GIS Tech News (#82)

19 May, 2009

Indian Citizens Serve as Election Monitors

Open-source geospatial technologies empower a geopolitical movement driven by the people.

By Kenneth Wong

In late April, ordinary Indian citizens -- the tiffin wallahs, the programmers, and the civil servants -- began casting their votes in the general election for the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament. But in the land of ancient gods and hereditary castes, the modern political process is fraught with mishaps.

On May 5, because of complaints of rigging, the Election Commission ordered repolling at three locations in the state of Uttar Pradesh. On May 6, supporters of a local candidate in Jaipur were reported to be offering opium to the villagers, justifying the practice as "the strengthening of bond." Elsewhere, reports of distributing homemade alcohol to voters (presumably as bribes) emerged. In some locations, voters reported their names were either missing or duplicated.

The mainstream media reported many of these incidents too. But some of them were coming directly from the voters, submitted online to an interactive map posted at Vote Report India, described as "a collaborative citizen-driven election monitoring platform." Powered by the open-source map engine Ushahidi, the Wikipedia-style election map brings citizen journalism into a whole new dimension -- the geospatial dimension.

Powered by open-source map engine Ushahidi, the Vote Report India portal lets average Indian voters expose irregularities and violations at their polling sites.

  Read more »


First Look: HP Officejet 7000 Wide Format Printer

By Ron LaFon

In conjunction with National Small Business Week, HP announced several new products that support the needs of small businesses while saving as much as 40% on operating costs. Among the new products is the HP Officejet 7000 Wide Format Printer -- the company's first entry-level, wide-format printer with individual ink cartridges.

The HP Officejet 7000 is a B-size printer that produces professional color documents and photo-quality borderless prints as large as 13" x 19". It offers the lowest cost per page among in-class inkjet printers, with 40% lower cost per page and energy use than competitive laser printers.

This printer is ideally suited for small CAD or engineering offices that don't need larger size prints/plots or find that they need smaller, high-quality output often. The Officejet 7000 doesn't take up much room, measuring only 22.6" x 15.8" x 7.13" (W x D x H), and it weighs a mere 15.4 lbs. The HP Officejet 7000 is easy to use, making it ideal for offices that don’t have an IT professional on staff.  Read more »


Mark Your Calendar: GIS Events

Autodesk Imagine Tour
Through June 4, 2009
Various Cities
At these events hosted by Autodesk, attendees will learn how to visualize, simulate, and analyze the real-world performance of ideas, as well as optimize designs. Read more

ESRI Education User Conference
July 11-14, 2009
San Diego, California
ESRI's conference will provide a forum for collaboration among educators, administrators, researchers, librarians, and museum professionals with all levels of geographic information system (GIS) experience. Read more

Cadalyst's complete list of upcoming events is always available on our Web site. Our sister Web site,, also offers a full calendar of GIS-related events.


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