ISRO launches India’s own Google Earth-Bhuvan
Google Earth’s got some competition now — from the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), which on thursday unveiled its beta version of Bhuvan (meaning earth in Sanskrit).
A web-based tool like Google Earth, Bhuvan promises to give better 3-D satellite imagery of India than is currently being offered by the US-based
software giant plus a host of India-specific features like weather information and even administrative boundaries of all states and districts. The application can be downloaded from http://bhuvan.nrsc.gov.in .
The tool would offer pictures of the globe, just like Google Earth, and navigable in the same way but currently has the best resolutions over the Indian sub-continent.
It allows users to fly from space to street level, grab, spin and zoom down to any place. It also provides tools for measuring, drawing, saving, printing and visualising thematic information.
Keeping in mind that its users will be mostly in India to begin with, Bhuvan is designed to be as “bandwidth-friendly” as possible and can run even on slow internet connections. However, as of now, it does not allow users to add their own data, like photographs or text, on to the images.
The beta version was released by Minister of State for Science and Technology Prithviraj Chavan at a function organised by the Astronautical Society of India.
ISRO promises to add many more value-added functions and facilities including interactive systems to make it more user-friendly and effective information portal.
After the success of its moon mission, ISRO has set its sights on Mars. Today, it announced plans of sending a orbiter mission to Mars sometime after 2013.
ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair told reporters that feasibility studies for Mars mission had been completed and the scientific team was now evaluating the mission objectives and scientific proposals. He said the government had already sanctioned an initial amount of Rs 10 crore for the project.