It is unfortunate that mountains of Afghanistan are in turmoil. The war-ridden country is facing tragedies and tears. Technologies such as GIS, GPS and remote sensing are again playing a role but for different purposes. When US attacked Afghanistan with claims of great deal of precision it was not only due to support of advanced technology but an accurate GIS database. The two components of this database are GPS and Remote Sensing. There are sensors which can see through clouds equipped with night time high quality images. And once terrorist centres are identified, ground troops can be sent. Not only that, GPS signals over Afghanistan have been made inaccurate to avoid its misuse. The kind of war, amidst undulating terrains of Afghanistan, US is going to fight; there are enough reasons to assume that technology will be put on real life test.
And yes, technology is under real test. More importantly, when the elusive Osama still remains hidden in the elusive mountains and it is difficult to prevent collateral damages beyond a point. Can technologies of GPS and GIS fully comprehend the three dimensional complexities of mountains? Can a war be fought just banking upon this technology? Can it be a substitute to human intelligence? ….what about human zeal and human approach?
Moreover, it is the technology itself that at times leads to vulnerability. The high rises which manifests not only the might of the technology, but also the ego of owning that might. Technology if can be used then it can be misused also for the simple reason that humanity is yet to invent a technology that can instill some traces of rationale in human brains.
This issue discusses the exploring unique GIS sustainable development of mountains. Not for the destruction but for the development.
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