Sunday, December 18, 2011

GIS News from around the country

Telecom News:

            The National Informatics Centre (NIC) will carry out the GIS mapping of the existing Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) network of the telecom operators such BSNL, Rail Tel, Power Grid, etc. The mapping of the existing OFC will enable to calculate the incremental length of the cable required for connecting all the 2.5 lakh panchayats with OFC. The cost of initial phase of the NOFN scheme is likely to be in the region of Rs 20,000 crore.

            The government of India has approved the creation of National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) for providing broadband connectivity of all panchayats. The plan is to extend the existing optical fibre network initially upto panchayats by utilizing the Universal Services Obligation Fund (USOF) and creating an institutional mechanism for management and operation of the NOFN for ensuring non discriminatory access to all service providers.

Common Service Centers (CSCs):

            Information kiosks set up in the rural areas of Ranchi, Jharkhand, also known as common service centres (CSCs), will soon be equipped with geographical information system (GIS). This new project intends to facilitate quicker delivery of electronic services to the beneficiaries.

            The project is planned to be implemented by mid of the next year. The State IT Department has already begun negotiating terms and condition with the State-owned telecom company, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited to provide high-speed broadband link to all the CSCs, some of them still under construction.

             A major issue that stares this project in its face is that many CSCs are not functioning properly. Only 2000 out of the installed 4562 CSCs are actually in working condition.

GIS Mapping for Property Documentation:

            The state urban development department of the Bihar government is now carrying out geographic information system (GIS) mapping in towns and cities of Bihar.  The move will enable urban local bodies to document the properties in a digitized data bank, leading of course to greater tax collection for the civic bodies. But the benefits to the citizens from this should also be obvious in the context of legal disputes. The main question here however is how the civic bodies are to be enabled to provide civic amenities through funds generated by themselves. So far, the towns covered by the move in the state include Gaya, Sasaram, Aurangabad, Dehri, Chhapra and Siwan.
 
            The GIS-based maps would allow the government to get a complete picture of the total number of holdings and property value across the towns, essential for urban planning. The GIS-based maps that are to be prepared will be on a 1:1000 scale, using QuickBird satellite imagery.
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Memories for the future

            Memories for the future – A project undertaken by Google in the hope that it will help the people of Japan rediscover their lost memories of their homes and towns.

            On March 11, 2011 a devastating earthquake and tsunami hit northeastern Japan, causing unimaginable damage. Google has created a site called “Mirai e no kioku”, which means “Memories for the Future” in Japanese. This site showcases the pre- and post-disaster imagery in Google Street View.

            Check out the link http://www.miraikioku.com/streetview/en/about to know more about the project and also see the drastic changes in the before- and after-tsunami street view images.
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Thursday, December 8, 2011

First Google Enterprise Geospatial Summit 2011 India


            December 7, 2011 - I attended the first ever Google Enterprise Geospatial Summit 2011 held in New Delhi, India. I was so excited to attend this seminar as I work on the Google Maps API.


            Reached the venue - The Sheraton, New Delhi along with a colleague of mine from my work place.


The Venue - Sheraton, New Delhi

            The registration for the event took a long time though we had registered online. Pretty lousy work by the organizers, but the seminar that followed was worth the effort.


           Enjoying Snacks and Coffee before the start of the exciting evening...




            The participants were pouring in and the stage was set for a wonderful Mapping evening. The speakers had a lot in store for us.


            Mr. Pankaj - The Google Geospatial Head Asia, started of the proceedings with describing the Google's geospatial services and showed couple of exciting videos. Mr. Pankaj spoke for around 15-20 mins and then the mike was transferred to Mr. Sean Maday who had come all the way from Google, US.


            Mr. Sean (who's designation, I have forgotten) started off with the Google Maps Enterprise API and shared with the audience several lovely applications which had put the Google Maps to great use. He then concluded off the session with the Google Fusion Tables. We then broke off for snacks and tea for about 15 minutes.


My registration badge


            Then began the post tea session wherein Mr. Sean spoke about Google Earth, Google Earth Pro, Google Earth Builder, Google Earth Portable and Google Earth Enterprise Client. He shed light on some of the different features of each of these products. The presentations were really good and Mr. Sean is a really good speaker. 


           Then began the QA session, where Mr. Sean and Mr. Pankaj answered several questions raised by the audience.


            They also took several questions offline and Sean was more than happy to answer the several queries that we raised about Google Maps and Google Earth. It was great interacting with him.




           The presentations were followed by drinks and a sumptuous dinner and totally yummy deserts...


             And finally after the dinner, we left the Sheraton to reach our home and start mapping...!
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