Recently, I met a senior journalist from a reputed Indian computer magazine at a product launch. She was shocked to know that we are bringing out a GIS magazine. “GIS? Has this technology arrived in India? I trust there would be few users of this technology. And…how do you survive by running a GIS magazine?” When I informed her that more than twenty companies participated in the National GIS/GPS Conference and Exhibition at IIT, Delhi, she was baffled. “TWENTY companies working in the field of GIS in India? Sure, you must be joking!” that was what she could say. I was not surprised.
One fine morning, a year ago, when we decided to launch a GIS magazine, few people were excited. Many thought that India is not yet prepared for specialized magazines in IT field. And certainly you are not talking about rapidly growing technology like Internet or PCs, which can ensure enough sales to survive.
But, deep in our hearts, we knew that India, with its strong remote sensing programme, one of the oldest surveying organizations in Asia, shooting software export graph in CAD/GIS services, and increasing infrastructure privatization, deserves a GIS magazine of its own and on its own. And thanks to our readers, we haven’t been proved wrong!
With this issue of the magazine, the Centre for Spatial Database Management and Solutions (CSDMS) is completing its one-year of its glorious existence. In June 1997, we launched [email protected] as eight-page newsletter. The July and August issues were brought out in the newsletter format in twelve and sixteen pages respectively. After receiving an encouraging response from all over the country, [email protected] was launched as a bimonthly magazine by the then Minister of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Prof. Saifuddin Soz, at the National Symposium on ‘GIS for Business and Environmental Planning’ at our first conference, which was organized in association with the University of Delhi.
Anniversaries provide a pause for introspection and an opportunity to chart out future strategies. On our first anniversary, we acknowledge, with sincere gratitude, the unstinting support and encouragement of people and organisations, without which [email protected] would not have taken off, let alone become ‘India’s first GIS/GPS bimonthly’. The contribution of our subscribers and advertisers was most valued, coming as it did at times when the budding magazine faced it’s growing pangs.
We are acutely aware that to negotiate the challenges of the future, there can be no scope for complacency. We are aware that we need to monitor and respond more creatively to readers’ feedback in every department of our magazine. We intend every issue to create an increased level of awareness about India’s strength and weakness in the GIS related technology, to help it grow faster.
Certainly we have made mistakes. We wish to seek your excuse. We also want to THANK YOU for all your co-operation in making this effort successful!
Email: [email protected]