“Map the earth to enrich the globe”

Aug 2015 | No Comment

India has a vision of transforming itself into a developed nation before 2020. There are number of missions which need inputs from cartography technologies that will certainly accelerate the process of development. The programme such as Bharat Nirman Programme including PURA (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas), networking of rivers, infrastructure development in 63 cities through Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewable Mission, mapping of earthquake prone areas and recurring floods in north Bihar and Assam require vital inputs at the stage of planning and implementation level. The mission of INCA should be to assist the implementation of developed India vision using their core competence in cartography in partnership with ISRO, NRSA, Survey of India, State Remote Sensing centers, Thematic map making organizations, Indian Remote Sensing Industries, Academia, Research Institutions and other IT organizations. Hence, I would like to talk to you on the topic “Cartographers: Partners in National Development”. Let us now look at some typical requirements of rural and urban development programmes of the nation, where cartographers are major partners.

PURA (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas)

India is on the mission of establishing 7,000 PURAs (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas) in different parts of the country integrating six hundred thousand villages (2 lakh village Panchayats). This integration will bring prosperity to rural India. PURA envisages four connectivities: the physical connectivity of village clusters through quality roads and transport; electronic connectivity through tele-communication with high bandwidth fiber optic cables reaching the rural areas from urban cities and through internet kiosks; knowledge connectivity through education, skill training for farmers, artisans and crafts persons and entrepreneurship programmes. These three connectives will lead to economic connectivity through the establishment of enterprises with the help of banks, micro credit and marketing of products. Since the PURA Clusters need road connectivity, the optimum road alignment without damaging the environment, uprooting the trees and disturbing the water bodies is a prerequisite…

…A combination of ground survey, satellite remote sensing data, and Aerial pictures has to be used to derive relevant maps at larger scale better than 1:10,000 and even at the level of 1:2000 as appropriate in a time bound manner within the next two years.

Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission

The Government of India has undertaken several initiatives to encourage sustainable urban development in the country, including the recent declaration of a national incentive-linked fund, the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). The JNNURM covers 63 of the largest cities in India. The Ministry of Urban Development (MUD) has been designated as Executing Agency (EA) for the infrastructure and governance component of the JNNURM. India’s cities require structured infrastructural development, environmental upgradation and adequate urban infrastructure, particularly the planned sewage and drainage system. The entire infrastructure needs improvement quantitatively and in qualitatively. Urban development and management is necessary to deliver better quality of life to our citizens, considering the local and national economic growth. Thus, JNNURM envisages provision of modern drainage system, provision of drinking water in each house, electrical and electronic connectivity, rain water harvesting and water recycling and provision of congestion free roads. JNNURM is a time bound programme. It is very important for the cartographers to provide cartographic data for each of the 63 cities and towns, using the satellite imagery coupled with GIS…

Disaster Management Earthquake

…A powerful-enough earthquake just a few seconds in duration can still make current maps suddenly out of date, at the same time severing power lines, gas mains and water pipes. Secondary disasters such as landslides may have taken place in some areas. Satellite images can provide updated views of how the landscape has been affected, while images before and after the event enable authoritative damage assessment as a basis for planning remedial action.

Flood and water management

…Cartographers should provide high resolution maps in partnership with agencies involved in satellite imagery and aerial photography for planning water harvesting and water management system leading to flood control even in the steep slopes of hill area. Flood control through Layered wells There is an urgent need to find longterm solution to control flood, store and utilize the surplus water during drought. In the Gangetic region, I have recommended construction of layered wells in the entry points of Kosi river. Normally the flood water has certain dynamic flow conditions. The layered wells assist gradual reduction in dynamic flow velocity after filling each storage well. The water thus stored will be useful during shortage period. Similar solution can be found for the north-eastern region…

Mapping Geothermal potential

…May I suggest to the cartographers, to map the geothermal resources in Andaman & Nicobar Islands, of the total 300 islands I understand one or two islands are having active volcanoes. Also, Himalayan states may have tremendous geothermal potential. These are also required to be mapped in a time bound manner.

Technology enabled cartography

To address all the inputs needed for the above programmes, we need to use the latest scientific technologies and tools. In this context, the application of Information Technology in the form of GIS, Satellite Remote Sensing, Satellite photo-grammatry, satellite communication and Internet play a vital role. India has planned for a series of satellites specifically for cartographic applications. The first in the series, CARTOSAT-I launched in May 2005 is the first high resolution satellite that collects the details of terrain surface in stereo mode with the spatial resolution of 2.5 meters. As of today, I understand that more than 90% of the country is covered with stereo images. These images could also be used for better urban planning, cadastral level information of land and water resources. This satellite mission has enabled developing Digital Elevation Model (DEM) This elevation model is useful in GIS environment, providing a terrain model to facilitate drainage network analysis, watershed demarcation, erosion mapping, contour generation and quantitative analysis like locationdistancearea- volume calculation…

…Yet another challenge to be addressed by the cartographic community is how do we ensure data integrity, interoperability and accuracy while fusing data from disparate data sources. Also advances in other technologies like GPS, mobile telephones, digital cartography, and photogrammatry will complement the cartographers in their endeavours for national development.

Missions for Cartographers

Since I am in the midst of Cartographers, I thought of giving the following six missions relevant to Vision 2020 for immediate implementation.

1. Creating a network of all organizations and cartographers participating in this Congress so that they can interface and provide inputs for the development of modern cartographic products required for national development missions.

2. Bringing out large scale maps using advanced technologies for various national development programmes like PURA, interlinking of rivers, survey/resurvey of cadasters, Urban development, metro rail, water ways.

3. Provide cartographic inputs to drought, flood and earthquake prone areas to the disaster management teams for effective planning of disaster management delivery system.

4. Making available high resolution digital maps produced in India and placing the maps on website thereby creating virtual Earth for India for easy access to its citizens in a time bound manner with suitable policies and adequate security mechanism.

5. Identifying wastelands which are essential to take up Jatropha cultivation for bio diesel production. Cartographers should come out in identifying the exact quantum of wasteland available in the country and help the government and farmers for enabling the Jatropha cultivation.

6. Training and building a human resource team which can face the cartographic challenges of the twenty first century.

Cartography has come a long way from the days of Ptolemy and is playing a major role in our lives through new technologies such as GIS, GPS. I am told that most of the mapping of the western world is done in Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore. There is a need for a campaign to increase the awareness of the common man regarding utility of geospatial data and its use. Cartographic community has a key role to play in national development and I am sure you will provide value added services to all national missions.

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