Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sample Write-ups

In one of the earlier blogs I had made a mention of developing sample write-ups on people after whom places have been named. So now, I have come up with two such samples.

1. DVG Road

DVG- Road is named after the renowned Kannada writer and philosopher Devanahalli Venkataramanaiah Gundappa. He was born on the 17th of March 1887 in the town of Mulbagal. One of his most notable works include Manku Thimmana Kagga. He was also a journalist during his early years and is credited to have founded Kannada newspapers such as “Bharat” and “Karnataka”. He also was a pioneer in Kannada Biography writing. Some of his other notable works include Srimad Bhagavad Geetha Tatparya which won him the Sahitya Akademi Award, Vasanta Kusumanjali, Nivedana etc. Some of the awards which he has received are the Padmabhushan in the year 1974, he was also specially honoured by the chief minister of Karnataka in 1970, and a commemorative stamp was issued by the Indian Post of him in the year 1988. On 7th October 1975 he left us all, and an ocean of literature behind forever.

2. KH- Road

KH- Road is named after the second Chief Minister of Karnataka Kengal Hanumantaiah. He was chief minister from 1952 to 1956. He is best remembered for his huge vision and contribution towards the construction of the Vidhan Soudha. He was born in Lakkappanahalli on the 14th of February 1908. After resigning as Chief Minister shortly before the Unification of Karnataka (in which he played a major role) in 1956, he moved on to national politics. He was successively elected as a Member of Parliament representing Bangalore from 1962 to 1977. During this period he served as minister in the cabinet handling a number of portfolios such as Railways, Industries etc. On December 1st 1980 he passed away leaving behind with us a Unified Karnataka and the largest legislature-cum-office building in India at that time- the Vidhan Soudha.

One thing that can be noticed is that neither of the above have exceeded a word limit of 150 words which is the maximum ceiling. This is to ensure brevity in writing, and convey only the important information about the person to the reader.

A Comparison...

In the earlier blog posts, I had mentioned about reaching out to, and convince an online mapping software to popularise the infomation gathered, on people after whom places have been named.

Just as part of my own research, I have read up about of the few currently leading online mapping sites and have made a brief comparison of these.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Meeting with Suresh Moona

In my quest to solve the content creation and verification issue, I was introduced to Mr. Suresh Moona by a friend, who recommended me to meet him.

Mr. Moona is a well-regarded Bangalore historian who is known for his significant efforts in spreading historical awareness on Bangalore. He has also authored over ten books, conducted several heritage walks, and is currently providing content to the local radio, which is read out on a routinely basis. Apart from all these credentials, Mr. Moona is also the director of Aarambh (An Association for Reviving Awareness About Monuments of Bengaluru Heritage). 

Considering all this, I felt that it would be relevant and a good idea to meet him. So on the morning of 21st June 2015, I was finally able to set up a time to meet him.

On meeting him, I briefly gave him a description of the idea, and on what progress had happened till then. He seemed to like the idea very much, and soon we were involved in a very nice discussion.

Mr. Suresh Moona was an absolutely erudite person in the study of Bangalore history. He seemed to know a lot about many things in Bangalore.
Whilst discussing in the context of ‘verification of content’, he also gave references to many books that could be of possible help such as Bangalore Darshana, Bangalore Nagara, Kempegowda Vaignyanikara etc. just to name a few. He also mentioned that the Gokhale Institute and Mithick Society could help too.

After we had talked about the idea, all that he had, and was trying to do in order to spread awareness on Bangalore’s history, and on his inputs, we finally decided to make a move.

I felt it really helpful to have met Mr. Suresh Moona, and would be really glad to have his support in this idea.

A New Perspective

So now I have talked with a couple of people and have received a few suggestions and ideas on what I can potentially do to make this project happen.

So essentially there were two perspectives with which people saw this idea.
The first one was, that we crowd source the information on the people from probably school students or the general public, and verify it using some resource before presenting it to a mapping platform. And this is what I had, and am still considering.

In this case, the one main problem which arises, is the verification issue. And this is because there are several places named after people, and it would be quite a laborious task for anyone to actually verify the precision of the content.

The other way that people saw this was, was to go to a mapping platform, tell them our idea, and have them use the content on Wikipedia about people after whom places have been named. One of the advantages of Wikipedia is that the content that it provides is mostly quite accurate, as the information is viewed and edited by several people.

This was a pretty tempting idea, until the fact that there weren’t Wikipedia entries on a lot of the people, befell upon us. And so then we decided. “Why not convince people to write more Wikipedia entries on such people?”

But even if this did work out, one of the foremost issues would yet remain—Will a mapping platform mind having Wikipedia content up on its pages? Now this is a problem for us, because many organizations, companies or conferences do not permit Wikipedia as a source of information. This is as the information is crowd-sourced, and can be edited by anyone with basic access to Internet and so is generally not considered accurate. And so we are not sure if a mapping platform would mind having information from Wikipedia up on its pages. And so, this is where the problem arises for us.

So now that we have gotten these ideas, it is time for us to seize which track to head on! 

The Idea...

As I promised in my last blog post, I will now actually explain the idea and the steps involved in it, to you. But before that, let us just quickly recap the essence of the project once more. 

Essentially, as I had previously stated, this project aims at truly honouring people who have contributed to society. And the way we are trying to do that, is by gathering and popularising information on those people after whom places have been named.

Now down to the actual framework of the project, we really intend to just crowd source the information, under ideal circumstances partner with a mapping platform, and use it to popularise the gathered information.

Essentially how we intend to proceed is quiet simple. At a very high level, I have mentioned the route that we will most probably be heading on as for now.

1.      The first step is to develop sample write-ups on people after whom places have been named. The main point of this is to just provide examples to people on the format of the information (Information here refers to information on people after whom places are named) that will be required, when we actually begin crowd-sourcing.                                                                                        
2.      I am really eager to meet with Deepa ma’am (Principal of Sri Kumaran Children’s Home- CBSE) and discuss the idea with her and see how she can support us from the school’s point of view. Another thing that I am aiming to achieve from this discussion is to see if we can crowd-source the information from SKCH students itself. I believe that this can be a great way to gather information. Added to that writing about these great people, can also be a very educative process for the students themselves. 

3.      Now, I would like to create an advisory board of three or four people, to whom I can look up to, and take help from. I also feel an advisory board can be useful to have especially when we go and reach out to institutional partners or mapping platforms.

4.      Now with this much of a support system, we can probably start crowd-sourcing information on people after whom places are named.

5.      Once we have crowd-sourced sufficient information, and have enough substance to show off, we shall try reaching out to a mapping platform. One of the main reasons as to why we are crowd-sourcing information, and not directly going to a mapping platform and sharing with it the idea, is because we need to convince them that the idea will work, and is implementable.

So that’s about what the idea is. And when I say all this, it sounds rather easy. I am sure there are many hurdles that I will need to cross and lessons I will learn along the way. And some of this may mean that the path could be different from how I am anticipating it right now. 

Meanwhile, if you have any queries or suggestions, please post those in the comment box below.