Pune University students to map regional villages

Pune University students to map regional villages

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Pune, India, September 18, 2007: University of Pune (UoP) students are undergoing rigorous training to map the villages in Pune, Ahmednagar and Nashik districts of Maharashtra state using GIS. Under this intiative, Samartha Bharat Abhiyaan (SBA), detailed geographical, historical and socio-economic data of each village will soon be available in digital maps.
The colleges affiliated to UoP will adopt one village each and the UoP’s Geo-informatics department will be coordinating to train college students in precise gathering of the data. “A total of 206 students have already received training,” said SBA executive council chairman Sambhaji Pathare.
The project, Samartha Bharat Geoinfosys, has already begun with mapping of Mokasbaug, Vadu Budruk and Narayangaon regions near Pune. Using the talathi or revenue maps, students divided the village into sections and then surveyed through the village, measuring road lengths and noting latitude and longitude coordinates using GPS devices. With additional 50 GPS devices purchased, 40 colleges have been identified for training to carry out further data collection.
“Each house was given a number, and a sketch prepared. GPS coordinates were taken at road intersections, temples and schools,” said final year M.Sc student Kiran Mane. This data was then plotted on the revenue map using the GIS software, and non-spatial attribute data like names of roads and landmarks were added. The next step was the socio-economic profiles of each family. Information was entered into exhaustive feedback forms comprising 208 questions ranging from the head of the family, crop cultivated, income generated, health problems and educational status.
Such data mapping can help identify location-specific problems and planning infrastructure decisions accordingly, said UoP GIS department head Vrushali Deosthali, who is heading the project and training the students. “Solutions in a location-specific manner to problems like inadequate drinking water supply or illiteracy can be planned,” she said.