Ravi Gupta

A new map policy has been approved and put in public domain by the largest democracy of the world. It is a time of ‘change’. The travel towards this has been long, gruelling and worthwhile. As I walk back down memory lane for about ten years, I see a path of ups and downs. But a path towards enablement.

The media players had an interesting experience.

Way back in 1998, the media had first started looking into the fundamentals of spatial data and its use. Researches were in lines of – 1) Who is doing what? 2) Who is supposed to do what? 3) Who is not supposed to do what? and 3) Who is spending what? The ideas were taken seriously and critically, considering that heavy restriction existed then on spatial information that had a role in development. Over the years the nature of research, documentation and facts started pointing at what can be or might be achievable. Case studies of best practices were spotlighted. The reactions were even more interesting. ‘They’ first ignored, then ‘they’ got irritated, at moments they thought of banning and investigating. Finally, they started listening. The industry started to find a cause and a mouthpiece. The voice grew. The rationale started standing out tall. Then came the best part – ‘they’ were with the civil society, media and the industry. Things started changing. Somewhere in between, the need to take a decision was deeply felt. A decision-making process started. It is a different debate, as to how much participatory or inclusionary was the final policy formulation process, but the fact is that a policy document for the nation, the users and the providers has evolved.

The results are now expected to pour in. Its time to now understand how much of this change (policy) is what was wanted and how much is there. It is time to reap the benefits of the change and start a new era. Definitely a road has been laid out towards light.

Lets walk the road now.

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