Recently a geomatics laboratory of the Department of Geology in the University was inaugurated in Thiruvananthapuram in India. The laboratory, set up at a cost of Rs.40 lakhs, is equipped with computers and software capable of analysing remote sensing data and three-dimensional stereoscopic analysis of digital images. The University Grants Commission, the Department of Science and Technology, and the Kerala State Council for Science Technology and Environment provided the funds.
The laboratory’s software includes a GIS package with Arc GIS, Arc View and Arc Info: packages for remote sensing data analysis and a photogrammetry suite for the three dimensional stereoscopic analysis of digital imageries. The photogrammetry software and hardware alone cost the department Rs.13 lakhs. A one-day workshop on `Applications of Geomatics’ was also held at the department as part of the inauguration. The department plans to offer certificate courses in GIS, remote sensing and photogrammetry and a postgraduate diploma programme in geomatics. Courses tailor-made for departments of agriculture, forest, irrigation, town planning and courses for officials of the KSEB and NATPAC— departments that can use geomatics while planning and executing projects— are also being planned. A programme to train schoolteachers in the principles and practises of remote sensing and geomatics is also on the cards.