Digital data hub to fast track e-governance in Tamil Nadu

GIS and remote sensing technology to be used for creating various digital maps; will impact key policy decisions.

Published: 12th March 2018 04:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th March 2018 05:31 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Taking a giant leap in e-governance, State government is creating a centralised digital maps repository, which will provide all the departments access to GIS spatial layers that will come in handy while taking key policy decisions and also during disasters.Reliable sources told Express that Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency (TNeGA) has been nominated as a nodal agency for the implementation of GIS for the entire State and accordingly the Tamil Nadu Geographic Information System (TNGIS), a project conceived in 2014, will be the central repository of all digital maps.

A common platform www.tngis.tn.gov.in has been developed and 29 departments have shared 342 GIS spatial layers.Explaining how this initiative is critical for delivering better governance, S S Ramakrishnan, Director, Institute of Remote Sensing, told Express that many departments in the State have been extensively working on GIS and Remote Sensing Technology and huge volumes of data sets have been prepared at various scales for the State. However, due to lack of coordination, there is no standardisation on the data. Restrictive map policies do not encourage sharing of maps among the departments. To overcome such issues, State Spatial Data Infrastructure (SSDI) was proposed for the State in the name of TNGIS. Common framework, common platform, common coding, standards for data sets, application and tools and consolidation of village data are being done under the initiative.  

Using GIS, it is easy to manage, analyse and display geographic information on easily understood, computer-generated maps. The strength of GIS is its ability to create distinct map layers for different types of information, and then to combine them in any way desired or needed. Each layer consists of geographic, or spatial, data linked to descriptive or tabular information. In combining layers, GIS uses known earth coordinates (like latitude and longitude) to make sure each layer lines up correctly with the others. For instance, Directorate of Town and Country Planning (DTCP) involved in municipal planning might want to know how suitable different areas of the town are for development. The GIS can be used to generate maps showing where various conditions exist: prime agricultural land, surface water, high flood frequency and highly erodible land. Planners can use this information to make decisions about zoning designations and building permits, Ramakrishnan said.

Sources said currently there is lot of duplication and redundancy in GIS efforts in the State. Under the programme, all departments in the State are stakeholders and are mandated to share the geospatial data to TNGIS and develop GIS-based governance solutions.To showcase the utilities of the project, TNeGA has organised an awareness programme on March 13.

Multiple benefits

It is easy to manage, analyse and display geographic information on easily understood, computer-generated maps
The strength of GIS is its ability to create distinct map layers for different types of information, and then to combine them in any way desired or needed
The GIS can be used to generate maps showing where various conditions exist: prime agricultural land, surface water, high flood frequency and highly erodible land
In combining layers, GIS uses known earth coordinates (like latitude and longitude) to make sure each layer lines up correctly with the others
Each layer consists of geographic, or spatial, data linked to descriptive or tabular information

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