The State of Kerala, India has the International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS) an autonomous institution “mandated with the objectives of co-ordinating FOSS initiatives within Kerala, as well as linking up with FOSS initiatives in other parts of the world in order to push the agenda of promoting democratic access to information and knowledge through equitable models of production and distribution of software and knowledge in general.”
I could not begin to summarize the cool things they are doing. I had the pleasure of visiting, along with Frederick Mbuya of Uhuru Labs, and doing a workshop of mapping with drones — from flying, data collection, and processing data. Arun M was our illustrious host, along with the core drone team, Deepthi, Vaisakh, and Asish. We trained the core group, plus other ICFOSS staff, members of the Kerala electricity board, Veenus and Manoj from 1074 Vectors, and others. Normally, I just do an OpenDroneMap workshop. This was a deep dive in all aspects of drone program development, and a real joy. I was glad that Frederick was there with his extensive experience with Zanzibar Mapping Initiative, Dar Ramani Huria, and other project.
I was quite impressed with the extant technical proficiency — an aspect which made giving the workshop a real pleasure to give. I am excited to see what this team builds with respect to capacity and datasets to serve better governance.
Also, the food in Kerala is transcendent, and I think I have a new love: Indian Classical Music. Thanks to Juan for hosting me at the concert: