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Experts urge to think beyond conventional GIS

Noida, India: GIS practice in India is still at a nascent stage but we can see young professionals everywhere. Indian GIS industry should reap benefits from the nation’s IT expertise and young professionals, observed Prof. N. Vinod Chandra Menon, former member of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), India. Prof Menon was delivering valedictory speech during the closing ceremony of 13th Esri India User Conference in Noida, India.

Citing a report by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk, Prof Menon stated that India lost USD 43 billion dollar due to disasters during 1992-2012 and the US lost USD 560 billion. Even with half of that money, we had saved several lives and properties. He urged young professionals to think beyond conventional GIS and bring innovation in GIS practices. He appreciated NDMA for its national disaster management information and communications system for informed decision making. He also appreciated Department of Information Technology for the concept of Common Service Centre (CSC), which will be set up for every six villages. So far, 1,00,000 CSCs have been set up and within two years, the number will be 2,50,000. He appealed to all agencies to be part of World Bank’s information disclosure campaign.

Earlier, users from various verticals like utilities, infrastructure and disaster management shared their innovative ideas and research work with the GIS fraternity. They were awarded for the same. Dr Kishor Kumar, Sr Principal Scientist, Central Road Research Institute, New Delhi, bagged the third prize for the paper, Geo-environmental appraisal of landslide hazards on Highways in Uttarakhand. Ajay Kumar, Technical Director, National Informatics Centre (NIC), won the second prize for the paper, Web-based GIS on National river conservation plan. His paper was based-on the study of five rivers Ganga, Yamuna, Gomti, Damodar and Hugli, in the sates of Uttarakhand, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal. Dr. Y Pari of L& T won the top honour for the paper, Importance of enterprise GIS in construction industry. He explained how geodesign can enhance construction process. He urged users to think like geographers and work like engineers while planning a certain construction.

Apart from winners, there were several papers, appreciated by the audience. For example, Bhawna Sharma from Micro Insurance Academy (MIA) explained the use of GIS in the assessment of vulnerability to climate risks. This GIS practice was part of the MIA’s project, Climate resilience through risk transfer. Through this project the MIA aims to enhance the resilience of vulnerable communities to climate change by developing pro-poor microinsurance solution.

Er G Kumar from Highway Department, Tamil Nadu, presented the paper, e-Pathai GIS – Electronic Projects, Administration, Traffic, Highway Assets and Information Management System in Tamil Nadu Highways. Through e-Pathai GIS, one can access detailed information about bridges, roads, and other projects, implemented by the Highway Department. Uma Pandey from MapMyIndia (CE info System Pvt. Ltd.) presented the paper, Rising Role of VTS (Vehicle Tracking System) in National Security System. She used Arc GIS tracking analyst tool in the VTS. The tracking analyst supports network connections to GPS units and other tracking and monitoring devices, which enables real time tracking.

Technology partner presentations
Acquisition of Earthmine – a provider of 3D street level imagery will help Nokia in delivering end-to-end solutions through 3D mobile mapping system, automated data processing pipelines, cloud based hosting services and server software, observed Tarun Harnathka, Director – Regional Map & Content, Nokia Location and Commerce. Harnathka also stated that with the help of users’ input (Map Reporter), 16000 kilometres new roads have been added in NAVTEQ Map. Approximately 122000 editing were made by the users and only one percent was rejected during the verification. He claimed that there are 560 active users, which are contributing data.

In addition, Harnathka presented couple of case studies. He explained how helpful was combination of Esri ArcGIS and NAVTEQ for Victoria Police (in Australia) during bush fire mapping. ArcGIS web app + NAVTEQ also helped FedEX (US) in real-time fleet capacity monitoring.

Lindsay Roselle, Channels & Alliances Manager, Televent Utilities Group (Televent is now Schneider Electric!), explained new advancements in ArcGIS 10.1. In addition, she explained how Telvent”s ArcFM product suite adds value to ArcGIS. She demonstrated various key features of ArcFM like .Net ArcFM properties manager and ArcFM locator tool improvements.

Bernard Lawes, South Asia Channel Manger, ITT Exelis, demonstrated key features of E3De – Exelis Visual Information Solutions. Lawes explained that with the help of E3De, users can perform automatic feature classification directly within your ArcGIS. E3De is a GIS software that users to create powerful, realistic 3D visualisations and easily extract important features and products from LiDAR point cloud data.

Source: our Correspondent