‘Engage with the community to grow cartography”

‘Engage with the community to grow cartography”

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India: Engagement with the community is one of the most significant emerging aspects of cartography, which is more than just map making and has to be dynamic rather than static. In India, the most important community is the rural people. This underscores the critical link between cartography and decentralised planning. This was the observation made by Dr. VK Dhadwal, President, Indian National Cartographic Association (INCA) and Director, National Remote Sensing Centre, India. Dr Dhadwal was speaking at the 33rd INCA International Congress at Jodhpur in India.

The three-day INCA International Congress with the theme “Integrated Decentralised Planning: Geospatial Thinking, ICT & Good Governance”, organised by Indian National Cartographic Association, and hosted by National Remote Sensing Centre, ISRO, Jodhpur and Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Jodhpur, got under way on September 19. Dr. Dhadwal also highlighted the initiative of NRSC towards decentralised planning – System Information Support for Decentralised Planning (SIS-DP). For the first time, ortho-images have been created and NRSC’s portal, Bhuwan, has developed a dedicated section for panchayats where these images are being uploaded.

Dr Shailesh Nayak, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, stressed that the development of any country depends on resources and how we plan to manage those resources. According to Dr Nayak, there is a need to address sustainability at three levels – global, social and human; and decentralised planning has an important role to play in effectively managing natural resources. He said that we need robust DSS (decision support system) for planning development schemes and GIS is the mainstay in this process.

Earlier, Dr JR Sharma, Chairman, Local Organising Committee, while welcoming the audience, highlighted the importance of large scale maps in decentralised planning and the big role of ICT as an enabler and disseminator of information in decentralised governance, as well as the role of earth observation data.

Dr Swarna Subba Rao, Surveyor General of India, shared that Survey of India is one the verge of a number of initiatives, one of the key ones being the 1:10,000 scale mapping of the country which is almost about to start. This will be very useful in governance, he said. Rajesh C. Mathur, Vice President, Association of Geospatial Industries, and Vice Chairman, NIIT GIS, stressed on geo-enabling governance processes, to address various challenges faced in planning and administration including identifying the core issues of development activities like what activity is required and where, assessing fund requirement and appropriate use of funds, and measuring the outcomes within stipulated time.

Dr V Jayaraman, Senior Advisor (Space Applications) and Satish Dhawan Professor, Indian Space Research Organisation, mulled upon the idea of converging the role of data producer and consumer into one new class of user, “prosumer”. The key to effective map communication is to keep the interface simple, domesticate the technology, make it ‘good enough for the user’ and focus on information rather than getting lost in the data, he opined.

Source: Our correspondent