GIS News, News Archives


Jul 2005 | Comments Off on NEWSBRIEFS – GIS

Indo-Canada to sign S&T agreement

India and Canada will sign a comprehensive agreement on science and technology later this year to give a boost to the research activities taking place in both countries and to help the transfer of technologies. Announcing this at a joint press conference with the Minister of Science and Technology, Kapil Sibal, the Canadian High Commissioner to India, Lucie Edwards said her country would sign such an ‘umbrella agreement’
for the first time in 25 years.

The collaborations this year will focus on five themes – Earth Sciences and Disaster Mitigation, Environmental and Climate Change Technologies and Alternative Fuels, Information and Communications Technology, Nano-technology and Nano-science, Biotechnology, Health Research and Medical Devices. She also disclosed that the recently released Canadian International Policy Statement “paid significant attention to India as well as Science and Technology and suggested key initiatives to support partnerships in this sector with key markets, like India”.

Mr Sibal announced that Canada will be the partner country in this year’s Technology Summit and Technology Platform to be held in New Delhi from September 21-22.

GIS mapping to help revamp Indian NE towns

The North-East towns of Shillong and Gangtok are set to get facelifts with the help of scientific mapping. Using tools like comprehensive mapping with GIS, a $15-mn project funded by the Australian government will work out a model for revamping these two hill towns by November 2005. It is expected that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will extend a soft loan for implementing urban planning in five NE towns,
including Shillong and Gangtok.

Web GIS application for India’s first Eco-Informatics Centre

MapInfo Corporation announced that Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) has selected and successfully developed a webGIS application using MapInfo technology as part of India’s first Eco-informatics Centre. Based out of Bangalore, the Eco-informatics Centre brings together knowledge in the fields of information technology and ecology to further the conservation and management of India’s natural resources. Built on MapInfo’s leading edge MapXtreme technology, the Eco-informatics Centre’s website hosts a web-enabled Geographic Information Systems (GIS) facility. This solution permits interactive querying and mapping of spatially referenced information and its main purpose is to deliver- free of cost-geographic information on conservation and the environment, allowing users to visualize, analyze, and integrate various types of data.

Satellite map on distribution of Jharkhand mines

With the help of mines and the geology department, the Jharkhand Space Application Centre (JPAC) is creating the Mineral Information System (MIS), under which land will be scanned to ascertain the distribution of minerals. Under MIS, land will be analysed and a detailed map will be prepared. The map will analyse the deposits of minerals. The data and map will be put online through the state government website www. For the first phase the Namkom block of Ranchi has been selected.

Map of chemical elements distribution released for China

Chinese scientists have drawn a geo-chemical map, unveiling the distribution of 39 main chemical elements and oxides including gold, silver, copper and lead in China, according to a report in the People’s Daily. The map, which took three years to draw, was recently recognized officially by the China Geological Survey Bureau. The map is the fruit of a national geochemical reconnaissance,which began in 1978. The survey covered 6.5 million square kilometers – 67 percent of China’s territory. Scientists have tested 39 chemical elements by analyzing 142 geochemistry samples and got 55.4 million original data, the newspaper said.

Nationwide GIS in Thailand by year end

Thailand will get its first nationwide GIS by the end of the year, which will provide a detailed digital map of the country’s resources and allow for better management across government agencies. Previously various government departments had their own GIS systems that were largely incompatible. The national project was initiated by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra as part of plans for e-government and for better management of natural resources. The Agricultural Ministry, which oversees the digital map project, awarded an 832-million baht contract to ESRI (Thailand). GIS Data general manager Surasak Theanvanichpant said the map would create a single standard at a scale of 1:4,000. GIS Data works.

Scientists map ocean floor near Palmer station in Antarctica

Using inflatable boats, a portable depth sounder with GPS, and a REMUS autonomous underwater vehicle, a team of scientists and engineers have created the first detailed chart of the ocean floor around Palmer Station in Antarctica, revealing previously unknown submerged rocks. The new chart, the first in 50 years, was made by a research team from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the University of Southern Mississippi over five weeks in April and early May as they looked for sites for a new underwaterobservatory. Their findings revealed a number of previously unmapped submerged rocks, among them a set of sharp rocky pinnacles that are potential navigational hazards.

