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Apr 2009 | Comments Off on NEWSBRIEFS – GIS


Indian NSDI publishes Metadata Standards ver 2.0

The National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), under Department of Science & Technology of Government of India, has released Metadata Standard 2.0. It is prepared by the working group on ‘Metadata Standards’ chaired by Dr. S K Pathan, from Space Applications Centre (SAC), ISRO, Ahmadabad. The National Natural Resources Management System (NNRMS) Metadata Standards defines the schema and design for the NSDI Metadata. It also contains a set of relational tables that standardise the layer metadata, the geographic search metadata, the access metadata etc.

Metadata is the first element of the NSDI, which enables a user to find spatial data that is available in different NSDI Agency servers. It serves two major purposes – both for the spatial data generator and for the spatial data user. For the generator, it provides a framework to document the spatial data and declare its content for users. For the user, it serves many important purposes, including finding the spatial data as per need; browsing spatial data; deciding on whether the spatial data will meet the application need and finding how the spatial data can be accessed.

ISRO, with the involvement of Survey of India, National Informatics Centre, Geological Survey of India, Forest Survey of India, National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning, National Atlas and Thematic Mapping Organisation, Central Ground Water Board, Central Water Commission and the private sector, has led the effort of defining a ‘National Metadata Standards’.

India’s NLRMP to use Torrens Title

The Indian government has launched a National Land Records Modernisation Program (NLRMP) that will eventually enable it to use the Torrens title system to protect land titles throughout the country. Recently, Ms. Rita Sinha, Secretary, Department of Land Resources in the Ministry of Rural Development, told a conference in Washington DC that the decision to move the whole country towards the new titling system was made in August last year.

Torrens title is a system of land title where a register of land holdings maintained by the state guarantees an indefensible title to those included in the register. Four fundamental principles underpin Torrens title in most jurisdictions. They are, single, mirror, curtain and insurance –all problematic in India. The program will use computerised records, aerial photography surveys, satellite imagery and ground surveys to create the cadastral fabric. It is expected to last 8 years and cost Rs56 billion (US$2 billion). One of the biggest problems facing the government will be creating a cadre of skilled manpower. The plan will require about 50,000 survey staff and 200,000 administrative staff.

ESRI to safeguard land rights in China

ESRI Canada partnered with ESRI China Beijing, Trimble China, Chreod Group Inc., International Land Systems Inc. (ILS), USA and Landstar Digital Technology, China to help demonstrate the feasibility of applying state-of-theart GIS and surveying technologies to solve land policy challenges facing China today. Results of the recently completed pilot project may ultimately serve as the foundation for a nationwide GIS-based rural land registration and certification program.

Scientists to create global soil map

University of Sydney scientists are behind a technology to map most of the ice-free land surface of the globe over the next five years in order to create something like”Google Earth” for soil quality. According to Professor Alex McBratney, Director of the University’s Australian Centre for Precision Agriculture the maps will provide information about the soil at about every 100 metres across the world. Current maps are at the scale of one to five million.

Kerala SDI soon

The Kerala State government, India has finalised plans for State Spatial Data Infrastructure, which will serve as a common centre for the storage, processing and dissemination of digital spatial data pertaining to Kerala. The setting up of the infrastructure was approved recently. Central funding has been sought for the project and its implementation will be completed in about a year or less.

Manifold sets GIS record for Supercomputing Desktop has set a new world record for the number of processors used in a personal computer for GIS processing. It demonstrated an upcoming new software product that simultaneously utilized over 1440 processor cores to perform a remote sensing image computation at supercomputer speed with over 3.5 teraflops of performance, on a desktop 64-bit Windows PC equipped with three NVIDIA GTX 295 GPU cards costing less than $500 each.

ESRI expands Virtual Earth Access in GIS by teaming with Microsoft

A new agreement with Microsoft Corporation gives ArcGIS users fast access to Microsoft Virtual Earth. Now, ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Server users will be able to connect directly to Virtual Earth and quickly start their GIS projects with ready-to-use content.

China publishes map collection on May 12 quake, aftermath

China has released a collection of maps recording the 8.0-magnitude earthquake that hit southwestern Sichuan and neighbouring provinces on May 12 last year. With 228 maps, it offers a panoramic view of the disaster, including the geology of the region, disaster damage, response and reconstruction.

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