The Union government has decided to develop computer-aided digital maps of mega cities like Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad in order to have a fresh look at the state of developmental affairs in those cities. In a related development, the National Institute of Health and Family Welfare has developed multi-layered nationwide maps, based on GIS for health management purposes. The move is aimed at offering a user- friendly and effective tool to public heath administrators.
The project has been classified into three parts — including basemap compilation, formulation of metropolitan area network (MAN) and utility mapping. Under basemap compilation, digital maps of cities would be created. In light of MAN, it has been decided to establish a communication network, which will enable exchange of data among various utility agencies in a secured environment in a city. Utility mapping will involve mapping of utility networks and related things. Five agencies in these cities have been identified for the purpose. As regards the digital maps for health management, the NIHFW has hired a Noida-based GIS software company, JT Maps, one of the country’s indigenous GIS software developers, to accomplish the task. The maps will be digitally powered with many features, to help health administrators in planning, analysis and managing a range of diseases.
By using this model, administrators can also generate results, distribution and variation in diseases both in terms of intensity and locations. The model is based on multiple criteria where data can be retrieved at state or even district level. Such a map, among other things, would be very handy in determining the level of distribution of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the country. With the click of a mouse, one will be able to get actual figures of HIV-positive people and their distribution in terms of location, gender and age groups. Thematic map facility has also been provided to determine the distribution pattern of HIV-positive urban women in the country in the age group of 31-40 years. The application software developed on indigenous tool, JT Maps SDK, is reportedly quite cost-effective and may be the precursor to many more such application software in future.