Survey of India’s Android app Sahyog, and its website, have been customised to collect COVID-19 specific geospatial data sets via community engagement. The app has been customised to complement the government’s contact tracing app, Aarogya Setu, and includes the information parameters the government needs to develop strategy and containment plans for large outbreaks. Survey of India is the government’s mapping and surveying and mapping agency, under the Department of Science and Technology.

The Survey of India public portal (www.imdiamaps.gov.in), and its app Sahyog, are part of the Integrated Geospatial Platform that the Department of Science and Technology has created, Pankaj Mishra, the Deputy Surveyor General (Technical) at Survey of India, told MediaNama via email. The platform itself will “provide geo-spatial data access for the COVID response like Contact tracing data being provided from Aarogya Setu [sic],” he wrote. While for the public and private sector, data will be available through the website, but for the COVID-19 response team, “it will be provided through API”. Private and public sector can contribute this data for COVID-19 through the Sahyog app via the COVID subcategory, he told us. We have asked him how information parameters in the app have been altered to complement Aarogya Setu, what community engagement means, and how SSDI will be used.

State Spatial Data Infrastructure (SSDI) in Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Punjab, and Jammu and Kashmir have already been providing geospatial data services to state and district authorities through State Geoportals so that they can be integrated with health data sets to fight the pandemic at a local level as well.

The new Integrated Geospatial Platform uses available geospatial datasets, standards-based services and analytic tools to assist in decision-making during the COVID-19 outbreak. This will help create area-specific strategies “to handle the socio-economic impact in the recovery phase”.

***Update (April 16, 2020 8:06 pm): Updated with responses from Pankaj Mishra. Originally published on April 14 at 3:56 pm.