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‘Interoperability key to effective geoint’

New Delhi, India: The theme for plenary session II of GeoIntelligence 2011 was ‘Common geographic reference framework: Interoperability and integration’. Col John Kedar, Chief of Staff, Headquarters Engineer-in-Chief (Army), UK MoD, Dr M K Munshi, Chair-Open Geospatial Consotium India Forum, India, and Maj Gen Girish Kumar, Project Director, Delhi State Spatial Data Infrastructure, India were the plenary speakers of the session that was chaired by Lt Gen K Surendra Nath, AVSM, VSM, GOC-in-C, Army Training Command, Indian Army.

Talking about future character of conflict, Col Kedar said, “The need is to shift emphasis from platform and C2 nodes towards better understanding.” Explaining his point further, he said that it is important to understand the culture of the place where one is operating. “We need to understand the people we are dealing with, there is a need to have information on human geography.” Speaking about his department’s role, he stressed upon the need to be able to provide situational awareness to its forces. “We talk about every soldier being a sensor. But the question is how do we bring sensor and soldier together?” He also talked about effective geospatial governance across the enterprise and identified data requirement, resolution, content and its use as the major factors in achieving it.

He was followed by Dr Munshi who spoke about the importance of spatial intelligence in any operation. Although he stressed on HUMINT, he identified collation of data from different sensors/ sources as a vital first step in collecting intelligence. He talked about a need to have seamless integration of information while at the same time informing the audience that handling of too much of information is also a challenge for the geoint community.
Further, he talked about the requirement of standards for the geoint community to bring in harmony among different forces. He also said that accurate intelligence gathering is important to eliminate threats.

Speaking about Delhi State Spatial Data Infrastructure (DSSDI), Maj Gen Kumar talked in detail about the project and the work involved in completing it. “Although we used aerial photographs, we substantiated it with ground surveys to build the 3D image of the city. Underground mapping machine were used to get details about pipes etc.” Laying emphasis on common standards, he said, “Keyhole Markup Language version 2.2 has been adopted as OGC implementation standard in our project.” He also talked about the challenges they faced while implementing the project. “Although every organisation in Delhi maintains its data, we do not know who has what and it is very difficult to get them to share data. DSSDI brought all the state departments together to share their data,” he said. He also appreciated the Delhi government for passing Delhi Geographical Spatial Data Infrastructure (Management, Control, Administration, Security and Safety) Act, 2011 which makes it mandatory for organisations to use this information.

This was followed by question-answer session where people were eager to know about the DSSDI project. Lt Gen K Surendra Nath then concluded the session by stressing upon a need to bring in interoperability between DSDI and NSDI. He said, “Time has come for defence to seriously look at building its own SDI.”

Source: Our Correspondent