Emphasis on “maps to apps” at NSDI 2013

Emphasis on “maps to apps” at NSDI 2013


Mumbai: NSDI – 2013 was held recently in Mumbai, India, with the theme “Maps to Apps” to emphasise the transition in meeting the users’ requirements of accessing “apps” beyond the data. The conference witnessed experts from the Indian geospatial industry who deliberated on various aspects of this transition.

Dr. Shailesh Nayak, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, emphasised that one of the most critical requirements is uniform indexing and cataloguing of various kinds of satellite data. Another aspect that requires close attention is internal networking. This is especially critical in case an event occurs. The data is collected by the minute and the network has to be able to support that; it should not fail on such occasions. Efficient computing has to be an important part of overall infrastructure, he emphasised, with the networks having the ability to provide information in the way the users want. Another important aspect is visualisation. According to him, visualisation makes it much simpler for anybody to understand things.

Another area stressed upon by Dr Nayak was sound education system – including education of people who produce data, people who analyse the data and people who use the data. He illustrated by example how more people died from rain than from cyclone. In case of cyclone, people were conscious that it is something dangerous so they should safeguard themselves, whereas in case of rain, people have not been educated to perceive it as threat. He concluded that all systems will fail if people are not educated.

Dr VK Dhadwal, Director, National Remote Sensing Centre, observed that geospatial space is highly differentiated, giving the analogy of blind men and the elephant. Regarding data, he observed that acquisition is not an issue, it is data processing that is a bigger challenge. Further, even when data is there, it is not necessary that we have models to use it.

Also addressing the conference were Maj. Gen. (Dr) R. Siva Kumar, CEO, NSDI and Head – NRDMS Division, DST; KK Singh, President, Association of Geospatial Industries and Dr S Subba Rao, Surveyor General of India.

For “app” development, a critical requirement is GIS-ready data. A number of data organisations in India demonstrated their offerings, including Survey of India, Geological Survey of India, Space Applications Centre and National Informatics Centre. The Industry session witnessed the solutions offered by a number of leading technology providers including Intergraph, Esri India, Tricornio Technologies, CyberTech, and Rolta India.

NSDI 2013, held during November 29-30, was hosted by GISE Research Lab, IIT Bombay.

Source: Our Correspondent