Thejesh GN

A Blog, A Website and A container for all my views with excerpts from technology, travel, films, india, photography, kannada, friends and other interests. I am Thejesh GN. Friends call me Thej

Geo Mapping in WordPress Blogs

Posted by Thejesh GN On January - 28 - 20141 COMMENT

I use maps (gis) for tagging blog posts, adding pictures to posts, mapping my walks or runs, for writing travelogues and general map related experimentation.

For a while I have been searching for maps utility to use it on my blog. For a long time its been embedding either Google Maps or Open Street Maps. They are great, specially now that you can embed the highly customizable maps using Google Map Engline or GeoJson.IO or ESRI maps.


But I wanted much more native utility and I also wanted to own my data. And hence my requirement kind of boiled down to a good wordpress plugin. A plugin that stores the data on my servers, supports multiple maps, is flexible, is mobile friendly and highly customizable.

Then by chance I came across MapsMaker. It has an amazing set of features for any kind of user. The defaults work for novice user and there is huge amount customization available for advanced user.

Some of my favorite features are

  • Can import GPX and shows the stats like speed etc, specially useful for running tracks
  • Supports Open Street Maps
  • Has driving direction built in
  • Can export as GeoJSON, KML etc
  • GIS update API (Lets say you want to update a map with your present status)
  • Full screen mode

Example usage of plugin:

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Gokarna Beach Walk

Posted by Thejesh GN On January - 3 - 20141 COMMENT

Gokarna has five known beaches. Gokarna, Kudle, Om, Half Moon and Paradise. First three are well-known and have all kinds of facilities and the last two as of now doesn’t offer much. In a recent trip we stayed at Linger Gokarna which is on the other side (to north) and all the other beaches were to our south. All of them are connected through small trails which are very walkable. We walked from Linger -> Gokarna -> Kudle -> Om and return on the same path, totalling around 17Kms. We could have continued to Half moon and Paradise. But that would have been too much. Other way is to walk one way to all the beaches and return by an Auto. Cycling could be an interesting option too. I would suggest a light MTB that can be used on wet beach sand, trails and light weight to carry up the stairs.

Below I have embedded the map of the walking path which we took with notes. You can also download the KML/GeoJson map files that can be used with mobile apps for navigating.

Have fun and let me know.

Export as KML for Google Earth/Google MapsOpen standalone map in fullscreen modeCreate QR code image for standalone map in fullscreen modeExport as GeoJSON
Gokarna Beach Walk

loading map - please wait...

| | | km | | | /km | +m -m (net: m) | download GPX file download GPX file
Sri Rama Temple: 14.539367, 74.312317
Begining of Trail to Om Beach: 14.522148, 74.315987
marker icon
Get directions Open standalone map in fullscreen mode Create QR code image for standalone map in fullscreen mode Export as GeoJSON
Sri Rama Temple
At the left end of the Gokarna beach, you can see a hill and a (Rama) temple. You need to enter the temple campus and climbing up stairs, Then you will reach a lat ground from where you can enjoy the views of beautiful Gokarna beach . Continue for about 20 minutes by walk the trails will lead you to a narrow lane, which goes down to Kudle beach.

View from the temple of the beach
marker icon
Get directions Open standalone map in fullscreen mode Create QR code image for standalone map in fullscreen mode Export as GeoJSON
Begining of Trail to Om Beach
At the left end of the Kudle beach, a narrow path leads up the hill and then to a small lane and parking place. Then walk straight up a rocky hill, If the path is not clearly visible, look for the white arrows marked on the rocks that point the way to Om beach.
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The Year that was 2013

Posted by Thejesh GN On December - 31 - 20134 COMMENTS

This is the seventh year of “The Year that was” series. This was the most successful year until now according to me. Here are some of the highlights

  1. Life was great. I am married now. Its much better now :)
  2. Working with Mavrix has been very fruitful, We released mobile apps this year and also I am very proud of our Hindi version
  3. I got to attend TTC InfoActivismCamp. Met a lot of inspiring people. I need to complete that blog post. I will, may be a bunch of them
  4. ODC BLR 2013 was great
  5. I got to attend Transparency Camp in USA. Camp inspired me to start I have long list of features for it and a sister site ready to launch.
  6. Read 17 books this year.
  7. Crowd Funded some interesting projects. (Lucia, CastAR, Aaron Swartz Documentary,Trsst, Radar CitizenReporting, CitizenMatters) and was able to support Green Peace, Democracy Now and some others on Flattr
  8. launched. The site where I personally collect data related to Bangalore and share under open data licenses
  9. OpenPostboxIndia is my happy postbox project. We have 140+ boxes geotagged as of now. Data is available on GitHub as JSONs. You can contribute too.
  10. My DNA is open
  11. I have been blogging for a decade now
  12. My First 10k Run. Felt good even though I was slow.
  13. My First Kumbha Mela. I want to be there every time from now on.
  14. Great family vacation to Singapore and Malaysia. First time outside the country for my parents.
  15. Translated open source mobile apps and browser extension to Kannada. TextSecure, RedPhone, CryptoCat

Previous Years: 2012,2011,2010, 2009, 2008, 2007

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BMTC Bus Stop Accessibility

Posted by Thejesh GN On November - 29 - 201312 COMMENTS

Bus stops are very important considering every trip starts and ends at one of them. There are many qualities of bus stop that would affect the quality of commute. One of them is coverage area of the bus stop. The public transit/commute usage directly depends on how near or far the bus stop is. Of course quality of internal roads, footpath and other things matter too. But distance is very important. Lets say if the bus stop is just 100mtrs then I wouldn’t mind walking on a bad footpath to reach the stop v/s if its 1km away.

Below I have tried to explore this factor with the available geo-locations of 900+ bus stops in Bangalore. I started with 300mtrs as the coverage range. As you can see in the heatmap of bus stops. There are huge empty pockets. Most areas don’t have bus stops in their immediate vicinity.


At 400meters its better. But still not great.

At 500 meters.

At 750 meters.

At 1 KM, it looks like most of the Bangalore is covered. But there are still huge pockets on the highways, outskirts of the city, army areas etc. And there are some areas which are not covered at all for some unknown reason.


But 1KM is too much of walk for anybody walk. I would be ready to walk at the most 500 meters to catch a bus. So I decided to re-look at it.

Lets look at 500 meters again


When I zoomed in. I found more pockets.

One more level there are more empty pockets where buses dont reach.
Even if I am ready to walk half a kilometer, I may not find a bus stop in certain parts of Bangalore. So don’t complain if some one doesn’t catch public bus. Good chance is that there are no bus stops nearby.

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Now Open PostBox India data is available as GeoJSON

Posted by Thejesh GN On November - 13 - 20132 COMMENTS

We crossed 100+ postboxes this month. As promised I am releasing the data in an open format that can be used by anybody. I am planning to update data for every 25 new addition of postboxes. Data is available in the form of GeoJSON which I thought is the most user/developer friendly format. Also GitHub visualizes it by default beautifully.


The raw data and formatting code is on github, get into pincode folder if your interest is only data. If you are looking for API. Try using gitspatial on a forked repository.

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