BANGALORE: Imagine the whole of India represented geospatially - with detailed characters of natural and constructed features and boundaries that define our country. In six months, geospatial maps of India to the scale of 1:50,000 will be uploaded on public domain.
“On June 30 2012, maps of India in 1:50k scale will be uploaded for public reference and use. Also, in the next three years, a more detailed map in 1:10,000 scale will be uploaded on public domain,” said S Subba Rao, Surveyor General of India, during his address at the 11th Annual Meet of National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) on Wednesday.
Citing the importance of geospatial data, Rao said, “Geospatial information can be used in governance and the public. Also, the information can create environmental sustainability.” He added that e-governance alone was not sufficient. “Geographic Information System should be integrated with e-governance and must be updated often,” he said.
The importance of geospatial data was further extolled by M N Vidyashankar, principal secretary, IT, BT, Science and Technology, who said applications of geospatial data were many, in governance. “Every district in the state spends close to `1,100 crore a year on developmental activities. Where is this money going? How optimally is this amount being spent? Having this information integrated with geospatial data can help,” he said, stating that constant updating of the system was important for its success.
“About five years ago, Mysore city was spatially mapped. As it was not updated, the information became deadbeat,” said Vidyashankar.
The 11th Annual Meet of NSDI also saw the setting up of Sir M Visvesvaraya Geospatial Chair, which is expected to bring all personnel involved in geospatial work together. The Chair was accepted by Prof B N Raghunandan, divisional chairman, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Indian Institute of Science (IISc).
“We still have to look for a chairperson who will bring his knowledge and expertise. Departments like Civil Engineering, Centre for Ecological Sciences and others will be involved in the work of the Chair. We are looking at research fellows to work on this, as IISc has a strong young manpower,” said Prof Raghunandan.