Thursday, November 06, 2008

ISRO'S Bhuvan To Better Google Earth

Rahul Srinivas, Nov 06, 2008 1637 hrs IST

Another 'Bhuvan' up against the Angrez

Now, this is a comparison we thought we never would make. Nevertheless, here it is. Come March 2009, ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) will launch its own IRS (Indian Remote Sensing) image portal called Bhuvan. The portal will offer detailed satellite views of our planet to users -- akin to those seen on Google Earth and Wikimapia, but with a difference; this one will give sharper and more detailed pictures than provided by Google. Google Earth, which can zoom up to 200m, will have good competition in Bhuvan, which has a sharper zoom level capability of up to 10m.

Apart from the "geek" value of this service, ISRO plans to use it to enhance urban and forest planning and traffic management. Like Google Earth, a "special" version would be in the offing for professional and corporate users who might need higher resolution data. Of course, this would come at a price, though the base version would remain free.

Now, the differences. While Google Earth provides single-layer information, Bhuvan would provide multi-layer information. Additionally, you would be able to view the images date-wise. The entire service makes use of Indian satellites and its focus will be the Indian subcontinent.

Apart from Bhuvan, ISRO is also readying an information portal called "Bhu Sampada." Both services are expected to be operational by March 2009.


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