New Delhi, India: Leading geospatial industry technologists, users and government think tank got together to explore the value, purpose and economic contribution of geospatial technology at Geospatial Artha Summit, organised by Geospatial Media & Communications here today.
Peter Large , Vice President Channel Development, Trimble, traced the relevance of the pioneering efforts of Gerardus Mercator, the world’s first scientific map maker whose 500th anniversary was commemorated with this event. A child of The Renaissance, a period of exponential development of knowledge in art, science, architecture and discovery, Mercator created the world’s first atlas, identified for the first time, “America” on two continents, and established the Mercator Projection technique that enabled simpler navigation. As the world today puts geospatial data to work to make the world more efficient, productive, safer and cleaner, it was Mercator’s printed maps that are among the earliest instances of making geospatial information accessible. Mercator’s legacy, observed Peter, is having spurred the utility and value of geospatial information.
MV Kotwal, Director & President (Heavy Engineering), Larsen & Toubro Ltd, India discussed how one of the largest engineering companies in India is utilising geospatial technology. Geospatial technology is being applied in L&T infrastructure projects like integrated townships, airports and roads. It is being used in applications like property & boundary, government / environment clearance, flora mapping, topography visualization, shoreline monitoring programme, and property information system. Kotwal acknowledged the pivotal role played by ISRO in encouraging wide industrial participation. The industry has also matured to take on integrator & EPC role. The company, through its precision manufacturing, is enabling capacities necessary for satellite activities. He also explained how the company is using photogrammetry for precision manufacturing.
Suresh Prabhu, Former Union Minister and Parliamentarian, India, touching upon the economy of the country, obverted that the problem of Indian economy lies in the fact that agriculture engages 2/3rd of the country’s population but contributes only 16 percent to GDP. The challenge is the upliftment of this segment of the population. It is here that geospatial technology can play a crucial role. The two key elements in agriculture are land and water, and geospatial technology can contribute to judicious use of both these elements through things like analysis of land use patterns, thereby increasing productivity. He however stressed on the new governance models for maximum benefits.
CP Baid, Deputy MD, Monnet Ispat Energy Ltd, India discussed geospatial technology as an enabler in natural resources with least adverse ecological impact. The technology can be a major differentiator during the prospecting stage, by identifying viability of any project – whether the mineral volume available at any particular site makes production viable. Geospatial technology can also help in management of closing and revegetation of mines. He also highlighted the benefits of GPS in tracking movements of huge machinery across the mines, adding to safety and productivity. Having highlighted the benefits, he urged that need is felt at national and state level for spatial data infrastructure. According to him, data needs to be created for non-coal mines and minerals.
Dr. Shailesh Nayak, Secretary, Department of Earth Sciences, showcased the economic value of oceans and the need for discovery, understanding and application of knowledge regarding oceans. The ocean presents both living and non-living resources which can contribute significantly to economy. The former resources include fishery, cryobiology, ice shelf and lakes and marine biotechnology. He informed about the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS); it is also being developed in India. The non-living resources include continental shelf, poly-metallic nodules, development of deep ocean technology, ocean cobalt crust, hydro-thermal deposits and gas hydrates. Dr. Nayak also informed about the planned deep ocean drilling, as well as plans to study the geoid anomaly over certain areas of Indian Ocean. He stressed on the need to focus on ocean for a sustainable future.
Dr. NP Gupta, Chairman & Managing Director, DESEIN Private Limited, India discussed the relevance of geospatial technology in the energy sector. Informing that the planned additional capacity in the 12th Five Year Plan is 75785 MW, he said that geospatial technology can be beneficial in guiding and clearing projects, as well as in transmission and distribution. Also, one of the major sources of power generation in India is coal. Advancements in coal mining are therefore required, and geospatial technology can have a role to play here.
Michael Jones highlighted the increasing involvement of non-professional, common people in creation of maps and the evolution of technology from being secretive to where everyone is involved, and where there’s flooding of information. Countries are increasingly being mapped by their people, with 187 out of 192 countries having being mapped by their people. He also remarked that “phone is the computer of tomorrow”. Dr. Kumar Navulur, Director, Next Generation Products, DigitalGlobe, USA, talked about hoe satellite imagery can be made ubiquitous. What the industry needs to do according to him is to offer better quality, higher accuracy, complete coverage, fresher imagery, easier access, and should be economical. He concluded that the integration of imagery with other geospatial technologies is vital for success of earth observation industry.
Source: Our correspondent