Founder of visualization site Information is Beautiful
, David McCandless travelled with David Cameron on his first trip to India
as British Prime Minister this week. He was part of a small group of politically active programmers aiming to "explore links between tech, transparency and community-based democracy in India" he explains.
Reporting back on his trip in the Guardian today, David admitted to "a slight colonial attitude going into the meet. Thinking of the UK as a great hacking nation and leading data port, I was expecting to be helping the collected Indian IT professionals and activists improve their skills and give them fresh ideas on how to bootstrap their democracy". But he found great examples of powerful data projects going on amongst his Indian counterparts. These included:
- A bus mapping project to make the system easier to understand for passengers and to identify which areas od Chennai are poorly services
- A tool to monitor school performance in Karnataka, similar to the UK's SchooloScope website
- A project to track information on all Indian politicians including their financial, criminal and educational
- A phone service to enable India's many mobile phone users to get information about their local area from the internet.
Read fuller descriptions of each of the projects he identified in his article.