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India’s Department of Science & Technology, Survey of India and Ministry of Urban Development join hands for comprehensive data infrastructure for Delhi

New Delhi, India, 13 February 2007 – The Department of Science & Technology, Survey of India (SOI) and the Ministry of Urban Development (MOUD), have come together to make the data based on 3D city model available to the city of Delhi.

They have decided to put their combined efforts to see that data starts flowing after nine months and for the National Capital Territory of Delhi, it is completed within three years. The project is estimated to cost over Rs. 100 crores (US$ 2 million), which would soon be recovered by way of enhanced revenue collection.

This was announced at a Press Conference jointly addressed by Urban Development Minister, S. Jaipal Reddy and Kapil Sibal, Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences. Mr. Reddy said that this would help the MOUD in Zonal Planning and subsequently other metros and urban areas will be covered.

“Three-dimensional mapping of each and every building, road and utilities, integrated with all the relevant records, would reduce the scope for discretion at the level of lower officials and tone up municipal administration,” Mr. Reddy added.

Explaining the rationale behind the move to incorporate the GIS-3D technology, Mr. Reddy said MPD-2021 had regularised many unauthorised colonies and hitherto illegal shops but there were still large spaces left in Delhi that had to be protected. “It would be useful for keeping a check on further unauthorised constructions and encroachments in urban villages,” he said.

Mr. Sibal also announced that the Survey of India (SoI) would prepare such maps for 400 cities in five years. The data generated by the maps would be shared with all the planning agencies and even the emergency and security services in future, he added.

In Delhi, the SoI would also embark on a project in which the underground utilities would be mapped and used in real time to monitor problems and also plan for the future.

– 3D city model of Chandni Chowk
In the above context a research project that was commissioned by Department of Science & Technology (DST) for creating a 3D city model of Chandni Chowk area of Delhi for various purposes, including detection of illegal constructions, is now completed and is being handed over to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) after their personnel are trained. A monitoring room has been setup with a number of computer screens beaming live coverage from the cameras. The project was carried out jointly by DST and the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The research team utilized the openly available satellite imagery from Quick bird satellite of resolution 0.6 metres. Painstakingly data was collected from ground by way of still photography of each and every building. Data for over 10,000 buildings were collected. In addition to that the details of the building, about the residents, its land use were also collected.

Digital video image was collected along the streets, lanes and by lanes of the thickly populated area of Chandni Chowk. The data is integrated to derive the 3D Model using the satellite data as base. Non pictorial data was linked to the pictures so that it gives information about each building and its residents.

Annotation was open for identification of areas and buildings. Each building was given an unique ID so that queries could be generated. High range IP Cameras are being installed to continuously take pictures of the areas.

The temporal data generated will be of great significance for many applications such as change detection in buildings and areas, recasting past events, crowd monitoring. It will also help in planning and organizing events such as Commonwealth Games.

This database will be a major resource in disaster management, utilities management and even enhanced property tax collection besides security management. The data created was completed unclassified as it has been collected by non-metric cameras and freely available satellite imagery from the Quick bird. This data has neither coordinates nor any reference frame and does not meet the stringent accuracy requirements. However it can easily be made metric and given to Government/authorized agencies.

The Ministry has shown this data to various Ministries/Departments including Home Affairs, Urban Development, Delhi Government, DDA, Police Department etc and the same has been appreciated by them. It was also shown during the Map World Forum in Hyderabad and received world attention. Some inquiries have come from abroad including Malaysia.