Bhuvan Mapping Application from ISRO –

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 (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.


  1. Bhuvan is a bright example of latest Indian Technology. It should be used by us more and more to utilise the application provided by it.

  2. well i have yet not able to open the webpage of bhuvan website but i am very excited and keen to know about this amazing indian website which has gone across the famous international website google earth……. i got to know about this website in news paper and really looking out for this website and most importantly this website has been kept safe so that it cant be misused by people having wrong intensions…..

  3. it is a matter of immense pleasure to learn that you have again started the website bhuvan. A few months ago i have tried to see my village in this site but i was failed to do so. Now you are claiming that we can see 3D image of any location its good to listen. But as per earlier practice it may be possible that it may become only pomp and show. Even to download this site is very cumbersome work. So let us hope better this time.

  4. For Ph.D. research for morphology change in some definate area around any river boundry section Bhuvan satellite LISSIII datas are very much useful.

  5. India is emerging as one of the pioneer country in global software industry. So many fields are untouched by Indians. Launching a “BHUVANA” is one leap step towards, the where the area left untouched so far.

  6. there is no clarity of image and no indication of places.we have to achieve a lot. dont have to be satisfied with this.still we are very much lagging from google is a good startup.but its not an achievement…..

  7. Please give me latest development of BHUVAN tracking and mapping tool it is a very useful programme.

    Best of Luck.

  8. me too registered with bhuvan,and installed directx, .netfreamwork,bhuvan plug-ins all i have done.but i can able see theindia map as like in google earth.i was so proud when i heard abot bhuvan.but i feel now its useless.i cant able to enter anywhere. only texts are there and some image like the ordinary website.the instructions should be given clearly when a person want to use it.

  9. well i have yet not able to open the webpage of bhuvan website but i am very excited and keen to know about this amazing indian website which has gone across the famous international website google earth……. i got to know about this website in news paper and really looking out for this website and most importantly this website has been kept safe so that it cant be misused by people having wrong intensions…..

  10. Detailsfrom the Bhuvan website:

    Mininimum System Requirements:

    •Operating System: Windows XP/Vista; CPU: Pentium 4 2.4GHz+ or AMD 2400xp+ ;System Memory (RAM): 512MB ; Hard Disk: 2GB free space ;Network Speed: 768 Kbits/sec; Graphics Card: 3D-capable with 32MB of VRAM; Screen: 1280×1024,32-bit True Color;

    •To browse Bhuvan, you require the Bhuvan Plug-in which can be downloaded from this website, after registration and you will also need DirectX 9.0 or higher version ( and MS .NET framework 2.0 or above for installing the plug-in. Please note that the Bhuvan Plug-in can be installed with administrative privileges only.

    Bhuvan FAQ

    Bhuvan FAQ

    What is Bhuvan?
    Bhuvan is a geoportal that provides medium to high resolution satellite imagery of virtually the entire India over the internet. You can "fly" around using mouse and keyboard on a simple desktop computer with virtual globe in front draped with IRS images over Indian region. Many other features are built in, including 3D terrain and information on many thematic data.

    What can Bhuvan do for me?
    Bhuvan is a free web based image portal. Most Image visualization programs are very expensive and complex. Bhuvan provides a fast and friendly way to look at IRS satellite data and thematic information in geographic context, which is invaluable for management, planning and visualization. Additionally, Bhuvan makes it easy to share digital data between people and computers anytime, anywhere.  Over a period of time a lot more unique functionalities will be added into this tool to address common man’s problems, particularly in the rural setup of India and addressing natural resources management issues.

    What do I require to run Bhuvan on my Machine?
    You require the Bhuvan Plug-in which can be downloaded from the Bhuvan website after registration and you will also need DirectX9 or higher version ( for installing the plug-in. Please note that the Bhuvan Plug-in can be installed with administrative privileges only.

    How do I use Bhuvan?
    When you first open Bhuvan website, You will land on the index page which gives you information on Bhuvan and this page also allows you to register for using the Bhuvan. Once you successfully register, you will land on the Bhuvan 3D client page. Here, there are three primary areas of the program that you’ll be using. The main window shows a globe, and you can navigate around with your mouse or use the Heads-Up Display (HUD) option available on the right top corner. Double right click to zoom in, and double left click to zoom out (or use your mousewheel). Right click, hold, and drag to pan. The second area is at the upper right of the main window. When you move your mouse over the navigation compass, it give you more movement options such as rotate and tilt (which you can also do with your mouse). The third area is to the left of the main window. This frame includes a fly to location and fly to important places option. On the top of the globe are the menu options for layers, 2D and 3D drawing, measurement tools, snapshot tools etc. When you select any of these options, you see the context options on the left plane where you can make appropriate choices that you can turn on to make visible in the main windows such as roads, 3D terrain, and more.

