The first Asian GPS conference was organised in New Delhi during 29-30 October 2001. A report
Centre for Spatial Database Management & Solutions (CSDMS) organised “The Asian GPS Conference” in association with Asian Remote Sensing Research Information Network (ARSRIN), Asian Association on Remote Sensing (AARS) and Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Bangkok on 29-30 October 2001 at India International Center, New Delhi. This first ever conference of its kind on Global Positioning System (GPS) in Asia was supported by Department of Science and Technology and Ministry of Information Technology of Government of India which are the nodal ministries for the GPS related activities in India.
Mr. Ramakrishnan, Dr. M.P. Narayanan, Lt. General A.K. Ahuja & Real Admiral K.R. Shrinivasan (L to R) in inaugural session
More than 200 academicians, researchers, industry professionals and other scholars from all over the Asia took part in the conference. There were delegates from Kunming University, China, University Technology, Malaysia, United States Department of Agriculture, Teachers Training College, Tehran, IIT Mumbai, Osmania University, Tata Steels, Calcutta University, National Remote Sensing Agency, Space Application Centre, National Physical Laboratory, Survey of India National Hydrographic Office, IIT Roorkee, Singrauli Coalfield Corporation Ltd. and various other enthusiast participated in the conference.
Ravi Gupta, Director, CSDMS in his introductory note to the conference expressed that this conference would be able to update the GPS community with the recent research trends and issues in the field of GPS and provide a platform for interaction among various stakeholders to resolve the relevant issues.
Lt. General A. K. Ahuja, Surveyor General of India while inaugurating the conference said that India is on its way of developing a National GPS system Soon a national GPS centre will come up under the aegis of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). This will help in managing national resources as well as for national security in wake of new terrorist threats. GPS is currently being used world wide for managing air, rail and road traffic.
Rear Admiral K. R. Srinivasan, Chief Hydrographer to the government of India while delivering the Keynote address at the conference, noted that the use of GPS in the field of defence, industrial planning, urban development, telecom, police, power, disaster management, road transportation, mining, natural resource management, sales networking and tourism promotion has increased manifold world wide. He added that the technology of GPS is also being used for tracing and site selection for dumping hazardous industrial wastes, for locating mining areas, for monitoring epidemic areas and vector borne disease including malaria.
Dr. M. P. Narayanan, president, CSDMS speaking on this occasion said that the conference aims to update the GPS community with the recent research trends in the field and provide a platform for better co-ordination in wake of the recent terrorist attacks in USA. He also added that the GPS is being used worldwide for defence purposes.
Prof. A. Kalanidhi, Vice Chancellor, Anna University, Dr. D.C. Reddy, Vice Chancellor, Osmania University, Mr. Ramakrishnan, Project Director, Media-lab Asia, Shri Amitabha Pande, Joint Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, Sri Ajay Seth, Managing Director, Leica Geosystems India and various other dignitaries were present at the occasion. The launch of www.AsianGPS.net, the Asian GPS portal during the inaugural function is the highlight of the conference.
Total 37 papers were presented in the 10 technical sessions on various aspects of GPS technology and its applications, during the conference. The main applications areas covered include altitude determination, aviation, automobile navigation, mapping, data collection, hydrographic and land surveying.
One day training programme on GPS, its basics, applications and hands on was also organised on 28th October 2001 at the GIS Institute, NOIDA as a part of the conference.
The following recommendations have been evolved out from the technical discussions during the conference: –
- There is a need for National GPS data infrastructure, which will act as a permanent mechanism for data sharing, as different organisations are doing the same nature of work but no sharing of data / instruments / expertise happening. Hence, there is a need for more coordination in carrying out field observations, data processing and dissemination of results.
- GPS data generated through public funding should be accessible to others through Internet.
- For effective use of GPS in India, the precise transformation parameters between WGS84 and Everest Datum should be established and made available to the GPS users.
- Topographical maps on Everest Datum should be made available to users without restrictions.
- Extensive studies related to key issues like comparison of single frequency and dual frequency GPS receivers, combining GLONASS, GALILEO etc. should be encouraged / supported / funded.
- In order to achieve the above objectives various stakeholders (e.g. Geophysicists, Geodesists etc.) should support the nationwide activities on GPS so that the issues, prospects, opportunities and challenges of GPS technology can be discussed and solved.
- There is a need for research activities in general and collaborative efforts with Airport Authority of India.
- Licence/taxation policies for GPS should be eased for wider usages of this technology for infrastructure development of this country.
- White paper should be prepared to indicate the status of GPS applications in different fields, periodically. This would provide the guidelines for GPS specifications for a specific application. Status of indigenous GPS receivers should be known to Indian users, which requires more efforts in technology/marketing.
- CSDMS should facilitate the prospective GPS community in understanding the role of GPS in modern world applications e.g. GIS, Deformation Control etc. n