US: Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) identified Bhuvan website as the website of the month. Bhuvan is an initiative of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Department of Space, Government of India (GOI), to showcase Indian Earth Observation capabilities from the IRS series of satellites. Images showcased on Bhuvan are from multi-sensor, multi-platform and multi-temporal domains with capabilities to overlay thematic information, interpreted from such imagery, as vector layers.
All the Ministries involved in managing natural resources in India at national to local level have become part of Bhuvan, as the national imperative applications are done jointly with them. This one-stop Indian Earth Observation visualisation system can be of vital use for planners, decision makers, social groups, village communities and individuals. Bhuvan provides a gateway to explore and discover the virtual Earth in 2-Dimensional, 3-Dimensional space with tremendous possibilities for adding value at the user end.
Bhuvan enables users to share and overlay maps and geospatial feature data through services that implement the OGC Web Map Service (WMS) and Web Feature Service (WFS) interface standards and the OGC KML encoding standard. These services are hosted by ISRO’s National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC).
Bhuvan’s 2D interface is built using OpenLayers – an open source WMS client. The 2D map browser provides map navigation, map panning, line drawing, point polygon, overview map, linear and areal measurement and search. A downloadable plug-in provides “fly-over” viewing capabilities with interactive manipulation of view angle, distance, elevation and motion in a 3D landscape. Users can create and place 3D models, 3D polygons, take “snapshots”, measure distances and perform shadow analyses.
Various services available in Bhuvan, such as land services, weather services, disaster services and ocean services cater to specific needs of the scientific community and administrators, supporting their efforts to provide societal value.