‘Industry must understand what government agencies need’

‘Industry must understand what government agencies need’

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New Delhi: The geospatial industry must come forward to understand the needs of government departments and agencies before offering any solution, said Dr. J R Sharma, Chief General Manager, Regional Centres, National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC). Dr. Sharma was addressing industry experts and government officials at the joint strategy workshop organised by the Association of Geospatial Industries (AGI) and the Department of Land Resources (DoLR) under the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Dr. Sharma said it is essential to understand the exact nature of challenges of the Indian business environment. An immensely effective solution in some other parts of the world may not work at all in Indian conditions. He said that we (the government agencies and the industry) need to simplify the technology so that it is understood and implemented by all concerned. If required, experts from the industry should not even mention “GIS” to people who do not understand the term and the technology, added Dr. Sharma. He gave a brief presentation on Space-based Information Support for Decentralised Planing (SIS-DP).

Dr. Sandeep Dave, Joint Secretary of DoLR emphasised on the importance of keeping technology simple. He said that industry players should avoid the use of jargons. Dr. Dave said geospatial technology will help break silos in watershed management programmes. It will make the entire process transparent. We want to institutionalise technology usage but we need cost-effective solutions, and we need to do it in several phases, he added.

The workshop also provided an opportunity for AGI member companies to talk about how GIS solutions could help MoRD’s flagship project “Integrated Watershed Management Programme” (IWMP). The session started with Shankar Narayana from DigitalGlobe talking about how accurate satellite imagery could help the end-users access sub-pixel data for watershed management. He also mentioned how DigitalGlobe’s satellite image inventory could help in understanding water bodies across India. Nikhil Kumar from Trimble said that geospatial technology could have a very positive impact on business behavior throughout the project. It could start from data collection and proceed through data processing and field mobility to the desired output, he added. Kumar said geospatial technology could provide mapping solutions to understand inventory of natural resources (water bodies). Aerial survey system could help know more about terrain height and thus provide a better understanding of the exact situation around water bodies. Advanced GIS software and applications could process the data according to the defined requirements, opined Kumar.

Girish Jain from Leica Geosystems said geospatial technology could provide a point cloud for all the water bodies in a predefined area. The point cloud could be analysed through GIS software to achieve desired results. Applications of geospatial technologies could range from surveying and mapping of water bodies to boundary management. It could also include digital terrain modeling to help study the water flow of a particular water body. Geospatial technology could couple with non-spatial technologies to provide quick and effective solutions for issues such as silt deposit in water bodies, he added.

Pritish Bisoyi from Intergraph said geospatial technology could be very effective in IWMP as it could help prevent soil run-off and could play a vital role in rainwater harvesting. The technology could suggest the most suitable places to build water reservoirs. Rectification of satellite and/or aerial images, time series analysis of images, and generating land cover maps could be done using geospatial technology. It could also integrate data from other sources and make all the desired output available through the Web.

Sripad Kale from Rolta India Limited emphasised on Rolta’s pan-India presence. He also mentioned some government-driven programmes and schemes such as Jal Samvardhane Yojana (Karnataka) and an aquifer mapping project (Rajasthan) where Rolta has been partnering with state governments. Seema Joshi from Esri India talked about how solutions such as terrain modeling, time-series analysis, delineation, studying water flow could help IWMP. She also mentioned how Esri India has collaborated with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on generation of database and implementation of Web Enabled Water Resources Information System in the Country short named as India-WRIS.

In the end, Bharti Sinha, Executive Director of AGI, thanked the government officials and industry representatives for their participation. AGI plans to further explore how the geospatial industry could help massive projects such as IWMP, she said. The event was graced by government officials from 8 Indian states.

Source: Our Correspondent