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Terrain Visualization of India using SRTM and Openstreetmap data

Terrain Visualization of India using SRTM and Openstreetmap data

Made this in QGIS using data from NASA’s SRTM and Openstreetmap. I got inspired by a terrain visualization I saw while browsing /r/MapPorn on reddit.

Data layers used:
SRTM: 1km dem with a custom color map, 1km dem slope shading.
OSM: Roads (white), Railways (yellow), Water features, Cities and Towns.


Kickstarting the Chennai bus route mapping project

This is one thing thats been a long time coming and much needed for Chennai. The MTC may be good at increasing their fleet, but they dont seem to know 3 paisa about giving its users usable information or even trying to do so.

You cant always use a bus to make your trip, and knowing weather you can or not is what helps you decide. In the current scenario, not only is there no information about where the bus stops are located, but no one even knows what buses will stop there or what route the bus will take. Even today, the most reliable  guide is the conductor of your bus and nobody else.  Even after three years of religiously using the buses, i have to confirm if the bus goes to my destination with people on the bus before boarding.

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Free detailed Chennai Divisions map

And more map goodies that you cannot find anywhere else on the net. The one thing that i love about being a wikipedia contributor is the research and net digging you do for the topics you write on and subsequently the knowledge that you gain from the process. I’ve always been confused by the different agencies and units that i’ve come across for managing the city, so after a year of collecting data from various sources, i have finally managed to piece the puzzle together. This is an extension of my previous work with the chennai corporation map . If you have ever wondered how the city of Chennai was divided, here is the answer in one simple graphic, ok three.

Chennai District Civic, Administrative and Revenue divisions map

Chennai District Civic, Administrative and Revenue divisions map

Its ok if you are confused, so is the government, and the government doesnt even have such a map to help them out 😛 Look closely and the 10 corporation zonal offices and the 5 taluk offices are also marked, but ive yet to verify the locations. Appreciate any help with that.

Im still cleaning up the list that goes with the numbered map, everything including sources should be up on wikipedia soon. Work licensed under CCbySA3

Chennai city corporation zone and ward map

NOTE: As of October 2011, the Chennai Corporation area has expanded beyond the boundaries shown on this map. All the existing wards and zones have been reorganized for the October 2011 local body elections. For updated information, check the Chennai Corporation website (if it works)

Its just amazing the amount of gaping wide holes you find in the infromation that is made available to the public by our govt agencies. The lowest level of governance happens to be the civic agencies and the public is provided absolutely no information on how to approach them.

The city of Chennai is divided into 155 divisions or wards in 10 zones. All the civic works in an area is carried out from the ward office of the ward it falls in. In this office sits the councillor that you elected(or in most cases, you didnt bother to vote at all) who is supposed to listen to your grievances, the junior engineer who manages all the work and a host of other people who are paid tax money to walk along the corridors, drink tea and do nothing particularly productive. Why? because no one knows where the godamn office is! Why, people dont even know what division they belong to, the constituency, councillor, mla or even if they are within chennai city or not. Its really not a surprise that our cities are in the sad state that they are in, there just isnt anyone who tries to find out if the people who are supposed to be working for us even exists. And to top it all we groan about problems day in day out blaming the people in charge(but we dont know who they are or even bother to find out). I’m not really sure who’s to blame here. Read More…

Free vector outline district map of India

Would you believe it if i told you there isnt even a single detailed outline map of this country which is free. I didnt, until a research scholar from IITM approached me for a map to help in a document he his preparing for a government sponsored project – the national knowledge network (what an irony). Imagine, even the professor in charge  has been contacting various government agencies to get hold of a district map of the country because there is none available online.

This is something that the government should have done, but since they seem to think that the band of jokers at NIC are competent in the field of information technology,  its upto citizens like us to save the face of this nation. We may call ourselves the exporters of IT to the world, but when it comes to providing its own citizens with even a tiny amount of useful detail, we fail miserably.

Hence i am releasing the vector base map data of India that includes international, state and district boundaries, into the public domain. This should be of benefit especially to academicians and students who uptill now had to make do with watermarked, low resolution maps for their work. This is the same data that was used to create my other maps on wikipedia.

Included Data:
Boundary of India
State boundaries (accurate)
District boundaries (accurate upto year 2001)
Disputed areas of Azad Kashmir, Aksai Chin and Siachen Glacier (More Info)
Coordinate lines and scale

Public Domain

Download Format:
India Raster Map PNG Download
India Vector Map PDF Download

free district outline map of india

To fully customize the map, use a vector editor like Adobe Illustrator or inkscape (free), to style the map according to your needs.

The bogged blog curve

bloggers have a life too. sometimes
Its a shame, really.

Chennai Rail Map – Updated

I’m bored of twiddling my thumbs.

The Chennai metro project seems to be making some progress. Why, they even have a half baked website up and running. Even more interesting is the presence of a logo, and it looks suspicously like the work of a dropout student from Andal Alagar Institute of Contemporary Design.

The only thing useful in the site is the Project Brief Document (Download PDF), which has a good amount of interesting information and is worth a read. The rest of the site is plain shite, right from the poorly edited image of a Deutsche Bahn train to the 2 photos of MuKa Stalin staring into the ceiling all the way in Tokyo.

Atleast with the release of official data, i could finally finish my chennai rail map, which should be quite useful, especially since their version resembles like cat puke.

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Mapping the city collaboratively


Thanks to an email from ravages and sagaro, i find myself sitting in IIM B attending the FreeMap India workshop over the weekend. The focus is on the OpenStreetMap project and its related tools. OpenStreetMap is a mapping service like Google maps, with a twist, its a map that anyone can edit, just like wikipedia. Although i was already familiar with OSM, having dabbled with it very early on about two years back, what drew me to the event was the possibility of meeting people in the mapping domain and a reason to bunk my college cat which the fools have scheduled on a saturday.

Anyway, a 6 hour chilly train ride later im greeted by the bangalore dawn, inhaling the smoky smell of the city mixed with depressing weather and a runny nose. With a touch of good fortune i get a lift to the IIMB campus on a bike. The workshop had attracted a respectable crowd, mostly guys related to the mapping/gis industry in one way or the other. And funnily enough i wasnt the only nut to come from Chennai for this, i bumped into a 2nd year IITM guy and a final year bloke from coimbatore who was doing a project related to location based services.
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Chennai mrts, metro and suburban railway map

Since it hasnt been done before, here it is – Chennai in the future with the proposed metro lines 🙂

Updated 9 April 2008
Map of the proposed rail network in Chennai

Old version
Map of the Chennai metro, chennai mrts and the chennai suburban railway network

More on the:

Also of interest could be this google map mashup.

Now that i got that off my mind, back to studying DSP , aargh 😦

The Chennai Metro Rail – Its finally coming

chennai metro - still a long wait
Chennai will soon get a real metro, and it hopefully wont go the mrts way

As of this afternoon, its official – Chennai has got approval for its own Metro Railway on the lines of that in New Delhi. Personally, its been a long wait for this news. Chennai was the only city that took so long to finalise its plans for the metro, with Mumbai and Hyderabad in advanced stages of planning, and Bangolore already started with the construction.

The project is estimated to cost around 10,000 crores which is similiar to the cost incurred by Delhi metro for its first phase (65km) , against 45km proposed for Chennai. I suspect that the higher cost is due to the longer underground sections here, as the road widths make it difficult to construct elevated lines on the median like what was done in Delhi.

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