Geospatial technologies in war and peace

Geospatial technologies in war and peace


New Delhi, India: The second and concluding day of GeoIntelligence Asia 2010 witnessed a series of workshops and sessions on the applications of geospatial applications in defence and homeland security.

Maj. Gen. S.V. Chinawar, Addl. Director General, Military Survey, chaired the session Geospatial for Defence and Border Security. Maj. Gen. P.N. Koul, Addl Survey General, Survey of India; Vikram Kulkarni, Director, Enterprise Architecture, Oracle India; Mark Ashworth, Lead Engineer, IBM India and M Rajathural, Technical Director, Bentley Systems, India addressed the session. Maj. Gen. P.N. Koul presented his paper, Necessity of Formulation of Optimum Data Standards for Efficient Data Dissemination in Defence Environment. The paper ignited a debate on data standards. The audience also participated in this debate and some members from the audience raised the issue whether they should go with cartography data standards or GIS standards.

M Rajathural informed that Bentley Systems has developed a tool which can convert CAD data into GIS data and also gave a demonstration of the same. While discussing his paper Managing Mission Critical Information in Geo-enabled Environment, Rajathural noted that even GIS data should be indexed in the same manner as Google has indexed bundle of information and made it accessible for everyone. He presented various solutions offered by Bentley including intelligent property management, multi-user editing with versioning and intelligent distributed plotting and publishing. Ashworth briefed the current release from IBM, Cheetah 2 and presented a brief demonstration how US Army – Combat Terrain Information System is getting benefit from geointelligence tools.

Maj Gen (Dr) R Sivakumar, Chief Executive Officer, National Spatial Data Infrastructure, India, chaired the session Geospatial for Homeland Security. The speakers at this session were T.B.J.S. Rajappa, Deputy Director, Directorate of Coordination (Police Wireless), India; Col. G. S. Mehta (retd), Chief General Manager, Northern region, RSI Softech, India; Andrea Cook, Senior Sales Manager, GeoEye, USA, Col. Sunil Mishra, Director Battlefield Management, System Cell, Directorate General of Information System, India and Maniesh Kulshrestha, Head – Business Development, SiRF Technology, India. Andrea presented the paper, GeoEye 1 – Status, Highlights and Accuracy for Homeland Security. She showcased few latest GeoEye 1 images and explained their key features. She said that GeoEye is not only capturing images it is providing image-based products as well like 3D modelling and digital maps.

Col. G.S. Mehta (retd.) shared RSI Softech’s long business association with security forces like BSF and CRPF. He demonstrated the company’s latest product, Skyline for disaster mitigation. Kulshrestha acquainted the audience with the innovative usages of GPS especially for those who can’t carry GPS equipped mobile phones, like children and animals. He introduced a micro electro mechanical sensor (MEMS) and compared it to GPS. He demonstrated how MEMS can track people in malls or other indoor places with better accuracy than GPS. He also emphasised on public privacy and the need of Building Management Mapping as most of the heritage centres are being targeted by terrorists and anti-social elements. Col. Mishra said that GIS is yet to be optimally exploited. He presented the satellite map of Dantewara, India, which was just mute in the absence of attributed information like roads, villages, language and so on. Recently, at this place, some anti-social elements attacked on military troop and killed more than 100 army persons. Rajappa, in his presentation Albedo of Geointelligence connected GIS with some incidents from epics like Ramayana and Mahabharta. The idea was to put forth how our approach has changed when we say GIS though the ultimate aim is same.

Dr. R. Ramachandran, Centre Director, National Technical Research Organisation, India, chaired the session Image Intelligence and Maritime Coastal Security. The speakers were Cmde (R) Ranjit B Rai, Vice President, Indian Maritime Foundation, India; Col. Kailash Tiwari, Corps of Engineers, Indian Army; Bhaskar Burman, Additional Director, Office of the Scientific Adviser to Chief of Naval Staff, DRDO, India and Sowmya Gopal, Radar Scientist, Intermap technologies, Germany. Bhaskar presented a paper, Satellite Imaging Intelligence. Col. Tiwari’s presentation was based on Image Intelligence – Target Detection using Optical and Microwave Remote Sensing. Sowmya addressed the session with her paper, IFSAR Mapping for Geospatial Intelligence in India.

There were three workshops during the day. The workshop, Human Geography and Intelligence was conducted by Dr. Christopher Tucker, Member, Board of Directors, US Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, US. Dr. M.K. Munshi, GIS Development India, conducted the workshop, Standards and Interoperability. The keynote was presented by Maj. Gen. Rajesh Pant, VSM, Additional Director General Information System, Indian Army. Other speakers were Mark Reichardt, President and CEO, OGC, United States; Col. Sunil Mishra, Director Battlefield Management, System Cell, Directorate General of Information System, India; Dr. V. V. L. N. Sharma, Civil Hydrographic Office, India and P. S. Acharya, Director/Scientist F, Department of Science & Technology, India.

Dr. V.V.L.N. Sharma presented his paper, ECDIS Compliant ENC Standards and Issues of Interoperability. P.S. Acharya addressed the topic Use of OGC/ISO Standards in Indian NSDI. Col. Sunil Mishra presented paper Exploiting GI to Strengthen Internal Security. In his keynote, Pant explained the concept of OIS, MIS and GIS.

A workshop on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) was conducted by Mike McGill, President, Surveil, United States. He said that market response towards UAVs is almost same as that was for cars in 1920s and computers in 1980s. “UAVs were like a predator in 1990s and still, advancements in this field are consistently happening like UAVs with liquid hydrogen propulsion and hybrid UAVs with Gas/Electricity propulsion. In addition, UAV market is driving advancement in new and innovative ways to apply carbon fibre composite materials” said Mike. In terms of business, he said that US Navy alone made an order of USD 2.2 billion to Northrop Grumman. Audience also put forth several questions regarding mini and micro UAVs.

GeoIntelligence Asia 2010 concluded today with the promise to meet again next year at same place, Hotel Taj palace in New Delhi, India. Dr. M.P. Narayanan, Chairman, GIS Development made this announcement during Valedictory Session.

Source: Our Correspondent