Common voids: mapping chowks in one of the world's fastest growing cities
The Ahmedabad Mapping Project is a collective effort by citizens of Ahmedabad to gather information about their city and represent it publicly for its people. Our goal is twofold: to generate and represent information about the city that is accessible, open and usable for its citizens, and to focus our exploration on types of information that are not so easily recorded, yet play a primary role in the formation, continuation and reproduction of space and networks in the city.
Recently we held our first workshop - ‘Common voids’ in which 21 participants from across India spent 5 days exploring and studying the urban spaces through the lens of voids (chowks) in the pols of Ahmedabad. Pols is a term to denote a housing cluster which comprises many families of a particular group, linked by caste, profession, or religion. The pols have a layered built fabric characterized by very narrow and tangled lanes, compact settlement, intersected with a series of small open spaces, which are defined by the articulation of a continuous built mass. To examine these spaces in the denser city environments where maps are not often illustrative of the fabric of the city or don’t capture the seemingly chaotic labyrinth, it was particularly important to engage with digital tools that enhance functionality and open an array of possibilities for recording the city.
Mapillary was helpful for us in connecting geolocated points to the imagery of the dense chowk spaces. Getting street photos provided more information and mappers used this detailed imagery to study the area better, walk the map many times for extracting different types of information and helped to take the mapping exercise to the next level. Some groups also paired Mapillary with other applications to cross reference data like sound with the images taken at the same point and same time, generating a deeper level of analysis for their work.
One of the most important discussions for us is to also make everything open source and the material uploaded should be used by other people to make something more of the collected data. With Mapillary, we have captured more than 2000 images, covering 35 chowks and more than 3000 meters of streets in just 3 days. Take a look at the team's profile to see all the contributions to the project, or explore the photo walks below.
Take a walk around the city
The chowks of Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad Mapping Project Team: Melissa Smith, Mansi Shah, Nikita Shah
Using the JOSM Mapillary plugin to edit with the newly captured street-level photos
Photo walk through the maze of laneways and pols
Participants: Anushree Deb, Avni Rastogi, Ayushi Desai, Eshita Sutariya, Gandhali Tipnis, Jitendra Poon, Keerthana Sumanth, Krittika Bhattacharjee, Mohan Raju Js, Pooja Rao, Prachi Metawala, Pratiksha Kadur, Prithvi Mahadevan, Riks Chaudhary, Rohit Prabhu, Shravan Shah, Shreyas Vadodaria, Shruti Rajgopal, Sukanta Majmundar, Tanu Mundra, Vishnu Kurup.