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NATMO to launch Golden Map Service

Kolkata, India, 15 February 2007 – Using the latest developments in IT, the National Atlas and Thematic Mapping Organisation (NATMO) would map the entire country down to the village level using spatial technology through its Golden Map Service. The programme will be launched at the concluding ceremony of NATMO’s golden jubilee on 16 February.

“After the advancements in remote-sensing, GIS and GPS, now is the era of Web cartography in mobile communication. NATMO will take a leading role in this field, in its Golden Map Service project,” said, Mr. Prithvish Nag, Director, NATMO.

“Large-scale data are now available on computers, depicting even 3D views of various infrasuctures like roads and buildings with help of high resolution imagery. Based on micro-level spatial data analysis and integrated geospatial technologies, modern thematic cartography is able to provide various inputs for planning to help administrators, planners, academicians and researchers.”

Explaining the Golden Map Service concept, he said under the project, the entire country would be mapped on large-scale maps right upto the village level.

“The service will involve all thrust areas of geospatial technologies along with Web, Internet and communication technologies. It is a new threshold in thematics but what is important is that we have to make it self-sustaining and find out ways to earn revenue,” said Mr. Nag.

“We have also approached mobile service operators for a tie-up. They can provide this service over phone in exchange for a fixed royalty to us,” said Mr. Ashok Mallik, Additional Director, NATMO.

— Kolkata’s map a click away, courtesy Golden Map Service
To begin with the entire map of Kolkata will now be available at the click of a mouse. One has only to log in to www.natmomap.in to zero in on any given address in Kolkata – courtesy the Golden Map Service, the pioneering effort in the field of Web cartography. The project has been completed in Kolkata and Salt Lake.

Entire Kolkata has been divided into 50 localities. The website, rather the “web map”, can track down the various landmarks, streets and residential buildings in the city. One can also log in to scout for a host of services like banks, educational institutions, markets and emergency services like blood banks, hospitals, police and fire stations.

One can also “search” a locality and even find the ward number of the locality. There is also facility for “buffer” search, in which a person can key in a specified distance and zoom onto all the landmarks within that range.

The NATMO had first conducted a detailed survey of the city and with the help of aerial photographs has drawn out a “basic map”. This was updated by satellite data and field data which had to be “digitised” after which the filed information were plotted on the map.

This is essentially where the map scores over the satellite images of the city which have already been floated on the web by some search engines. Referred to as “web-enabled GIS technology”, in technical parlance, it has taken NATMO five years to develop the web map