palette', clicking sounds which I understood to be part of African Languages. It is amazing that such large bottoms can make all those wonderful dance movements. Making time for seeing the 'Water Front', and other tourist attractions was quite difficult, and on the last day of my Cape Town Stay, I took the red tourist bus up to the foot hill of the 'Table Mountain', but Alas it was too Windy and the cable car was not functioning, to reach the top of the, 'Table Mountain'.

On the last day of the Conference, to make sure that my pick up transport to the airport is intact, I paid a visit to the reception desk of the event managers. The Lady who paid for my Taxi was there, with her usual frown. 'Will you please make sure that I get my transport to the airport, tomorrow, I am in room number such and so..', I said politely in my in dish English. 'You wont get a cent, If you miss your transport', she admonished. Others in the vicinity could feel the tension in the air, but probably were perplexed to see my broad smile.

I thought to my self, ' You made it Ravi, you made it'. That night alone in my room nursing a glass of red-wine, I wondered, what it must have felt like for Gandhi, when he was thrown out of a train in The Then South Africa. The next morning I found the OSGeo RSA organizer, Gaven at breakfast. I called Gaven aside and narrated the incident, but laughed it off when he confessed that the same Lady was worse with him. I will remain thankful to those who event-managed FOSS4G2008 for having made my experience so memorable.

Evangelising FOSS GIS:

After being actively involved with FOSS GIS and OSGeo and OSGeo India in particular, I have realised that the much needed proliferation of FOSS GIS and OSGeo software in the developing world (like India) is quite different to the model followed in the developed world. Even the departments like, 'Geological Survey of India', 'NRSA', pioneering in use of GIS in the country, have several (man made) issues which do not exist in the developed world like USA, Italy, Japan and the rest of Europe. For the OSGeo's gospel to be heard in India and Asia you require someone who knows the ground realities. India is already spending billions to GIS enable its gevernance at various levels. But this sure will be a sad storey, as the data products created may not be used due to lack of licenses of Proprietary software. This will create a vaccuum that can be naturally filled by the usage of OSGeo and FOSS GIS softwares. Indian states like Kerala have officially adopted GNU-Linux as the official Operating System, but with mixed success as far as FOSS GIS is concerned. The very 1st workshop for awareness building had a mixed response, due to some issues with the OS. In Kerala software on GNU-Linux is only acceptable. As Co-Chairman for OSGeo India events, have been going around spreading OSGeo, which is most relevant to Indian conditions. Trying my best to introduce FOSS GIS software in various educational institutions. Spread of FOSS GIS software is very beneficial to INDIA which has scarce funding. Lot of funds are spent for generation of geospatial data through Proprietary software, which then wait in vain for mass utilization for the lack of licenses of Proprietary GIS. Even if a few hundreds of Proprietary licenses are made available they cannot reach the nooks and corners of this vast highly populated country. So OSGeo can workout a GIS solution for India saving funds. There is also a catch-22 situation where students are only interested in learning skills that can land them a job, and FOSS GIS jobs can proliferate with availability skilled GIS personell. This can be solved by OSGeo's involvement by providing much needed encouragement to students. Conducting OSGeo Capacity building workshops and introducing FOSS GIS in curricula also will go a long way in realizing OSGeo's aims.OSGeo can also help customization of FOSS GIS through translation into Indian languages (already being done) and to suite various needs like, Urban town-planning, Policing, Sanitation etc, by roping in educational institutions providing possible research grants. Enjoyed visiting places and spreading the good word of OSGeo. Some memories are captured as photos and the dearest is where Kalam's signature hair-cut is displayed. Kalam is the spirit behind Indian Open Source movement.

EVENTS of OSGeo India chapter

January 2007: Free and Open Source Software In Science, 4-6 January, 2007, Union Christian College, Alwaye, Kochi In this programme by a educational institution, the participants were introduced to Free and Open Source GIS software, and the organisations that promote them. A dataset prepared for the city of Hyderabad, using freely available satelite imagery along with freely downloadable SRTM data was demonstrated by V.Ravi Kumar, emphasising FOSS GIS.

The 1st OSGeo-India workshop: The very first OSGeo workshop was held at the Map World Forum, Hyderabad 22-25th January 2007. This well attended event was also participated by OSGeo delegates from China, Vietnam and Japan.

February 2007: National Conference on Biodiversity Conservation and Human Well-Being was organized by Department of Zoology, Osmania University and co-sponsored by SACON Deccan Regional Station, Hyderabad. The conference was held at Osmania University during February 8-10, 2007. SACON conducted a workshop on Wetland Informatics. It was aimed to address some of the issues related to spatial information generation, processing and data base design, dissemination and software development. In this workshop SACON presented Wetlands of India's website and it's future with the extensive use of FOSS tools. V.Ravi Kumar, Joint Secretory OSGeo India Chapter presented about the various FOSS4G's GIS software and their use taking the City of Hyderabad as an example. Prof K.S.Rajan, treasurer of OSGeo India chapter also actively participated in the proceedings. P.K.Sinha and A.V.Satya Kumar demonstrated FOSS GIS by showing OpenJUMP and it's userfriendly capabilities in performing vector GIS tasks like onscreen digitization of raster images to shape file with attribution.

