For a change, this is not a subject-specific post, but a more general catchup on things mappy and not-so-mappy that we’ve been doing. In brief, the three of us who run this blog are all now wearing different hats from the ones we had a few months ago. The massive change in our lifestyles is that we’ve gotten official grown-up jobs, which is one of the reasons this blog’s been a bit quiet in the recent past. We can but hope that that will change as we get settled into our new jobs.
Sajjad is now with Mapbox in Bangalore, Sumandro is Research Director with the Centre for Internet and Society, in Bangalore and Delhi, and I’m Coordinator for GIS and Spatial Analysis at WWF-India. These are, to be honest, rather predictable roles; we started this blog because, other than the fact that we get on rather well, we thought that our shared interest in all things spatial, informed as it was by our different backgrounds in programming*, social policy research* and conservation, would make for an interesting collaboration.
I’ll let the other two talk about their day-to-day work with maps; for now, I’m going write a bit about the work I do. I’m part of the Species and Landscapes team at WWF-India, which consists of ten landscapes across India. As part of the team in Delhi, I’m helping coordinate the spatial information needs for all the landscapes. I’ve been actively involved with a couple of the teams before (the Western Himalayan and Western Arunachal Landscapes), and am looking forward both to meeting old friends and visiting new regions.
Today, I’m working on analysing some human-wildlife conflict data for villages near Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, cleaning up a subset of the recently released 1-arcsecond SRTM data (which is very nice but has voids that need filling) and collecting data on an infrastructure project in Uttar Pradesh that may affect wildlife corridors in the Terai region.
I’m planning a few posts over the next couple of months; one, which has been pending for a while, is a descriptive piece regarding a balloon-mapping aerial photography project I conducted with the Cambridge University Spaceflight Society. Another’s on the connection between the Indian Forest Department’s administrative boundaries and their hierarchy, and there’s also a long-pending post on Indian administrative boundaries, where strange animals like the tehsil and taluk are to be found. Finally, I have the beginnings of a blogpost about the importance of high-quality vector files of protected areas. And this list is only mine; Riju and Sajjad have their own set of blogposts to write.
Speaking of which, both of them will be at the OpenDataCamp in Bangalore next week; I’m not going to be there (since I have work!) but it’s been a great experience with really interesting people every year so far, so if you’re interested in maps and data, you should go too!
*Riju, Sajjad: I wasn’t sure how else to describe your respective interests in 3 words or less, so please feel free to (choose one: edit/get me to buy you a drink) when we meet next.