You don’t need Google Maps/Earth: ISRO, MapmyIndia offer ‘desi’ mapping portals

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The Department of Science and Technology, under which ISRO functions, signed an MoU with geospatial technology company CE Info Systems Private Limited, which owns MapmyIndia. (Photo for representation: AFP)

India continues its journey towards ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.

According to latest reports, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has joined hands with digital mapping and navigation technology solutions provider ‘MapmyIndia’ to create indigenous geospatial portals.

The ISRO and MapmyIndia have announced a collaboration to launch indigenous mapping portal and geospatial service — Bhuvan — among others, a move seen as an attempt to compete with Google Maps.

‘A path-breaking milestone’

Rohan Verma, MapmyIndia CEO and executive director, said the services will combine the power of the firm’s digital maps and technologies with ISRO’s catalogue of satellite imagery and earth observation data. Calling it a “path-breaking milestone” in the journey towards ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, Verma said Indian users can now leverage made-in-India solutions, and not be dependent on foreign organisations for maps, navigation, and geospatial services.

“You don’t need Goo*le Maps/Earth any longer,” he posted on LinkedIn.

Verma said there are many reasons why Indians are better off with an indigenous solution for maps and geospatial services. “MapmyIndia, being a responsible, local, Indian company, ensures that its maps reflect the true sovereignty of the country, depicting India’s borders as per the Government of India (GoI), and hosts its maps in India,” he said.

On Thursday, the Department of Science and Technology — under which ISRO functions — signed an MoU with geospatial technology company CE Info Systems Private Limited, which owns MapmyIndia. The collaboration will enable them to jointly identify and build a holistic geospatial portal utilising Earth observation datasets, Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC), Web Services and Application Programming Interface (APIs) available on MapmyIndia, ISRO said in a statement, adding that the geospatial portals will be called ‘Bhuvan’, ‘VEDAS’ and ‘MOSDAC’.

Know about Bhuvan, VEDAS and MOSDAC

Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System also known as NavIC is an indigenous navigation system, developed by the ISRO. ‘Bhuvan’ is the national geoportal developed and hosted by ISRO, comprising geospatial data, services, and tools for analysis. VEDAS (Visualisation of Earth observation Data and Archival System) is an online geoprocessing platform that uses optical, microwave, thermal, and hyperspectral EO data covering applications particularly meant for academia, research and problem solving. MOSDAC (Meteorological and Oceanographic Satellite Data Archival Centre) is a data repository for all the meteorological missions of ISRO and deals with weather-related information, oceanography, and tropical water cycles.

This comes days after new social media platform ‘Koo’ — a “desi” alternative to Twitter — witnessed a surge in popularity, fuelled by politicians and others flocking to it after US rival Twitter Inc refused to follow a central government order to block certain content on its platform.

(With inputs from agencies)

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