March-2007: National Convention On Free Software, 3rd - 4th of March 2007, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh included a session on 'Geospatial data'. Dr K.S.Rajan, and V.Ravi Kumar of OSGeo-India chapter, presented 'OSGeo phylosophy', and Open Source GIS alternatives respectively, which was attended by Free Software Foundation (FSF) enthusisasts from around the country. Society of Geoinformatics Engineering at Anna University, Chennai, conducted a two-day Geohorizon 2007 symposium (16-17 march 2007). There were four participants from OSGeo India chapter two on each day. Sri Neeraj Deekshith of Autodesk India and Santosh Gaekwad of SACON Hyderabad, presented use of Open Source Geospatial software in their organisations. Mr V.Ravi Kumar, and Mrs Mahalakshmi Narayanan presented 'Open Source GIS Galore', and 'Open Source GIS for web-services' respectively. Santosh Gaikwad presented the use of GeoSever for internet mapping of Wetlands of india. He delievered the SACON's experience while studying GeoServer- a open source server for Web-GIS. Use of Udig and GeoServer for publishing vector or raster maps onto web by storing the spatial data into PostGIS was demonstrated.

May 2007: On 11th May 2007 one day OSGeo-India workshop was held at, 'GIS Development', Noida (Delhi) with participants from the Indian geospatial community. They represented organizations like National Remote Sensing Agency, Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), Tata Consultancy Servicesv (TCS), MapInfo, Adroitec, GIS Consortium, Eicher, 5Map, Infosys, Autodesk, National Institute of Health and Family Welfare, and Bharti Vidyapeeth's Institute of Computer Applications and Management (BVICAM). The workshop was opened by OSGeo-India representative Dr P.S.Roy, with an opening remark that,"GIS has emerged as an important technology tool. GIS initiatives need to be upscaled in terms of outreach and this is where OSGeo comes into play." One of the most important objective, from an Indian context, is to convert the free GIS tools like GRASS and MapServer in vernacular languages to form a large interest group. Dr. Roy also elaborated upon some of the noteworthy initiatives taken by organizations in India in the open source domain. V.Ravi kumar, who is a founder member of OSGeo India, spoke about various FOSS GIS like GRASS, Quantum GIS, UDIG, Open Jump available today. The demonstration on 'Locating a Nuclear Power Plant', using Open Jump, was not only interesting but also testified how FOSS GIS can be equally useful as Proprietary GIS softwares. Ravi Kumar also talked in length about utility of FOSS GIS in India. The most pertinent point raised by him was that FOSS GIS is cost effective and can, therefore, become popular in a developing country like India. It can also provide employment through promotion of Village Cadastral GIS where all that one spends on, is a branded computer (available for less than Rs.20,000), as no cost is incurred on the software because it is, free and open. Sridhar Saraswati of Autodesk India, also gave a presentation, which answered a vital question- why is Autodesk supporting free and open source softwares? The reason is that firstly, Autodesk wants a broader adoption of Internet mapping technology and secondly, FOSS would create higher demand for related products. It would also be beneficial for the customers as the frequency of software releases will increase, cost of ownership will come down and there will be more innovation and support for standards. Satyajit Rath from CDAC, Noida presenyted 'CDAC's Initiatives on Open Source GIS'. 'Geospatial Convergence with Open Source' was presented by Amit Jain, of Infosys. The workshop came to an end with the closing remarks by Dr. P.S Roy. He expressed hope that "Proprietary softwares should invest in open source to make it a win-win situation for all."

June 2007: The OSGeo-India chapter has conducted it's 1st Capacity building 3 day workshop from 26th to 28th June 2007 at Salim Ali Centre For Ornithology & Natural History (SACON) Hyderabad. The workshop was attended by -18- participants from NIC, NRSA, IIIT, Spec Systems, Army and Survey of India. All the participants were conversant with Proprietary GIS software and were eager to acquaint with FOSS alternatives. The 1st day included demonstration and hands-on practice with OpenJUMP GIS and map composition through Inkscape. The 2nd day was devoted to ILWIS GIS through raster analysis and generation of stereo pair and 3D visualization. The 3rd day was for using GRASS GIS for network analysis and creation of 3D visualisation and fly-bi. The participants were shown how one can join the OSGeo as a member and help spread the awareness. The resource persons were from Geological Survey of India.

July 2007: A two hour lecture come demonstration of 'Open Source GIS GALORE', was presented by V.Ravi Kumar of OSGeo India, for the students of Geoinformatics post graduation course Nannaya University, Rajahmundry on 3rd July 2007. GRASS GIS and OpenJUMP were demonstrated using sample data. The students who could interact well in the question and answer session were presented GRASS6.2 Live CDs.

Link to photos of the above events