New Delhi: For the first time geospatial data collected by the government will be made freely and easily available to citizens and organisations in the country via three online applications.
The three online applications — Survey of India (SOI) GEO Spatial Data Dissemination Portal; SARTHI: WEB GIS application and MANCHITRAN Enterprise geoportal of National Atlas & Thematic Mapping Organisation (NATMO) were inaugurated by the Secretary, Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India Prof Ashutosh Sharma.
“This is a historic moment because it is for the first time the data collected by the government starting from SOI and NATMO becomes freely and easily available to the citizens and organisations in India. It is truly a landmark event in the journey of SOI and NATMO, marking the spirit of true democratisation of data,” Sharma said.
“The new geospatial Policy launched in February 2021 erased all the regulations on surveying and mapping, thus removing a lot of cobwebs of the past in one sweep. By liberalizing and democratizing the geospatial data, a direct impact of about 1 lakh crore will be created by 2030 with a much bigger indirect impact on the economy,” he added.
“With the launch of this online portal, the users will no longer have to visit the SOI offices, and they can easily purchase and download products online at their doorstep through Bharat Kosh payment gateway of the Government of India,” SOI Surveyor General Naveen Tomar said.
This online portal developed by Survey of India is a rich repository of maps and functionalities which will provide easy access and make the geospatial data generated out of public funds available to government and private users. The portal provides a range of digital products like Digital Geographical Map, Railway Map, Political Map, Digital Geographical Road Map, and Digital Geographical Physical Map of India as well as Open Series Map Scale and so on to citizens of India.
Tomar pointed out that Sarthi Web GIS will bring GIS into the hands of the people and save time and resources in data validation with audit trail, which will facilitate SVAMITVA (Survey of villages and mapping with improvised technology in village areas), a new initiative of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj.
Sarthi is a web Geographical Information System GIS application which utilizes the new advancements in web application development with GIS tools like spatial data visualisation, manipulation, analysis, etc., and will be easily accessible to the user with less utilisation of resources at the client’s end. It reduces the need to create custom applications and provides a platform for integrating GIS with other business systems. It enables cross-organisational collaboration in consonance with the new geospatial Policy and can be accessed in vernacular languages, a release from the S&T sector said.
Speaking about MANCHITRAN, Dr. Tapati Banerjee, Director NATMO, said that the enterprise geo-portal of NATMO is a giant leap forward in the arena of geo-spatial data sources, and the setting of infrastructure along with the applications was initiated in the year 2017, and finally it has come to online in the year 2021. It will open a new dimension of extended services for the citizens of India, and different building blocks of the “Manchitran” will serve the requirements of students, researchers, industry, decision-makers, policymakers, administrators, etc.
This geo-portal showcases the huge, authenticated, and valuable data that NATMO acquired during its long 65 years’ service. Users can see, download, and give feedback about the maps and atlases and different geo-spatial data layers in “MANCHITRAN.” NATMO has developed this geoportal mostly with indigenous Make-in-India technologies and with minimum financial involvement and time-period.
Joint Secretary DST, Sunil Kumar, Deputy Director General K. Naraynan and SIO National Informatics Centre, Dehradun also participated in the launch of the online geospatial applications along with senior representatives from SOI and scientists from DST.