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Survey of India to release high-res maps by 2014

New Delhi, India: The Survey of India (SoI) will release a series of maps by 2014. The maps will be 25 times more detailed than the current ones, Mint reported. These maps will benefit India’s nascent geospatial industry as well as the states that are trying to use 3D maps to dispense public services.

Maps that offer a resolution of 1:10,000 would likely by 2014 replace the existing workhorse 1:50,000 resolution that has been the mainstay for decades, according to R.C. Padhi, Additional Surveyor General.

The initiative follows a recent policy intervention by the government, to frame a national data access and sharing policy that could change the way the government maintains and shares information. The policy will compel departments and publicly funded bodies to scan their records, review the kind of data they maintain and release it for public consumption.

Officials involved in the initiative said the move will, for the first time, create institutional systems to coax ministries into sharing as much information as possible, provided this does not pose a security risk.

“In the next few years, if a government department doesn’t share information, it will have to give reasons why it isn’t doing so,” said one of the officials involved in framing the policy. “If it classifies some information as restricted, it will have to justify its stance. That’s an inversion of current policy.”

A major obstacle to presenting geospatial data in a manner accessible to the public was the lack of standards various agencies employed while collecting and collating data from the field, according to Mahesh Chandra, Deputy Director General, National Informatics Commission.

“Several departments could be involved in such an exercise; however, much of what is collected is stored in differing formats,” Chandra said. “To benefit from an improved geospatial data, we need a common set of standards.”

Source: www.livemint.com