Indian Space Research Organization’s National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) has informed that it recently released upgraded its Google-Earth like satellite mapping tool Bhuvan, adding several new features, datasets and services. These include -
- Bhuvan Mapper: NRSC has released a web-based mapper to allow users to add places of interest across various categories along with a description to the available maps or update the existing maps with new information on a place.
It has also released an Android app which allows users to upload map data from their neighbourhood to Bhuvan. Similar to Bhuvan’s Android app which was released last August, Bhuvan Mapper is also not available on Play Store and one can download the app from the Bhuvan website.
We wonder why is NRSC providing direct links to its Android app on its website, rather than publishing them on Google Play Store, since we feel they are essentially limiting the discoverability of the app through this approach. This might also raise security concerns among users, since people are usually wary of installing third party apps.
- 2.5D City Models: Bhuvan’s 2D viewer has now been updated with 2.5 D models of buildings, Infrastructure and recreational areas for 136 towns across India.
- High Resolution Imagery: It has added improved high resolution imagery with spatial resolution of one meter for 55 cities and towns from the mapping satellite Cartosat-2 besides the existing imagery from Cartosat-1 of spatial resolution of 2.5 meters.
- Bhuvan Collaborative Portal: NRSC’s Bhuvan Collaborative portal now allows users to share, access and upload pests and disease related information in an almost real-time basis. The organization says this portal will serve as a visualization tool for spatial representation of pest and disease incidence reports.
- Disaster Services: NRSC has published a flood hazard map for Odisha, which has been prepared from the information on flooded areas in Odisha during various floods from 2001-2013.
- Support for International Disaster Programs: NRSC is now extending satellite data support through various International Disaster programs like International Charter Space and Major Disasters for International Disaster events; Sentinel Asia Framework & United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER), United Nations Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2013 (UNESCAP).
- Thematic Services: New datasets have been added to Bhuvan’s Thematic services which allows users to select, browse and query the thematic datasets and integrate them into their systems as OGC (Open Geospatial Consortium) Web Services. The new datasets added are LULC (Land Use Land Cover) 50K: 2011-12 covering 12 states, LULC 10K covering 62 districts, erosion, salt affected and water logged area, water bodies and urban sprawl.
- Open Data Archive: The open data archive is extending its services through global coverage products GAC-NDVI and through new products under Terrestrial sciences (Water Fraction) and Ocean Sciences (Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential, Oceanic Heat Content, Wind Products). NRSC also mentioned that it has integrated the latest 2011 LISS III Datasets and improved CartoDEM data with new version data.
- OSCAT: The Oscat 3D visualization viewer now supports Opensource 3D, allowing users to visualize global data from a Oceansat scatterometer without a plugin. It has also added time series visualization in the viewer, allowing users to view datasets from Feb, May, Aug and Oct 2012.
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