Hi! I’m Nikhil VJ from Pune, Maharashtra. I’m a part-time freelance web designer, writer, DIY-technologist, open data and open source volunteer, treehugger, networker.

Note: See DataMeet Pune chapter to see some open data and open source programming projects I’m working on.


Programming Projects

  • static GTFS Manager – GUI interface for creating, editing, exporting of static GTFS data for a public transit authority, created with World Resources Institute. This project combines 5 competencies : GTFS domain knowledge, python programming, javascript programming, mapping, and frontend web design.

Demo, Volunteer Projects


Some websites I have worked on:

  • punegroundwater.in : Built for CEE, overlaying geo-referenced data on a web map (work on it to resume)
  • e-coexist.com : backend support, store setup
  • organicannadata.org : For an event in Pune.
  • ourpuneourbudget.in : Built for CEE, featuring my work on budget and maps and other data for Pune. Includes a multi-parameter choropleth visualizer
  • samvadabaduku.org : Designed by a colleague; I provided technical support and occasional CSS help and plugins advice.
  • rainbowbrtpune.wordpress.com : the de-facto official site of Pune/PCMC’s Bus Rapid Transit system from its launch till Oct 2016 while the formal one took time to build. I set it up with the team working on BRT’s communications (at CEE Pune), taught them how to do the stuff and handed over; they then completely managed it in-house.

Services on offer:

GTFS conversion: If you’re a public transport agency like a metro or bus system, I can help you convert your schedules data to the global standard GTFS data format. I have done the same for two metro systems in India already and more are in the works, and through that process I have created an open source graphical user interface program called static-GTFS-Manager that empowers anyone create a feed from scratch even, no coding required. I will create a website-like interface for you to load your internal system-generated files, set various options, and convert your data to GTFS yourself rather than having to ask someone everytime your network has an update.

Python programming: I can build basic python programs for processing / converting / aggregating your data, scraping data from websites, building small applications for doing specific tasks. Plus: I can help you put a browser-based graphical user interface on your python program.

Interactive map setup, conversion: Got data that you would like to display on a map? Or, were you previously showing your data over a google map and have now been stranded by their sudden api limit changes like this example? If so, no worries, I got your back! I can help you migrate to an open source, free alternative to google maps : leaflet / mapbox. The output will look almost the same, just the engine will change.

GIS work with vector data: Any kind of data conversion, editing etc work with map-based points, lines or shapes data.

Large image in map view: Check out this example page. It takes a very large image, and renders it like a map, where the user can pan and zoom across the image. Tiles are progressively loaded so the user doesn’t have to wait too long for the image area to load. Additionally, this method ensures that your original large image will not be easily copied by viewers.

Website design: I can set up, edit, rescue websites for your initiative / org using wordpress.org content management system (CMS) and also other platforms like weebly. I can also provide training on managing your website if it runs on a CMS like wordpress.

Advanced services on offer: I can turn your excel data into interactive web-maps like this, put advanced functionality on your site (again, provided the plugin is available) like filters, forums, chat, timed pages, embedded docs, tables, setting up automated backups, etc. I can help you set up API related operations, automated jobs connecting different platforms. I prefer advanced back-end work this over normal website work.

Website rescue: Need to migrate your website from one domain to another? Got a backup and need help restoring it? Want to set up an automated backup that will protect your work? Let me know! I have practical experience on recovering crashed websites from backup, moving a site to another domain or server etc. So I can also do a quick assignment like that, and we can do it over screen-share so you can watch and learn. Check out this walkthrough for a domain name change.

What I will not be able to do:

  • Hand-made illustrations for the site’s menu, logo designing, changing fonts and colors a 1000 times, moving things slightly up/down/left/right etc.
  • I won’t create a custom theme or plugin for your site.
  • I will not be able to respond to emergencies at short notice – for that please take my or rishi’s training and be able to do these things yourself. If your site goes down, mentally accept that it’s likely going to be that way for a week.

Charge: Sliding scale from Rs.10k onwards, on one-time project work basis depending on time and energy needed. It’s preferable if the larger cause behind the project is something I personally connect with. We can also include training for managing the website / project.

Note: After initial development period, for any further support that goes beyond just a call or quick-fix or so, we will have to do a maintenance contract with pre-decided amount and work hours durations.

Working pattern: On part time, mostly work-from-home basis. I prefer autonomy at work and will do reporting at weekly or fortnightly basis only; daily contact not possible. We can decide on hours per week, and I would likely do most of the work at a stretch over a couple of days and then get back next week (till then the client can keep collecting together work to be done and I’ll do them in one shot rather than one by one). I will NOT be available for emergency work; responses to questions/requests can take 12 to 24 hours.

Training: Setting up and managing wordpress sites can be done by anyone; no tech background needed. I have a friend in Mumbai doing trainings on the same for people from all backgrounds. I can also do a similar training for any org/group; plus it’s possible to have nearly the whole system in Marathi from the back-end even so even language barrier can be handled. And if making a website then I prefer to do the training with one of their team and handing everything over so they can edit in-house from that point onwards.


Non-website but on-web services:

  • Data scraping
  • GTFS conversion
  • Python programming (small scale)
  • Aggregating land records from http://mahabhulekh.maharashtra.gov.in/
  • Visualizing data
  • Converting tables in pdfs to excel, etc.
  • Mobile based surveys : No, you don’t need to have your own server, we can set you up with a free account on Ona or Kobo or so and you can digitize your field work in a short time.
  • I can train your team on creating survey forms, making online collaborative docs, setting up team communication systems, etc.
  • Resolving domain-name, server issues (like: you bought a domain but the damn thing isn’t pointing to your site, etc.)
  • Streamlining data collection and digital resources management