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 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 ~ 2019 Hrishikesh Ballal.

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