Liberalization of geospatial data – the expected impact of India’s new geospatial policy guidelines – Geospatial World


It has been perceived for some time that the current geospatial data policy, with its archaic limitations that have not been upgraded in decades, has held back the geospatial industry with its feet in complexity. Therefore, when the Department of Science and Technology (DST) announced the new mapping guidelines for India’s geospatial technology sector, there was a surge of support for this initiative which can help open up new avenues of development.

One can take the example of the real estate sector in which not only is the policy accelerating the digitization of land registers and the shelving of paper Khasra registers, but also precise mapping of remote and rural areas that can help officials to do so. better land assessments. value. Even capitalization of land assets into equity for startups, debt financing for infrastructure and working capital for farmers and small businesses can now become monetary opportunities with the new policy.

As we examine the impact of the policy on the geospatial industry and take a closer look at what its future holds, let’s start by understanding why the current policy on geospatial data needed an overhaul:

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Understand the limitations associated with the current geospatial data policy:

Strict restrictions were placed on the collection, storage, use, sale and dissemination of geospatial data and mapping, which meant that acquiring authorization licenses with the red tape involved would delay projects for several months, which was particularly problematic for those in mission mode. The initial policies had been conceptualized purely on the basis of security concerns, so the lack of data was an obstacle to various procedures such as infrastructure, development, business, etc. which greatly benefit from the availability of data.

Even if the Indian government took the initiative to map the entire country with great precision, it would actually take decades, so a few major setbacks facing the Indian geospatial industry included:

  • Lack of access to reliable, content-specific geospatial data
  • Lack of general policy and guidelines to facilitate access
  • No clear understanding of data sharing and storage policies
  • Missing access to the Continuously Operating Reference Station (CORS) network

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What led to the deregulation of geospatial data?

Understanding the need to encourage the geospatial sector for Indian companies as well as to increase the investments of private actors in the sector, the Indian government decided to deregulate the geospatial sector. This movement comes from understanding how geospatial data has become essential for government for infrastructure planning, development, protection against natural disasters, agriculture, environmental protection, electricity, water, transport, communications, health and of course overall economic growth.

Due to the global pressure for open access to geospatial data, with its global impact on the lives of citizens, it makes sense to ensure open access except for sensitive data related to defense or security. If you look at the global medium, large amounts of geospatial data are now available on global platforms, which makes the regulation of data that is freely available in another country quite untenable.

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The expected impact of the new policy:

Initially, the liberalization of geospatial data policies should lead to the implementation of the following changes:

  • Government agencies such as Survey of India (SoI) and ISRO that have investigated, collected and updated spatial data are now tasked with making the access process simpler and more transparent for Indian citizens, avoiding private permissions and data licensing using cloud technologies and open data. API in various formats. This will help move from the complex approval process that has been in place for so long, to self-certification and also self-identification.
  • All private and public entities and research institutes now have the right to collect, process, store, publish and share data in India and use it in Indian projects.
  • Uninterrupted access to the CORS network for any type of real-time positioning and data availability without any restriction.
  • All Indian private-public research institutes, regardless of their accuracy, will have access to mobile mapping, Street View survey and LIDAR sensor survey.
  • Spatial precision of 1 m for horizontal resolution spatial data and 3 m for vertical resolution spatial data will now be available without any prior approval in a recognized area.
  • All public digital paper maps can now have geospatial features, with the sole exception of labels in symbology to be restricted on secure areas.

With the liberalization of geospatial data, the government seeks to secure more players in the field and improve the competitiveness of Indian companies around the world With more precise data available for the government as well as for individuals – start-ups and companies can also use this data in setting up concerns related to e-commerce sectors or geospatial data-based applications. This of course also ends up improving employment in these sectors.

With an expected increase in public-private partnerships due to the opening up of the sector, data collection companies can work with the Indian government on various sector projects. It is hoped that the reform will enable Indians to use space projects in the global market, as ensuring a level playing field for Indian businesses with regard to the location mapping industry will help galvanize the economy, with further efficiency gains in agriculture and other related sectors. as well as.

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