Talks & writing

Write here...


The UX of navigation: A road trip from NYC to NACIS

NACIS, 2017 - Montréal

Let's take a drive from NYC to Montreal and think about what your typical navigation app shows and tells you to do as you drive. The objective is to never have to glance at a screen for more than a couple of seconds, coz accidents!

While designing Eraser Map at Mapzen, I learned about the nuances of a navigation experience. How does navigation differ depending on the mode of transportation? Does a cyclist need different audio & visual cues compared to a driver? How can we use the combination of the map display, written and voice instructions, and notifications deliver an experience which takes the stress out of driving instead of adding to it! I will walk through the various user experience considerations made in development of this app and their repercussions; as most people view wayfinding applications as their main exposure to web cartography.


Beyond Aesthetic Icing: Designing geo tools for humans

State of the Map, 2016 - Seattle

The OpenStreetMap community covers a wide range of perspectives ranging from: policy-maker to data analyst, developer to student, to many more. When we set out to build Transitland – a centralized place to gather and share transit data from around the world – we wanted to be sure that access to this data touched this breadth of OpenStreetMap. We let user feedback guide us throughout the development process, never losing sight of the vision. Design then was not the finishing touch; it was baked into how we approached each piece (user flows, feature sets, documentation and the visuals) of an open geo data system to work in tandem to meet user needs.

The talk discusses this user-centered development process, and how it led to the creation of the Playground, a data exploration tool for transit data that uses a natural language, Mad Libs style to build a query, allowing people from any background to quickly request data, view it on a map, and download it. By starting with people, we can allow people from any background to quickly access the true power of OpenStreetMap.

Screen Shot 2017-08-05 at 4.44.36 PM.png

वॅल्हॅला निर्देशन अब हिंदी में उपलब्ध

November 2016

I helped translate and create an option for Hindi as a language option for our turn-by-turn routing engine. The post was a launch announcement and a call for contributions for other languages.

Picking a color (think: accessibility)

January 2016

A collection of resources to pick colors for accessibility - not just for color blindness but also for brightness, times of day and visibility from a distance.


Designing OPEN - the first app built with all Mapzen API's

November 2015

Maps are Full of Lies, and Other Thoughts from NACIS

October 2014

An analysis of the challenges involved in working with OpenStreetMap data for designers and cartographers through the lens of the talks and conversations at NACIS.


The sounds of street view

August 2014

A deep dive into the 'Sounds of Street View' project based on Google Maps.

What is a slippy map

June 2014

New to the mapping space and trying to study the history of digital maps, this post summarizes my understanding of slippy maps and why they are what they are.