    Can I use Bhuvan if I don’t have a fast internet connection?
    Yes. Bhuvan is designed to be as bandwidth-friendly as possible. However, it is dependent on continuously downloading a large amount of imagery. Consequently, the faster your connection, the better the program will perform. If you have a slow connection, Bhuvan will download imagery correspondingly slowly, but it will (eventually) download everything at the maximum available resolution.  Depending on the number of concurrent users on over servers and the kind of bandwidth at client end the ultimate speed of visualisation will be decided.  This is a beta release, however with more learnings we will be able to make things more comfortable for all types of users.

    Can I use Bhuvan if I’m not connected to the internet?
    No. You will have to be connected to Internet for using Bhuvan.

    How current is the imagery in Bhuvan?

    Bhuvan portal does NOT display data in real-time. The images you see are a combination of satellite imagery from various IRS sensors taken (generally) sometime within the last three years during different seasons. Bhuvan, on release, contains IRS satellite images from OCM, AWifs, LISS 3, and LISS 4 sensor images and will be added with more data from time to time. Bhuvan is constantly updating its database to use more recent and higher resolution images. You can explore the metadata content to determine when exactly a specific area was imaged, but you may be able to use landmarks to generalize a date range if you are familiar with the area.

    How do I bookmark a place in Bhuvan?
    Zoom to the location that you’d like to bookmark (placemark, more accurately),  use the draw tool to place an icon. After you save the placemark, it will stay in the frame to the left of the main window, and double clicking on it will zoom you to that position.

    Can I add my own data into Bhuvan?
    No.  In the current version, you will not be able to add your own data

    Do I have to register to use Bhuvan?
    Yes. It is mandatory to register to use Bhuvan.

    How much does Bhuvan cost?
    The basic version of Bhuvan is free. Once you register and you login, you will be asked to download the Bhuvan plug-in. Accept the installation of the plug-in and you are ready to use the full features of Bhuvan.

    What are the System Requirements for Using Bhuvan?

    Requirements for Windows

    Operating System: Windows XP/Vista
    CPU: Pentium 4 2.4GHz+ or AMD 2400xp+
    System Memory (RAM): 512MB
    Hard Disk: 2GB free space
    Network Speed: 768 Kbits/sec
    Graphics Card: 3D-capable with 32MB of VRAM
    Screen: 1280×1024, "32-bit True Color"

    Can I run Bhuvan on Mac OS and Linux?
    No at the moment Bhuvan can run only on windows system and is optimised for IE 6. or higher
    What type of data can I see in Bhuvan?
    You will be able to see the following data on Bhuvan

    Satellite imagery (LISS III , LISS IV along with metadata and  Multi- temporal Data from OCM & AWiFS)
    Value added information (NADAMS – National Agricultural Drought Monitoring System), Output of flood studies for certain areas,
    Thematic information  (Wastelands, Soils, watershed,water resources related maps)
    Base layers ( administrative boundaries, transport layers, water bodies, etc)
    Census information

    What do I do when I get the ‘’DD_ERR Video Ram Memory’’ error?
    Close all other applications and relaunch Bhuvan.

  11. This is totally LAME. It requires windows, IE, a login and on top of all that the execution of some closed source government written crap which is something I will never ever do.

    This data has been collected using tax payer money, shouldnt it be made publicly available to those tax payers for free? I am sure there is a ton of open source goodness that could be developed around such data.

    Nice effort, ISRO but a really really poor execution.

  12. I m basicaly feeling happy for the devlopment of india in GIS. I think it’ll bacome the most popular web site for every one.

  13. Though I could not access the website Bhuvan so far, I am excited to learn that we will be able to view 3D images of India with 10m resolution, and with additional facilities for measuring, drawing, saving and fly. It is a revolutionary development and another step in ISRO’s endeavour to be closer to the people. People are already aware of the role of ISRO in the communication revolution that the country has witnessed during the last decade. I am looking forward to view the earth through Bhuvan.

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