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Oct 2007 | Comments Off on NEWSBRIEFS – GIS


VNU-HCM plans to establish the Institute of Space Science and Technology

Vietnam National University – Hochiminh City (VNU-HCM) plans to establish the Institute of Space Science and Technology (ISST) to educate and carry on research in the disciplines of space science and technology, to develop applications of space technology for socio-economy. It will also aim at collaboration with other scientific institutions. With this mission, President Board of VNU-HCM expects collaborations, supports from international institutions on space science and technology. Dr. Tran Vinh Phuoc, Associate Professor in GIS & RS of the VNU-HCM is assigned to hold the Head of the Project Establishing the ISST.

Mapping health facilities in India

The Jansankhya Sthirata Kosh (National Population Stabilisation Fund), a registered society under the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has undertaken an exercise of mapping the existing health facilities in the country upto the district level. An amalgamation of GIS maps and the Census figures of 2001, the survey gives a picture of each district, its sub-district, prominent towns and urban areas and the distance of each village from the nearest primary health centre. The maps highlight inequities in coverage down to every village to enable resources to be targeted where they are most needed.

Pune University students to map regional villages

Students of University of Pune (UoP) in India are undergoing rigorous training to map the villages in Pune, Ahmednagar and Nashik districts of Maharashtra state using GIS. Under this intiative, Samartha Bharat Abhiyaan (SBA), detailed geographical, historical and socio-economic data of each village will soon be available in digital maps. The colleges affiliated to UoP will adopt one village each and the UoP’s Geo-informatics department will be coordinating the exercise. Using the revenue maps, students divided the village into sections and then surveyed through the village, measuring road lengths and noting latitude and longitude coordinates using GPS devices.

Urban monitoring initiative in India

Union Minister for Science and Technology, Kapil Sibal initiated a project for developing an artificial intelligence system to detect unauthorised construction in any part of the Delhi. It was a joint venture with the Russian Academy of Science, that will utilize satellite imagery, aerial photography, manual videography, remote sensing, terrain mapping as well as watchdog cameras. According to project in-charge Brig. Siva Kumar, each building in the city will be given unique ID. The system shall also identify illegal construction or if private buildings have come up on government land and vice versa. Water pipes and sewer lines will be fitted with sensors to detect ruptures or leakages. This system will also complement the GIS method for assessing property taxes and its collection. Currently, it is running trials in a 15-kilometer radius area in Chandni Chowk.

G.S. Roonwal awarded National Mineral Award

Professor G. S. Roonwal, a prominent Indian geoscientist has been given to prestigious J. Coggin Brown Gold Medal for his outstanding contribution in the field of geological science for the year 2006-2007, by the Mining Geological and Metallurgical Institute of India.

Ordnance Survey vision helps shape a VISTA for underground assets

A national project to increase the visualisation of underground assets via 3-D mapping is initiated by Ordnance Survey. VISTA (Visualising integrated information on buried assets to reduce street works) is a collaboration of 21 organisations developing an integrated infrastructure to enable data sharing for all buried assets across Great Britain. Ordnance Survey’s intelligent large-scale data OS MasterMap Topography Layer is the reference base underpinning preliminary trials by researchers at Leeds and Nottingham Universities to integrate disparate records of buried pipes, cables, ducts and wires. VISTA will combine this information with in-situ survey observations using real-time centimetre-level services provided by OS Net, Ordnance Survey’s GPS correction network, and by Leica Geosystems’ SmartNet.

Canada’s Government funds $1.6 million in Modern Geography

Through GeoConnections, Canada’s New Government is supporting new research projects promoting merger of geomatics with public health because of the obvious benefits to Canadians. GeoConnections is providing approximately $1.6 million to help fund 14 research projects in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. Project partners are contributing another $2.1 million for a total of $3.7 million in funding.

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