Noida, India: “What can we do to create solutions which have an inclusive nature so that everyone benefits from them,” asked Rajendra S Pawar, Chairman, NIIT Group. He was addressing the 12th Esri India User Conference 2011 which began in India today. Talking about economic divide in the country, Pawar said, “The model of development/growth in India is unfair.” He stressed on building a development model which benefits all sections of the society. For this, he proposed building of infrastructure at three levels – governance, information and human infrastructure. “Today’s youth should come up with new ideas and tools for solving our present day problems,” he said. Talking about some of the initiatives taken by government towards building ‘g-enabled India’, he said, “Fibre optics broadband are being provided to all 2.5 lakh panchayats. By 2014, 40 per cent of the households will be connected by this network.” He then spoke about NIIT University and explained how the university is helping build human infrastructure for the country.
Jim Higgins, Regional Manager, Esri Inc., spoke about GIS and its evolution over the years. “We see a new GIS pattern is emerging, that is, GIS is now becoming accessible to everyone,” he said, adding, “Earlier, we used to build an application and connect it to cloud. Now, we build for cloud and connect it to desktop.” Talking about ArcGIS, he said, “Our application is available on tablets, desktop and various other platforms. The core of GIS is intelligent maps. You can make one intelligent map and share it with all platforms.” He along with his teammate Seema Joshi, then introduced the audience to the new enhanced online version of ArcGIS, “Through ArcGIS online, we are trying to bring simple online tools which are available to everyone and not just Esri,” said Higgins.
The plenary session had presentations by some of the users of Esri India products. Talking about the need for GIS in infrastructure, Prashun Datta, Sr EVP, Reliance Energy, said, “It provides us assistance in project management like real-time monitoring of assets or projects, accurate data analysis, assessment of land, sites or routes or environmental impact. Environment is best accessed through GIS and satellite monitoring,” he said. He then presented a case-study explaining how GIS is being used by Reliance in power distribution and how it has helped the organisation in bringing down costs while improving its efficiency.
Dr K.M. reddy, Scientist F, NRSC, spoke about ‘RS, GIS and mathematical model development towards sustainable development and disaster risk reduction.’ He talked about various projects that he was involved with during his tenure with Andhra Pradesh State Remote Sensing Applications Centre (APSRAC), Hyderabad, like development of soil health portal, mining information system (Project Khanija), identification of parking location – Kadapa district, watershed development programme at micro watershed level, various hydrological assessment projects, etc. Talking about flood forecasting system, Dr Reddy said, “During Krishna floods in 2009, GIS helped us safely evacuate people from the affected region. Only one death was reported from the region.”
With the help of a video film, Pradeep Lamba, DGM-EAM, IBM, demonstrated how IBM and Esri India are leveraging each other’s capabilities for building smarter cities. Speaking about IBM Maximo Spatial for assest management, he said, “Maximo Spatial helps us define assets along with their location. Users don’t have to bother about switching between two screens as both the applications are available on one platform.” He also spoke about the various uses of Maximo Spatial. “It can be used for assessing the performance of assets, the maintenance requirements, location of assets, traffic movement and profiling, etc.” He then presented another video film to demonstrate how the software helps agencies in carrying out their tasks effectively.
Technology demos and quiz were held during the day. Esri India also presented awards to users for their contribution in this sector. ‘Special achievement in GIS (India) award’ was shared by two users – Kanpur Nagar Nigam and Software development institute, Indian Air Force. ‘Making a difference (India) award’ was given to APSRAC (Hyderabad).
The two-day conference-cum-exhibition will have dedicated sessions on health, nature resource management, water resources, disaster management, infrastructure, etc, on its second day.
Source: Our Correspondent