First map to name America to go for auction

A 500-year-old world map that was the first to call a once mysterious landmass west of Europe “America” is due to go under the hammer in London on Wednesday, the auction house Christie’s said. The “truly groundbreaking” map is also the first printed portrayal of the Earth as a globe, the first that distinguishes North and South America individually, and the first depiction of a Pacific Ocean, it said. Printed in 1507 by the German geographer Martin Waldseemuller, the map is just one of four in existence and is expected to fetch between 500,000 and 800,000 pounds ($905,000-$1.4 million, 740,000-1.2 million euros).

UN atlas uses satellite imageries to show environmental damage

The United Nations has unveiled a new world atlas that uses satellite imagery to show the often damaging environmental changes sweeping the planet. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) produced the atlas, called “One Planet Many People,” to mark World Environment Day.

The atlas compares and contrasts satellite images of past decades with ones from the present. It finds many of the world’s precious resources have seriously deteriorated because of rapid urbanization, overfishing and the loss of forests.

ASPRS releases update to Lidar data exchange format standard

American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) released version 1.1 of the ASPRS Lidar Data Exchange Format Standard (LAS) at its 71st Annual ASPRS Conference and Exhibition held in Baltimore, Maryland in March. This binary data exchange format is an industry standard for the exchange of lidar data between various hardware manufacturers, software developers, data providers and end users.

OGC establishes Risk and Crisis Management Group

The Open Geospatial Consortium Inc. (OGC) has established a Risk and Crisis Management Working Group (RCM WG) to address the global need for better sharing of geospatial information in risk management and emergency management.

The purpose of the RCM WG is to establish requirements and best practices for Web service interfaces, models and schemas for enabling the discovery, access, sharing, analysis, visualization and processing of information related to natural and human-caused risks and the management of related crises.

Ordnance Survey reports market-wide growth

The national mapping agency of Great Britan reports encouraging market growth in the take-up of data, particularly in the private sector, with partner channels showing a 14% rise. The growth helped to offset an anticipated fall in overall trading revenue (down £1.3 million to £100.4 million), which was due to the effect of payment profiles agreed in advance under long-term licensing agreements.

The financial performance for 2004-05 produced an improved surplus of £9.2 million (up from £5.6 million last year), offering vital investment potential for major technical and business priorities such as product development and enhanced IT infrastructure. The surplus also means Ordnance Survey can make its first ever annual dividend payment to government, a total of £800,000 this year.

Plantation Management

Pacific Rim Palm Oil Ltd, (PRPOL), Singapore one of SE Asia’s growing palm oil plantations owns a total of more than 60,000 hectares of palm oil plantations. It felt the need of GIS solutions not only to manage large amounts of data accumulate every year for each field in each of the plantations but also could provide plantation managers with an intelligent and efficient data analysis tool to introduce ‘site specific’ management techniques. In collaboration with the Potash Phosphate Institute (PPI) and Agrisoft Systems a computer software development company, PRPOL implemented an Oil Palm Management Programme (OMP) – that includes a database management and information system solution (DBMS) for agronomic data analysis. It uses OMP to record, store and analyze agronomic data (i.e., yield, leaf and soil analysis, environment, climate, pest and disease, and palm census data) recorded on a field-by- field basis. Trimble Pathfinder GPS equipment and software is used to collect geo-referenced information (point and line data) for use in mapping. PRPOL used MapInfo Professional to produce maps, integrating data from the OMP DBMS and GPS dataloggers. Satellite images are also used for palm counting and estate development planning.

The database system provides PRPOL with reports that summarize data at the field, division and estate level and contains built-in tools for particular kinds of data analysis. The integration of MapInfo with dynamic data from OMP provides the means for plantation managers to produce ‘management maps’ showing key agronomic parameters that can be updated and generated easily.


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