Tag Archive | chennai openstreetmap

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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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…

Unconference baby, Barcamp Chennai is here

In the midst of all the chaos of activities the past two weeks, i almost missed this one completely. Barcamp Chennai is happening this weekend (Oct18-19). Funny thing is that even though i’ve attended quite a few unconferences and events in Bangalore, i’ve never actually attended one right here, and there’s been quite a few, like the wikicamp, searchcamp, filmcamp and more than a dozen tech groups that meet regularly.

Speaking at an unconference in Bangalore a year back was probably the one decision that had a major impact on my life, mostly because of the publicity i got and the people i met. Now, given that i have skipped my college placements (yes some 20+ companies, including IBM), i dont have any plans for higher studies, and with companies (and countries) all around biting the dust like it was chocolate truffle, it looks i’ll have to pull a few tricks out of the pointy hat to keep my immediate future at least partially afloat.

So considering the interest that my work with the openstreetmap project has been generating recently, i’ve decided to give a session at barcamp to give the project some much needed publicity. Those of you who are going wtf at the word barcamp, you should definitely come attend. Everyone learns something because everyone contributes something and that too totally free. Plus who doesnt love an event that requires your t-shirt size when you register 😛