Bhoo-Mandal Talk on July 10, 2020

Bhoo-mandal Talk on July 10, 2020 (Video: IEEE GRSS Bangalore Section YouTube)

Talk title: Earth Observation and Geospatial Applications – Indian Experience

Speaker: Dr. P. G. Diwakar, Director, Earth Observation Applications & Disaster Management; and Distinguished Scientist, ISRO

Time: July 10, 2020, 6:00 pm IST.

Venue: [Virtual talk] IEEE Webex

About the talk: This talk will cover some of the active projects implemented at ISRO in the national interest. Dr. Diwakar also administers two geoportals of ISRO that constantly provide extensive inputs to the Government of India for strategic decision-making on existing applications as well as exploration of new research areas. Some of the URLs relevant for this talk:

Speaker Biography: Dr. P. G. Diwakar, a Distinguished Scientist at ISRO, is the current Director of the Earth Observation Applications and Disaster Management, at ISRO HQ. He has been a Scientist in ISRO for the past 36 years. He has been in several leadership positions at ISRO, such as Head of Regional Remote Sensing Center, Bangalore; Associate Director, Earth Observation System, ISRO HQ, Bangalore; Programme Director, Earth Observation System & DMS, ISRO HQ, Bangalore; Deputy Director, National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), Hyderabad; and Scientific Secretary, ISRO. His work has received several awards and recognitions — National Gold Award for “Innovative usage of technology and e-Governance”; Globe Forum award, “Globe Sustainability Research Award 2010”, Stockholm, Sweden; ISRO Merit award – for innovative use of technologies in Applications; National Geospatial Award, Indian Society of Geomatics; ISRO-ASI Award for “Space Science & Applications”, “Bhaskara Award – 2018”, Indian Society of Remote Sensing, to name a few. As a testimony of his illustrious career, he has been conferred the Fellow of Indian Society of Remote Sensing. Having gotten his Ph.D. in participatory geomatics from NITK, Surathkal, he has also been honored as a “Distinguished Alumnus of NITK, Suratkal”. His work has been published widely in over 75 publications several national and international journals.

Talk abstract:

Contemporary technologies and space-based solutions are emerging fast and paving the way for new mechanisms to manage our natural resources. The computational techniques, web-based technologies, Cloud-computing, High Power Computation for complex modeling, Decision support systems using geospatial tools, Navigation systems, location-based services, are all emerging in parallel to enable new paradigms of solutions to problems. Space technology has added a new dimension to all these, particularly the earth observation satellites for natural resources management and navigation satellites or GPS for location-based services. Data and information from multiple sources are easily available through web technologies that are systematically processed to derive useful inputs for planning and development. The Government system needs to take up specific mechanisms, at all levels, to adopt contemporary technologies for better governance and to channelize the benefits to the people at large.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been providing valuable services to the government and common man from a constellation of Earth Observation and other satellite systems in the country. India uses the rich constellations of Earth Observation satellites to provide data/ information and services through diverse mechanisms across the country, and beyond, to meet specific requirements for development. Natural Resources Management using space technology is the key area of focus for the department of space. The prime areas of importance are Agriculture, Water, Forest, Geology, Ocean & Atmosphere, urban, rural & infrastructure development, remote area connectivity, GPS-based services, outreach to far-flung areas, and other developmental aspects.
DOS/ISRO serves the entire country with a variety of natural resources databases through geospatial technology and online systems. To name a few, Land use & Land cover, forest & biodiversity, wastelands, land degradation, water resources information system, groundwater potential, crop acreage & production estimation (selected crops), geology & geomorphology and the list goes on. Similarly, on the Disaster Management Support Programme, the department provides near real-time services to the nation on major disasters, the country faces. This system has been largely successful and has helped India in the institutionalization of geospatial technology in about 28 States and many central ministries, who are successfully using space technology in planning and development processes.

DOS/ISRO has set up a National Geospatial Infrastructure in the form of Bhuvan Geoportal ever since 2009, which is a one-stop-shop for all the natural resources data for the entire country. The Bhuvan infrastructure supports not only very high-resolution satellite data but also provides varieties of thematic services, satellite data download, more than 70 Mobile Apps with unique applications, innovative tools for 2D and 3D applications, online GIS mapper services, public and private data uplink and update facilities including near real-time disaster monitoring tools, to name a few. Similarly, there is an exclusive portal “MOSDAC” that provides weather and ocean-related services with a lot of experimental products and services. The “VEDAS” is yet another platform that is specially made for academia and researchers to explore new tools and technologies. This is a technology and innovation platform with many contemporary tools and near real-time satellite maps.

With a combination of valuable geospatial content and diverse GIS platforms, ISRO is serving the country in a unique way.