March 25th, 2016
Image Courtesy: tangerinetravel
In November 2015, Mir Mohammed Ali, an IAS officer posted in Trivandrum, Kerala initiated a project with the intention of bringing places of public interest onto the online platform. Titled the ‘Map My Home Project’, it was implemented with the participation of over 100 students from multiple colleges in the city. Three months and over 1500 mapped-locations later, the Govt. of Kerala issued an order recommending the statewide implementation of this project.
The Map My Home Project uses Google Maps to increase accessibility and accountability at Government offices, besides giving a fillip to local businesses.
- If you are confused which government office to go to and want to contact the office.
- If you are ever unsure where a particular government office is.
- If you are wondering where the nearest pharmaceutical shop or a juice shop is.
The Project goes beyond answering these questions and provides several additional benefits.
106 students from 6 colleges were part of the ‘Map My Home Challenge’, a competition to bring quality data (photos, contact details, working hours) regarding these establishments onto Google Maps.
Taking forward Digital India
Speaking at the Digital India Dinner in San Jose, Prime Minister Modi made a very interesting observation. He said, “The only status that now matters is not whether you are awake or asleep, but whether you are online or offline”.
Mir has brought the students of colleges to bring Government offices and small establishments – the ones with no website, no conceivable online presence to the online platform, under an initiative called the ‘Map My Home Project’. Mentoring a group of 106 students from 6 colleges, he started the ‘Map My Home Challenge’, a competition to bring quality data (photos, contact details, working hours) regarding these establishments onto Google Maps, in an effort to use an initiative that would make the smartphone smarter in Kerala.
The Govt. of Kerala issued an order recommending the statewide implementation of this project.
Government offices aren’t expected to be online. Getting a phone number and contacting them isn’t as easy as it may seem. “All you need to do now is a search for the Government Office on Maps. The call can be made straight from your mobile phone through the Google Maps app itself”, said Mir. “During the pilot, we mapped every Taluk Office, Sub Registrar Office and almost all Village Offices in Trivandrum.” Once a government office is fully mapped by the students, not only can it be located, viewed and contacted, but, more importantly, it can be reviewed. These reviews, whether in the form of appreciation or criticism can be read by the entire community.
One of the outcome of ‘Map My Home Project’
“We believe that consolidating the public’s feedback in one place immediately after their interaction with a government official, will certainly have a positive effect on the administration. Such a channel of communication currently doesn’t exist”, adds Mir. Posters asking people to review and share their experience are currently being installed in several government offices in the district. These posters were unveiled by the Ministers of Revenue and Registration last month.
Accountability of government offices through feedback and empowerment of citizens through information.
The Logical Indian appreciates Mir Mohammed Ali I.A.S and his student team from Trivandrum for the initiative. We wish them continued success in the project. Kerala has been at the forefront of digital innovation and ‘Map My Home’ will go a long way in making India truly digital.
If you have any queries regarding the initiative, its implementation or if you want to pass on a message to the project, the following contact details will help
- [email protected]
- Mir Mohammed Ali (I.A.S) can be reached on his twitter handle @mir19in.
- The data collected during the Map My Home Challenge can be seen here.