Sunday, October 23, 2016

City maps with old and new ward boundaries overlay and elected reps info

The two municipal corporations of my home city (Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, MH) have redrawn their ward boundaries for the upcoming municipal elections in 2017 and published them on site for comments from public. While there have been big declarations at both places about using google maps, GIS technology etc, these have mostly on working side. On the output end we still have the same old PDF or image exports. In Pimpri-Chinchwad we got maps with an added satellite-view photo layer.

I felt it's very important to be able to super-impose the existing and proposed boundaries, on a zoomable web map, and so set about creating the same, first for Pune and then upon request from friends for Pimpri-Chinchwad as well. I have earlier shared a guide on digitizing static maps. I followed the same for one map and another process in QGIS for another map which was more co-inciding with previous boundaries.

While doing this, I thought why not include in some more information, and following that track I made something that people here are saying is very useful: at any point on the map you can find out exactly who the current elected representatives or that place are, with photos. I already had this data tabulated for Pune; used some shell scripting, text editing and spreadsheet work to extract the same for Pimpri-Chinchwad. See screenshots at end.

Here are the links:

Github Gists of the traced new (2017 proposed) boundaries, with source and other relevant information:

Maps created on Carto that overlay both current and proposed boundaries:

One drawback: users can't switch the background tile layer to satellite view. And I don't want to put satellite view as default as it makes things messy. But otherwise, carto made it possible for me to create these in a short time. The only "coding" needed was custom HTML I'm using for showing the ward info. Doing the same in leaflet is possible but would have taken me longer; I'm not a full-fledged programmer. So I'll recommend carto for non-coder mappers.

So.. why am I sharing this with you? Because a) I'm showing off, b) It would be great if someone can make use of this and actually write back precise objections and suggestions to the municipal corporations, c) I want to take this forward! and d) Can we crowd-fund work like this? Contribute!

I'm looking for leads on photos and details of Maharashtra's MLAs, and want to share these very-doable-in-short-time techniques with anyone who wants to do something like this for their city/state. Please write back if you have some info I can use or are interested in doing this at your end.

Screenshots of the maps prepared:



Another project that this relates to that's also ripe for replicating in other cities : Nagar Sevak Report Card :

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