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‘Use of geospatial technology growing in India’

India: During the past few years, India has taken giant strides in the field of geospatial technology and has laid out a strong foundation for a sound knowledge-base and a strong user-base for GIS activities in the country.
The most important aspect has been that the public and private sectors have been working together to develop GIS-based planning solutions, urban management solutions, power distributions solutions, location-based services and applications that have increased the internal capacity and capability of GIS in India.
Talking to Future Gov during the recently concluded Esri International User Conference, Mukund Rao, Expert Consultant on the National GIS for the Planning Commission and Member-Secretary of the Interim Core Group on National GIS said that GIS-based initiatives such as the Natural Resource Information System, the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), the Bhuvan Image Portal, the Delhi State Spatial Data Infrastructure have all helped in the growth of GIS in India.
“In addition, GIS activities have also enabled cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Kanpur, Kolkata, and many others to have an established GIS capability for increased efficiency in their respective urban planning and management activities,” he said.
“In 2001, the expertise and experiences at that time helped us to conceptualise the NSDI – which was really a “cooperative framework” for data sharing across a common platform and was mainly driven by data generating agencies.”
Mukund, however, acknowledged that the benefit of GIS has not yet reached where it is ultimately required – particularly in aspects of governance, decision making, and citizen engagement.
“The GIS initiatives we have done for the past years have certainly been successful to prove the potential of using GIS to address various development objectives, but GIS is yet to get assimilated and become a part of the process of governance, planning and nation-building in entirety,” he said.
“We have still not moved to a level by which all geospatial data can be made seamlessly accessible in an efficient and easily available GIS Data service using web-based solution and also positioning easy-to use GIS Applications (as a web-service) that decision-makers can use and undertake efficient decisions/actions. As a response to this, the Planning Commission is currently working on the National GIS – a GIS Platform that would provide GIS-based Decision Support System applications service for governance, enterprises and citizens using a seamless GIS Asset of the country.”
“The idea now is that based on all the experiences and expertise we’ve acquired in past few years, we need to enable easy access to GIS applications and GIS data in a seamless manner for the whole country, build a series of applications for governance, enterprises, and citizens so all these three should benefit from these data that covers the whole country.”
Source: Future Gov