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Jan 2006 | Comments Off on NEWSBRIEFS – GIS

Earth Commission: A new initiative in India

The Earth Commission — the first of its kind in any country, will pursue an integrated approach of research to tweak meteorological data for accuracy and reliability. Meteorologists, geo-physicists, oceanographers, atmospheric scientists and space scientists will pool their expertise.

CNR Rao, Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Science Advisory Council, told HT, “We have taken a holistic view of earth science. Kapil Sibal (Science and Technology Minister) has endorsed our opinion. The Prime Minister has received our report. It (the new commission) will be placed before the cabinet for approval.” The Earth Commission will be structured along the lines of the space set-up, with three rungs, namely, the Earth Commission, the Department of Earth System Science (DESS) and the Earth System Science Organisation (ESSO). The commission, its
department and research organisation will have a single head, just as with the space agency.

The panel’s agenda

• To provide the best service in forecasting natural disasters and their impact on the sub-continent.

• Work with other agencies (PMO, Ministry of Home, DST, ISRO etc) to provide alerts on drastic changes in the climate and looming disasters in order to manage them.

• Offer extensive data on water and land to manage these resources as well as to support agriculture and aquaculture. The data on oceans will support fisheries (location of new fish catch) and in spotting fuel deposits.

• Put together processed data on earth and climatic parameters that are critical for scientifi c and industrial activity.

• Support research activity in Earth System Science (ESS) and enhance the human resource base in this field through a special funding mechanism.

NAVTEQ offers maps of South Korea

NAVTEQ is offering a map with navigable coverage throughout South Korea through its wholly owned subsidiary, PMI. The South Korea map covers 100% of the population (approximately 48 million people) of South Korea, and is a fully navigable roadway map enabling door-to-door route calculations and turn-by-turn route guidance throughout the country.

Detailed road network information, such as one-way streets and turn restrictions, is linked to the map, which provides NAVTEQ customers with additional information to create the most effi cient routes for their solutions. The map also includes more than 400,000 Points of Interest in more than 290 categories and subcategories, cartographic features (such as parks, waterways and woodlands) and more than 7 million listings from the KoreaTelecom business directory.

GIS ward maps of Dhaka being prepared

GIS ward maps of Dhaka City Corporation in Bangladesh are being made. GIS maps for 59 wards in Dhaka have been completed while 16 maps are under planning processing.

Rest of the 15 would be completed by next fiscal year. In the GIS ward maps, holding number of every residential house and commercial building and the location of owners of the houses are included. Therefore, location of all educational institutions, markets, mosques, temples, churches, mazars, banks, hospitals, clinics, community centres, important government and private offices, bridges, culverts, graveyards, roads, coaching centres, dustbins and slums are also included in the ward maps.

Houses under construction and completed houses along with heights of the buildings are also found in the map.

Qatar atlas being prepared for 2005

The GIS unit of the Planning Council’s Statistical Department in Qatar has been awarded a project to produce an atlas of Qatar for 2005. It will be the second edition of the socio-economic atlas of Qatar, which was fi rst published by the department in 2000. The atlas will primarily focus on analysing socio-economic data, mainly available through censuses and surveys conducted by the department, the report said.

However, a signifi cant portion will be devoted to topographical maps, administrative set-up, and environmental conditions. It will also highlight Qatar’s infrastructure, trade, economy and industry. The atlas will be produced using GIS to process and produce the maps. This will be fi rst published in print form and subsequently converted into an interactive CD. The one-year project is likely to be ready by the end of next year.

GIS boom in India: At a glance

• Union Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal has released a series of new earthquake hazard maps for the city of Delhi, India providing area-wise details of the risks that the city could face in the event of an earthquake. Three regions face the highest risk: the trans-Yamuna area, West Delhi and Chhattarpur area.

• Dakshina Kannada district police in the Indian state of Karnataka are set to adopt ‘GIS’ to monitor security arrangements in the local zilla and taluk panchayat elections to be held this week. The digital map of the district available with Natural Resource Development and Management Society (NRDMS) centre was integrated with the information related to police security scheme with the help of Arc view software.

• A GIS aided road map will be introduced in Kerala in India for upgrading road network to international standards. The ‘’Road Information Management system’’ (RIMS), expected to be completed in January next year, would help in upgrading and building new roads in a time bound manner. Once the mapping is complete the Public Works Department in each district will be equipped with all the information regarding roads by July 2006.

• The World Health Organisation has begun a project to monitor the level of heavy metals in 400 coastal water bodies in Tamil Nadu in India fearing the tsunami last year may have deposited these substances along the coast. The monitoring is taking place in the coastal water bodies such as wells and deep and shallow tube wells. The water bodies have been identifi ed using GIS. Tests are being done every alternate month for heavy metals such as Cadmium, Lead and Titanium.

• The Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad (MCH) in India will soon introduce an Automatic Vehicle Tracking System to ensure better sanitation in the city. Under the plan, the movement of garbagelifting vehicles will be monitored with GIS so that anomalies in the process can be avoided and there are no complaints of garbage not being lifted.

• The Municipal Corporation in Chandigarh in India are exploring the possibility of videographing commercial sites in the city for public benefi t. It can be done by attaching video clippings of the commercial sites with a GIS. If the proposal is fi nalised the Union Territory will consider implementation of the system for residential property.

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