New Delhi: India's Remote Sensing Data Policy Year 2011 gives access to high resolution satellite photos, to all public and private agencies who will use them for social development. Commercial use is also permitted, provided companies are cleared by a high powered committee.
The Delhi State Spatial Data Infrastructure project has used them to create a three dimensional virtual map of the entire city.
Savitur Prasad, Secretary, Department of Information Technology, Delhi Secretariat said, "Details of all residents, houses, localities. Entire details above ground in 1500 square kilometers of Delhi will be available. All the houses, names of individuals. And below the ground upto a depth of 12 feet. Water pipes, electricity cables etc."
Satellite data can also be used to help you pay your property taxes online, to monitor real time power and water demand in various localities, in land acquisitions, road transport and city planning. ESRI and NIIT GIS, private firms that deliver such solutions in various states welcome the new government policy.
Rajesh C Mathur, Vice Chairman, NIIT GIS Limited said, "There are delays because we have to follow a certain procedure for approval, for access to satellite data. The change in policy will make a huge difference and make the process simpler, less time consuming."
Interestingly, the new policy also seems to indicate that agencies other than ISRO could be allowed to operate remote sensing satellites. Whether that means the Indian military or private companies, remains to be seen.