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ISRO set to launch country

Ahmedabad, November 7 Developed by ISRO’s Ahmedabad centre, new software to be more compatible with Indian satellites and will cut costs

This is an initiative that could spell a huge technological leap for the country besides saving hundreds of crores in foreign exchange. ISRO is about to launch the country’s first comprehensive indigenous software for geomatics — ‘Indigenous GIS and IP Software’ or IGIS. With this, India is poised to become totally self-reliant in the software component of the Geospatial industry which accounted for nearly Rs 950 million in 2006-07, with much of it going to foreign players like ESRI, AutoDesk, Bentley Systems, Leica Geosystems, InterGraph and PCI Geomatics.

IGIS will be installed in all ISRO remote sensing centres resulting in huge cost savings.

The IGIS software has been developed by ISRO’s Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad along with its J-V geomatics technology partner Scanpoint Geomatics Limited (SGL), an Ahmedabad-based public limited company. It is a seamless Geomatics application, which includes Geographical Information System (GIS), Image Processing with integration with real time information using GPS.

R R Navalkund, Director, SAC said, IGIS will benefit India’s research and academic institutions as the pricing of the software will be highly competitive.

Chirag Soni, Technical Director, SGL, said: “ISRO provided the domain expertise while we provided the development expertise to come up with IGIS. Along with the added advantage of having both GIS Processing and Image Processing applications, IGIS will be more compatible to Indian satellites.”

An ISRO team member said all preliminary technical evaluation of the software has been very encouraging. “For sometime, ISRO has not purchased geomatics software from any foreign player and the stage is set for achieving self-reliance in every space application,” he added.

ISRO sources revealed that Chairman G Madhavan Nair was given a presentation by the IGIS team on his recent visit to SAC this week, adding that the commercial launch will take place any time in December.

SGL Managing Director Ramesh Sojitra, said: “The idea is to have a comprehensive, totally Indian, geomatics application software to geographically visualise both the Raster and Vector data, manipulate the data for standard analysis as well as create maps and images.”

He said to work on the pricing issue and to find a suitable Indian name for the software, the IGIS core team will meet tentatively on the 24th and 25th of this month.