NSDI in India: The reality behind the dream

Dec 2005 | Comments Off on NSDI in India: The reality behind the dream

The National Informatics Centre, Government of India is organizing NSDI-V during December 18- 21, 2005 at Hyderabad, India. On the occasion we present here the excerpts of recommendations of last four NSDI conferences. They, with the subsequent interviews, reveal moments of euphoria and despair, issues discussed and debated, and more importantly a resolve to pursue this dream.

The section contains:

Recommedations of

1st NGDI workshop (5-6 February, 2001, New Delhi)
2nd NSDI Workshop (29-31 July, 2002, Ooty, Tamil Nadu,)
3rd NSDI Workshop (12-14 November 2003, Agra)
4th NSDI Workshop (17- 19 November 2004, Lucknow)

and interviews of

Dr R Siva Kumar, Head, NRDMS
& NSDI Division, Ministry of Science and
Technology, Government of India
Dr Vandana Sharma, Senior Technical
Director, National Informatics Centre
R Joseph Arokiadas, Group
Head, NRSA Data Centre
Brig M V Bhat, Deputy Surveyor
General, Survey of India

1st NGDI Workshop

February 5-6, 2001, New Delhi

Encapsulating the maps and images into National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) is the need of the hour and the emphasis has to be on information transparency and sharing, with the recognition that the spatial information is a national resource and citizens, society, private enterprise and government have a right to access it, appropriately. Only through common conventions and technical agreements, standards, metadata de?nitions, network and access protocols will it be easily possible for the NSDI to come into existence,” Dr. K. Kasturirangan, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) writes in the foreword of Discussion Document on National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI): Strategy and Action Plan. During the valedictory session, two sub groups were constituted. One Standard subgroup that was to recommend data standards, metadata standards, exchange standards and the formats while the other Network subgroup was supposed to focus on technological issues connected with networking and accessibility. The need was also felt to evaluate the needs of Human Resource Development.

The workshop can be considered as a landmark development on two counts: one, it was a ?rst public poser of Government of India on NGDI and second, is the release of a discussion document NSDI: Strategy and Action Plan. The discussion document was well received and appreciated during the workshop and held long term prospects in making NGDI a reality. The document is very comprehensive as it discusses not only the need, content, design elements of NSDI but elaborates upon its organisational framework, funding mechanism and implementation.

The ?rst NGDI workshop enthused the geomatics community in India with an anticipation of new era. Also there were interesting debates on the name itself whether ‘spatial’ or ‘geospatial’. Later on it was the spatial lobby that got its way. And one can notice the change in name from NGDI to NSDI onwards.


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