India aims to launch National GIS by October 2013

India aims to launch National GIS by October 2013

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Noida, India: The Survey of India (SoI) is targeting October 2013 to come up with the National GIS version 1.0. “With National GIS, we are opening up India for the citizens of India,” said Surveyor General Dr S. Subba Rao, at the 13th ESRI India User Conference being held in Noida near New Delhi.

Giving a status check on the project, Dr Rao said the National GIS (NGIS) was going to be a seamless, nationwide, GIS-ready database to serve as a platform for G-governance activities and state-of-the-art data posting of various govt departments. The Survey of India, which has already mapped the country at 1:50,000 ratio, will initially put up such open series maps of digital topographic database. The plan is to later replace these with 1:10,000 maps. Dr Rao said the SoI will be starting work on creating 1:10,000 maps for the entire country soon. “This is a very difficult exercise as we have to complete this task in just three years. We will try to map at least 50 per cent of the whole country in that time frame,” Rao added.

SoI is also planning to establish a GPS network across the nation which will be used in navigation and other such activities. Once the NGIS is operational there will be a demand for wide area differential GPS network to make highly reliable signals available in real-time.

Recognising the role of crowd sourcing, Dr Rao said that initially SoI had a strength of 20,000 people, which has reduced to 7000 now. As a result, SoI will have to rely on the popular method of crowd sourcing to produce maps on a large scale. However, these maps will have to pass certain standards since SoI is a national mapping agency. The agency cannot publish a map without properly verifying it. SoI will have to formulate quality control methods in order to produce correct maps.

Dr Rao then made an interesting comparison between surveying and cricket. He said, “Today surveying is just like cricket. Like the game of cricket is brought to the drawing room of every house and even someone who has not seen a stadium in his/her lifetime can pass comments on Dhoni’s decision. Same thing has happened with surveying. Ever since GIS came into the scene, we are not left alone. Before we complete our job, everybody wants to know what are we doing and wants to give in their inputs. Though I see this as a welcome development but it is also making our job much more difficult.”

Source: Our Correspondent