Volunteering with the Data Project

At India Water Portal’s data project, we are working on an initiative on which we need your help.

The Central Ground Water Board, the governing body around monitoring groundwater in India, has released very informative profiles of every district. These profiles have an incredible wealth of knowledge about local groundwater issues, and we would like your help in getting some of this great information into an accessible format. We have three projects where we need your help.

Our first project is the information-gathering questionnaire part, in which volunteers read and extract information from district-wise groundwater profiles (in PDF format).  We are currently working on the profiles from the state of Karnataka. 15% of the district profiles have been completed already, and we need volunteers to help with the remaining profiles. Volunteers will work on one profile at a time in three phases:

Phase 1 is an initial navigation through the profile. Volunteers will:

  • Open a groundwater district profile PDF, which has useful data and information about the status of groundwater use.
  • Read the foreword and introduction. Make a list of terminology and concepts they are unclear with, so that we can build a groundwater data glossary and FAQ.
  • Look at the maps and figures, answering major questions like: what do these maps tell you? Are they easy to understand? How can these maps be presented better?
Phase 2 is more in-depth. Volunteers answer extensive questions about the profile in a Google Form in order to extract usable data from text. The types of answers we are looking for are illustrated in the picture below.
Phase 3 is a data normalization process, in which volunteers convert PDF tables into a more user-friendly Excel format. The first image below is of the original PDF table, and the second image is of the same data normalized into an Excel sheet.

Our second project concerns statistical data analysis, customized to our needs and our volunteers’ strengths. This process is more one-on-one; volunteers will work closely with a representative from our India Water Portal team.

If you are interested in volunteering with us, please fill out this form.