Ideas i’m working/collaborating on to make available datasets on rural & urban development in India more accessible. This means focusing on digitization, machine-readability, neatness, meta-data so the data is ready for analysis. In some cases I focus on visualization too. Ping me if you have queries, suggestions, ideas for collaboration or just if you want to help out



Industries mapping

  • In environmental research, knowing the precise location of industries is vital to understand the impact they may have on the surrounding environment. With this idea, I hope to map out with village level accuracy all large industries in India. Data on location available on the Ministry of Environment and Forests’ website

Old district administrative boundaries

  • How has India changed over the last 69 years. Many datasets that exist of India from the decades gone by list districts which have now been further broken up. India currently has 642 districts whereas it once had only 305. In order to visualize data for these old districts we need district shapefiles for each of the years since independence. Once we have these we can visualize and analyse available historical datasets of Land use, crops, irrigation etc See here:

Village Level analysis

  •  The Government of India has put out several datasets (Census 2011, Minor Irrigation Census etc) in the last few years where the level of spatial detail is at the village level. This is unprecedented since data available prior to this was most often at the district/block level. This was significantly problematic if there was interest in gaining a finer understanding of trends in economic and social development. What is the effect of government schemes, and market forces on village economies. How does the state of natural resources at the village level affect its resilience to climate change. How are small landholders, women and other marginalized groups affected differently than others? Most importantly can there be specific village level recommendations derived from this analysis.
  • The Datameet Pune chapter is currently working on exploring Maharashtra’s village level data and maps for deeper insights.

Water Resources

Hydrological studies on India’s rivers are far from achieving their true potential, one of the reasons being a severe paucity of data. This work aims to remedy that

  • Waterways: Building on public sources of waterways data such as Open Street Map (OSM) to come up with geospatial data that matches the GOI’s Web map service (WMS) of rivers of India. This is vital since knowing the accurate names of smaller tributaries and perennial streams is vital for research environmental NGOs are doing.
  • Large Dams: updating the large dams data on OSM to show all the large dams in India, as many as are given by the National Register of Large Dams (NRLD), (2015) (pdf format). ( There are other geo spatial datasets available showing dams in India, but they miss many of the dams present in the NRLD dataset, which is the most complete.