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GIS mapping gaining popularity

Bangalore, India: The use of GIS (Geographical Information System) is gaining popularity amongst government agencies and private companies in India for conducting various studies. According to experts, the technology is revolutionising the way we study and analyse areas of habitation.

A prime example of this rising popularity is the recent tie-up between the Karnataka government and Bangalore-based engineering company SECON. The partnership aims to develop a digitized, real-time property database of all the residents in Mysore city. The map deploying GIS techniques will provide information not only on the number of households and their occupation levels, but whether the families have paid their water bills or not.

“The company will identify the number of houses, income distribution of people, collect information on the nature of habitation and vegetation around the area and layer it on a GIS map,” says Dhyan Appachu, Director of International Operations at SECON.

Where traditionally numerical data and maps were used as two different components, GIS puts all information on one surface with the help of satellite images and detailed geographical information. Interested parties can add, delete and compare data.

“GIS is primarily about layering different kinds of data on a single map image,” says MC Kiran, co-ordinator at the Eco-Informatics lab at Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) in Bangalore. For instance, companies collect information on income distribution, age groups and occupation patterns of people in a particular locality when they set up factories or large stores.

The information collected from government records and survey results is then integrated with satellite images that create a visual database. This makes it easy to figure out the consumer profile around a store and what products would sell. “Many companies from the wind energy sector have started using GIS to identify the right areas. In fact, telecom companies like Reliance Communications use this technology to map customers,” he said.

Source: Economic Times