Undoubtedly, with the advent of Internet, certain movements have reduced. Offices have moved into homes. Departmental stores have turned into web pages. Businesses have gone online. Money has started moving through wires. Soccer fields have squeezed to networked play stations. Visiting libraries are a rare activity. And in fact, wars are now premised to be won on being networked digitally through satellites. Communication, information and products are now all just a massive flow of waves and electrons. Reducing our movements has found a refurbished rationale.
However, there still exists an Internet-less world. A world based on tangible movement and transportation. A growing and struggling world with immense potential. This world has no computer and bases itself on tractors or bullock carts and meets its ends from agriculture, livestock or handicraft. This world looks out for necessities that are far more basic – food, health, education and shelter. And this world forms the two-third of us.
Today, this world needs massive surges in infrastructure projects. Projects that directly enable the livelihoods of population falling below the top 20 per cent. Transport is one crucial element in development of infrastructure. It needs thrust and purposeful attention in the developing world. Transportation still remains the lifeline of many such societies. It not only involves the movement of humans but also raw materials, goods and products. It enables activities that directly or indirectly affect economy and physical development. It still is the ‘only alternative’ in most places.
Geospatial tools and its relation with traffic and transport, dates back to the evolution of GIS and its first few applications. GIS, Remote Sensing and GPS are apt tools that rationally and practically show the way towards this. They form the tools that minimise costs, reduce complexities of implementation and solve multiple problems on a single platform.
Wirelessly or with wires, let us first internalise the role of these tools in our infrastructure projects. Let us develop our policies, capacities and systems that adhere and acknowledge these tools.
Let us make the right way.