Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) unveiled beta version of “Bhuvan”, a web-based mapping tool like Google Earth. “Bhuvan” means Earth in Sanskrit. The application can be downloaded from http://bhuvan.nrsc.gov.in/ (The website is almost inaccessible at the time of writing this article.)
Bhuvan promises to give better 3D satellite imagery of India than is currently being offered by Google Earth. Bhuvan has a many India-specific features like weather information, administrative boundaries of all states and districts, etc.. Bhuvan has best resolutions over the Indian sub-continent. It allows users to fly from space to street level, grab, spin and zoom down to any place. Viewers can zoom into Bhuvan maps up to 10 metres compared to Google Earth’s 200 metres and Wikemapia’s 50 metres.
But I am not at all happy with this message on the website “Best viewed in IE 6.0 or higher.”
It also provides tools for measuring, drawing, saving, printing and visualizing thematic information. The resolutions currently on offer are good enough to view a vehicle moving on a road quite clearly.
The launch ceremony was organized by Astronautical Society of India in New Delhi. Hyderabad-based National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA), a part of ISRO, had a lead role in designing and developing “Bhuvan”. The day marks the 90th birth anniversary of the father of Indian space programme Vikram Sarabhai.
NRSA scientists developed the content using data provided by Indian satellites like Resourcesat-1. Bhuvan also focus on rural and thematic applications like wasteland mapping and terrain profile. It contains weather details like humidity levels. The data shown on the portal has been approved by the government of India. Sensitive information has been kept out of the public domain.