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India’s “Google Earth” Bhuvan Upgraded: Disaster Services, Tourism Info, High Res

An upgrade has been released for Bhuvan, the Google-Earth-like satellite mapping tool from the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), adding new data sets and features:

Disaster Services (Drought and Landslide)

The new version of Bhuvan now features more disaster services. To offer Flood and Forest Fire Alerts, Bhuvan is now integrated with Agricultural Drought(NDVI, NDWI, SMI and SASI) and Landslide Hazard Zonation information.The Disaster Management Support (DMS) Programme of ISRO, offers support and services from space systems for strengthening the disaster management in the country. The maps now allow users to visualize Drought, Flood, Forest Fire and Landslide affected regions. We found that the data offered is limited to selected regions, though.

Tourism Web information (Hampi and Badami)
Following the addition of Amritsar Tourism Web GIS for Punjab Tourism Development Board, Bhuvan Tourism Web GIS framework has now added Badami and Hampi Tourism Datasets along with High resolution datasets from Cartosat-1 (2.5m) merged with Resourcesat-1 (5.8m) with the features of ‘Important Temples and Monuments with rich ground photographs’.

High Resolution Datasets on Bhuvan 2D
Bhuvan also offers extended uniformity of High Resolution datasets up to 2.5 m for 4 states (Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Tripura and Gujarat-Part) besides already available 7 states (Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Haryana, Karnataka, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh) with Places / Point of Interest. (For example:  Vadodara and surroundings).

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In October 2012, Bhuvan had upgraded its services adding support for Uniform High Resolution data, Multi-thematic data visualization, analysis and download, NRSC Open Earth Observation Data Archive (Free download of Data), Spatial Mashups (Amritsar Tourism Web GISGateway to Karnataka Forest Observation etc), On-line Shape file creation tool and a Multi-lingual (Hindi, Tamil, Telugu) interface.

Bhuvan was launched in 2009 by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). We’d been pointing out that there were usability issues including speed of access, and the inability to save work done on the maps, that hampered the experience.
While new features and an Indic language interface have been introduced, we wonder who uses Bhuvan anymore?
ISRO had opened up its Application Program Interface, allowing developers to create applications based on functional code released by Bhuvan, allowing users to embed a true 3D digital globe, into web pages, and draw markers and lines, drape images over the terrain.
Wouldn’t it be better for the Indian government to open source all data layers, so developers can maybe add them to Google maps as well?

– Trying Out Bhuvan, India’s Satellite Mapping Tool

India’s “Google Earth” Bhuvan Gets Massive Upgrade: 2D, Rediff Maps, Community; Releases API

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