Why in news?
- The Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, has created an Integrated Geospatial Platform out of available geospatial datasets, standards-based services, and analytic tools to help decision making during the current COVID-19 outbreak and aid devising area-specific strategies to handle the socio-economic impact in the recovery phase.
- The platform is initially expected to strengthen the public health delivery system of the State and Central Governments and subsequently provide the necessary geospatial information support to citizens and agencies dealing with the challenges related to health, socio-economic distress, and livelihood challenges.
- The mobile application SAHYOG, as well as the web portal prepared & managed by the Survey of India (SoI), has been customized to collect COVID-19 specific geospatial datasets through community engagement to augment the response activities by Government of India to the pandemic.
- Information parameters required as per the Govt of India strategy and containment plan for large outbreaks have been incorporated in the SAHYOG application.
What are geospatial technologies?
- Geospatial is a term widely used to describe the combination of spatial software and analytical methods with terrestrial or geographic datasets. The term is often used in conjunction with geographic information systems and geomatics, never separately.
- “Geospatial technologies” is a term used to describe the range of modern tools contributing to the geographic mapping and analysis of the Earth and human societies.
- These technologies have been evolving in some form since the first maps were drawn in prehistoric times.
- In the 19th century, the long important schools of cartography and mapmaking were joined by aerial photography as early cameras were sent aloft on balloons and pigeons, and then on airplanes during the 20th century.
- The science and art of photographic interpretation and map making was accelerated during the Second World War and during the Cold War it took on new dimensions with the advent of satellites and computers.
- Satellites allowed images of the Earth’s surface and human activities therein with certain limitations.
- Computers allowed storage and transfer of imagery together with the development of associated digital software, maps, and data sets on socioeconomic and environmental phenomena, collectively called geographic information systems (GIS).