I spent time yesterday talking with the awesome C. Sharada Prasad (aka “CSP”), one of the team at our Indian NGO partner Arghyam. This summer he did what most believe is the first ever digitised trail of India.
Last year CSP took us to see the Sujala Project, an experience I’ll never forget.
But his experiences since I last saw him have been profound. This summer he rode a motorbike 20,000 kilometres across India in a project called K2K. The purpose was to discover what water means to people across the country, capturing the issues facing Indian communities who lack safe drinking water, its role in agriculture, and more.
I followed his progress through the summer via his Twitter updates and blog, which updated his location regularly. He also published some amazing photos on Flickr, many taken with a Nikon D300. Here’s a set from the Northeastern portion of the trip.
In Bangalore yesterday we got talking in detail about how he used technology to map his journey. My interview over at Re*Move TV (below) talks about the basics of geotagging – how it works and how he used it on his journey. We also talk about the ability of geotagging to associate photographs with places. He describes how to meld GPS receivers, the Flickr online photo service, and an internet tool called Everytrail which let’s you map journeys with pictures.
You can explore his Everytrail page here.
Digital mapping of this kind could have profound implications for development. As Sharad says:
“You’re creating history….in a sense, at that moment, this is what there was – a tree or a lake or a mountain…”
And the best bit is I think we did a deal for me to try some of these tools next week in Gujurat province as I visit some water and sanitation development projects.