About

 

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I am Hrishikesh Ballal, welcome to my website. I have had this site in one form or the other for the past 25 years or so. In real life, everyone calls me Hrishi. The H is silent so it is pronounced as ‘Reeshee’. The etymology of my name, ऋषिकेश in Sanskrit, is religious related to Hinduism. There is no equivalent in the English alphabets for the original Sanskrit character. Rishikesh is also the name of a ancient city in the foothills of the Himalayas. This site provides Atom or RSS feeds and you can subscribe to them to get the latest. I am @hrishiballal Twitter and also on LinkedInGithub.

I am Mechanical Engineer by training specializing in Engineering Design, Operations Research with degrees from University of Michigan and MIT. In 2015, I completed my PhD at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London with a focus on geodesign. My thesis was around early stage design and is entitled Collaborative planning with digital design synthesis.

I have founded and run two companies: Geodesignhub and Openskies.

Geodesignhub operates two products: Geoforage.io is a spatial data software product. We provide services to host your spatial data, help in collecting spatial knowledge by using geosurveys and additionally the generation of custom analytical layers e.g. using satellite data for your project or area. Geodesignhub.com provides software for mediation and negotiations about difficult social political problems around a space. In addition to enabling negotiations using our technology, we provide project organization and management support around implementation of the negotiated outcomes.

Openskies.sh is a open source software company to support current and future aerial robotics ecosystem. My role there mainly involves around developing expertise and advancing open protocols and software to enable drone operations. I also work with different stakeholders around regulatory aspects of unmanned aviation and its integration with national and international airspace.

My focus at work and study has always been a mixture of Engineering Design and System Architecture. Naturally, my expertise and work in the “geo” domain has a strong mechanical / systems engineering focus. I am an active member the local chapter of OSGEO: OSGeo Ireland chapter and a huge advocate of open data for governance and public policy. I feel like I have had many lives professionally. I have written a lot of closed and open source software, worked in the automotive industry, United Nations, spent time in Japan, worked at Microsoft among other things. Prior to my current “geo” focus, I was working as a regulatory expert on the hardware aspects of consumer electronics. It all started when I was offered a fellowship to work on solving the collection and end-of-life aspects of e-waste and it was the thesis for my degree for which I was awarded a Public Service Fellowship.

All content in this site is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Unless otherwise stated, everything here is © 1996 ~ 2019 Hrishikesh Ballal.

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