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 Devanagari, is religious related to Hinduism. 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 on Twitter and also on LinkedIn and Github.

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 built and work on three things: Geoforage.io, Geodesignhub.com and Openskies.sh.

Geoforage.io is a spatial data collection product primarily used in the context of public engagement. We provide services to understand the preferences and capture the knowledge of a space directly from citizens and other people who use it. In addition to enabling these “geo-surveys” we host your spatial data, analyze it and help you understand the location you are working on.

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 focus is on drone registration and “bringing drone registries online”. Specifically, I work on Identity and Authentication and API harmonization for drone operations. I also work with different stakeholders around regulatory aspects of unmanned aviation and its integration with national and international airspace.

My expertise and work in the “geo” domain has a strong mechanical / systems engineering focus. I am a founding member the local chapter of OSGEO: OSGeo Ireland 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 huge amount 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 “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.

All content in this site is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Unless otherwise stated, everything here is © 1996 ~ 2020 Hrishikesh Ballal.

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