Published On: Mon, Dec 1st, 2014

How Bhuvan GIS tool was used in elections monitoring, disaster recovery


The Indian Space Research Organisation’s geospatial tool has recently been used in disaster response and recovery, and general election monitoring.

This year, it was used to monitor inputs and to measure impacts of disasters for reconstruction after the recent Jammu and Kashmir floods and Andhra Pradesh cyclone, Vinod Bothale from the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) told FutureGov.

It was also used in the 2014 general elections to support the “planning and monitoring of polling in [the state of] Andhra Pradesh” by crowdsourcing data using mobile devices, said Bothale.

The Andhra Pradesh State Housing Corporation has also used Bhuvan to geo-tag houses it constructed. 200,000 locations have been uploaded from the field, by trained state government officials using a smartphone app.

Though it has been around since 2009, Bhuvan was first used to provide online disaster support services in 2013 when it was deployed in the Uttarakhand flood disaster. The Indian Government used Bhuvan’s crowdsourcing app to map the damage with more than 19,000 points of information from the field.

Subsequently, all major natural disasters have been monitored through Bhuvan, including forest fires and cyclones.

He says that the major challenge to design and develop Bhuvan was the requirement to build it in a “very short time of within one year”. In its first year, the portal was launched with India’s satellite data with 5.8 metres spatial resolution, and has since then been continuously updated with data from other sources.

“Quick response to the requirements of the user has always been a major challenge.” Bothale says. This has been overcome using a distributed computing architecture, with four additional servers in different regions in the country.

Today, Bhuvan sees more than 20,000 unique visitors every month and has seen about 260,000 application downloads to date.

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