Director of ISRO’s National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), Dr YVN Krishna Murthy told Bangalore Mirror at the 104th Indian Science Congress in Tirupati that they have gathered up to a whopping 17 million gigabytes (or 17 petabytes as 1 petabyte is 1000000 gigabytes) of geospatial data, which is set to cross 50 million GB (50 petabytes) in the next five years with the addition of a more sophisticated constellation of satellites in space to map the Indian sub-continent.
Geospatial data is information about physical objects (in terms of land, crops, water resources, agricultural information, etc) that can be represented by numerical values in a geographic coordinate system. These data have been collected using 21 remote sensing satellites so far – IRS-1A being the first one to be launched on March 17, 1988, and Resourcesat-2A, the last to be launched on December 7, 2016.
The data from Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellites are used for various applications of resources survey and management under the National Natural Resources Management System (NNRMS), which include space-based inputs for decentralised planning; national urban information system; ISRO disaster management support programme; biodiversity characterisations at landscape level; pre-harvest crop area and production estimation of major crops; drought monitoring and assessment based on vegetation condition; flood risk zone mapping and flood damage assessment; hydro-geomorphologic maps for locating underground water resources for drilling wells; irrigation command area status monitoring; snow-melt run-off estimates for planning water use in downstream projects; land-use and land cover mapping; urban planning; forest survey; wetland mapping; environmental impact analysis; mineral prospecting; coastal studies; and integrated mission for sustainable development (initiated in 1992) for generating locale-specific prescriptions for integrated land and water resources development in 174 districts.
“There is an immense scope for start-ups. With time, the cost of technology will go down while its scope will only increase,” Murthy said. “Young entrepreneurs can look at our portals to launch start-ups on a consultative basis for users and rake in millions of rupees.”