The role of industry is significant in maturing the Geospatial market

The role of industry is significant in maturing the Geospatial market

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Dr M K Munshi, Senior Executive Director, Rolta India expresses his candid views in the manner the GIS industry in Asia and India is taking form and the prospects and pitfalls attached. Dr M K Munshi
Dr M K Munshi
Senior Executive Director,
Rolta India

Dr M K Munshi, Senior Executive Director, Rolta India expresses his candid views in the manner the GIS industry in Asia and India is taking form and the prospects and pitfalls attached. His optimistic and rational views shared exclusively with GIS Development, put forth a positive roadmap of growth for the industry in Asian region, with the rising infrastructure demands.

Today, GIS is no more locked in labs. It has reached homes and offices and the prospects are endless. In your observation, how would you trace the trends and directions of GIS industry growth in India and Asia?
The key areas of concern for most developing countries are Urban and Rural sectors, Infrastructure development and Defence. GIS has a major role to play in these areas. While the advantages of GIS has been realized in Defense, Utilities / Communications sectors in developing countries, its growth in other sectors has been comparatively slow. In India, we have a similar scenario. Non-availability of large-scale maps / GIS data, has been attributed to the slow rate of growth of GIS applications. However, changes (for the better) appear to be taking place. Today the awareness levels in the Government are high. Steps have been initiated to make data available. The market for GeoSpatial technology is growing and the industry has the latest and the best to offer. I am very optimistic that the required growth would take place and a lot of exciting things would happen in the near future.

What, in your opinion, are the key impediments of the GIS industry in India and Asia?
In India, large scale maps / GIS data availability is subject to stringent controls. There has been a long debate on the pros and cons of relaxation in these restrictions. There have been positive moves and workable solutions are likely to emerge in the near future. These would ensure, that development related work does not suffer due to the timely availability of data.

How important do you think are issues of land and cadastre in the GeoSpatial domain?
Land is the most precious resource. Cadastre / Land Information System (LIS), provides information on land ownership and usage. In India, since 1905, Cadastre is a State subject. Each State has its own system in place, not based on modern survey / GIS technology. Creation of a modern LIS, geared to meet the needs of development / Land Reforms poses a major challenge. Induction of modern GeoSpatial technology must be backed up with appropriate changes in Legislation, in order that the fruits of technology are available to all stakeholders.

Would you like to tell us about the latest offerings from Rolta and some interesting case studies? In India, Rolta offers end-to-end solutions bundled with appropriate services, in vertical markets ranging from: Defence to Utilities / Communications, Public Safety / Dispatch, Environment / Pollution Monitoring, Urban Mapping and so forth. In the International market, Rolta offers comprehensive services, working with partners as appropriate. An interesting case study is the work it is doing in the Electrical market place. Large-scale mapping with field data acquisition for consumer indexing, combined with user-friendly GIS is being offered to Sibs / Distribution companies.

How much do you think is the role of industry in maturing the GeoSpatial market of India?
The role of Industry is significant in maturing the GeoSpatial market in India. The involvement starts from the academic institutions offering Technical Training, Graduate and Post-Graduate level Education / Research facilities in Mapping / GIS. The Industry has special programs for such institutions ranging from free / subsidized software to workshops / seminars on specific themes, aimed at fostering Training / Education in GeoSpatial sciences. Further, through Trade / Road shows / Seminars focused on the applications of GeoSpatial technology, the Industry presents to the prospective users, how GeoSpatial technology, would improve their decision making capability. Rolta in association with Intergraph has special programmers for Educational Institutions in the country. It is a major sponsor of key Trade Shows. In association with Intergraph, it conducts Technology seminars, addressing specific themes / market segments. Through on-site Training / Workshops, the customer is encouraged to make productive use of the Systems / Solutions installed at their sites.

What is Rolla’s strategy in strategizing GIS projects?
Rolta offers end-to-end solutions and services in the Domestic market. In the International market, in association with its partners, who provide Cots solutions and specialized services like aerial photography / surveying / field data acquisition, Rolta offers end-to-end solutions and services, meeting specific customer / market requirements. In fact Rolta draws on its strength / experience in the Domestic market, to effectively meet International market requirements. Substantial investments have been made, in developing world-class facilities / infrastructure for offshore services. It is thus able to offer end-to-end services in areas ranging from: Photogrammetry to automated Mapping / Facilities Management (AM / FM) in the Utilities / Communications sector, Public Safety / Dispatch, Urban Mapping and so forth.