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August 13, 2009

ISRO launches 3D Mapping Tool Bhuvan

The Indian Space Research organisation is launching" Bhuvan "its own version of Google Earth and Wikimapia.

The Mapping tool called "Bhuvan" the Sanskrit name of Earth, the new web-based 3D mapping tool uses images taken over a year ago by ISRO’s seven remote sensing satellites, including Cartosat-1 and Cartosat-2. The satellites can capture images of objects as small as a car on a road.

The degree of resolution showcased is based on the level of popularity of a place or an area. Most of the terrain is covered up to a resolution of at least six metres. The least spatial resolution is 55 metres.

Like Google Earth, the geo-portal,, allows users to view cities and other places of interest looking perpendicularly down or at an oblique angle, with different perspectives.

According to the Times of India it will let you "count the lions in Gir or fishermen find concentration of fish in the sea."

If Google Earth shows details upto 200 metres distance and Wikimapia upto 50 metres, Bhuvan will show images upto 10 metres, which means you can easily see details upto a three floor high building and also add information.

Bhuvan will also allows users to have a closer look at any part of the subcontinent barring sensitive locations such as military and nuclear installations.

While initially Bhuvan will map the Indian subcontinent, the ISRO has plans to extend it to the entire earth. The maps will cover the upper surface as well as the minerals below. Bhuvan will also incorporate inputs from local players such as farmers and fishermen who are familiar with the terrain. The focus of Bhuvan will be essentially on information.

According to DNA India

The data gathered through Bhuvan will be provided to different government agencies for urban planning, traffic management, crop planning, education and forest planning. The data will be available free to users, but very high resolution and customised precision data will be given to agencies at a cost, [ISRO Chairman] Madhavan added.