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India to use airborne laser technology for mapping

More than 200 years since the British established it, the Survey of India has gone hi-tech with the introduction of sophisticated airborne lasers for its mapping operations. The Survey of India has become probably the first organization in the Asia-Pacific region to use the “airborne laser terrain mapping” technology as part of a large-scale modernization programme, said a statement issued here Friday.

The organization now has the capability to quickly generate highly accurate maps needed especially for pre- and post- disaster management and corridor surveys for infrastructure development such as national highways, railways and inter-linking of rivers. The technology will allow it to produce large-scale geo-spatial databases and meet new requirements in cartography. It will also enable the Survey of India to play a much bigger role in the creation of national spatial data infrastructure, the statement said. The use of airborne lasers for mapping was launched as a pilot project with the department of science and technology, and it is being executed in collaboration with a New Delhi-based aerial survey firm. Data collected by the Survey of India using the technology in May is now being processed. From this data, the organization will produce digital terrain models, digital elevation models, ortho-photo maps, line maps and fly-throughs.

The airborne lasers were used in the crucial area of flood plain mapping. The Survey of India will also offer its services to all agencies, including private ones, requiring large-scale maps for urban and rural planning, disaster management, infrastructure development, and revenue record maintenance.

Set up in 1767, Survey of India is the government’s oldest scientific department. It was a shadowy organization in its early years, with its British chiefs training Indians to mount clandestine forays into then closed-off regions like Tibet for pioneering surveys and the collection of intelligence.

Source: Indo-Asian News Service