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R.N.I No - UPENG/2010/34153; Registration no: UP/GBD-136/2014-16

january 2014 » VOLume 04» ISSUE 06 | ISSN 2277–3134

Price: INR 150 / US$ 15 Subscriber’s copy. Not for Sale












1 20

Discover Hexagon at India Geospatial Forum – Visit Us at Booth 7


SMARTERDECISIONS When outages occur, Intergraph® gives you the power you need.

With Intergraph’s Network Outage Analytics Reporting solution, you can ease the burden of dispatchers relaying outage information to others within the organisation while juggling their numerous other tasks. Our solution provides spatially located outage information to your company’s intranet – improving access to this information for internal users and allowing dispatchers to focus on their primary job responsibilities. WWW.INTERGRAPH.COM/OUTAGE-ANALYTICS © 2013 Intergraph Corporation. All rights reserved. Intergraph is part of Hexagon. Intergraph and the Intergraph logo are registered trademarks of Intergraph Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and in other countries.


5-7 February 2014 in Hyderabad, Inda

Build cities in hours! Leica Geosystems and tridicon¨ BuildingFinder.


The new tridicon® software allows fully automated creation of 3D smart city models out of images and point clouds. Sources can be terrestrial, airborne or satellite data. No need for footprints or cadastral data. tridicon® BuildingFinder recognises buildings automatically, textures of roofs and walls are detected from the same data – no manual editing necessary.

For product, sales and distribution information, please contact: Leica Geosystems AG | Geospatial Solutions Division | Heerbrugg | Switzerland T +41 71 727 3131 | | tridicon® is a 3DCon product. 3DCon GmbH is part of Hexagon AB.


THE ALL-NEW TRIMBLE UX5 AERIAL IMAGING SOLUTION IS SETTING A NEW STANDARD FOR FAST AND SAFE AERIAL DATA COLLECTION BY KEEPING YOU PRODUCTIVE ALL DAY LONG – NO MATTER WHAT THE JOB. Whether you choose to fly in rainy conditions along windy seashores, in hot deserts, or in a snowy, mountain terrain, the Trimble UX5 is a dependable solution designed for mapping and surveying professionals requiring the highest accuracy. Combined with intuitive Trimble Access™ data collection workflows and powerful Trimble Business Center photogrammetry processing functionality, you’ll go to a level above and beyond the rest. SEE IT YOURSELF AT TRIMBLE.COM/UAS JOING THE CONVERSATION: #TRIMBLEUX5

transforming the way the world works © 2014, Trimble Navigation Limited. All rights reserved. Trimble and the Globe & Triangle logo are trademarks of Trimble Navigation Limited, registered in the United States and in other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. PN GEO-016

Inside January 2014 • Vol 4 • Issue 6

45 Doing Business in BRICS Find out where the BRICS nations stand in World Bank’s Doing Business 2014 Report.

48 A framework for next-gen BRICS Get a sneak peek into the geospatial infrastructure of BRICS nations.

52 Grounded with Growth The BRICS have awakened to the need for effective land management; a more proactive PPP initiative will open up new avenues. By Prof Arup Dasgupta

62 Em(powering) the Growth Engines Despite being early adopters of g-tech in the power sector, the BRICS still have a long way to go in developing smart grids. By Geoff Zeiss

70 Digging Deep to Development Geospatial technology is expanding the bottom line for mining companies in the BRICS countries. By Anusuya Datta 78 Smart Seeds for a Sustainable Future The new ‘agricultural powers’ in terms of production, exports and imports, the BRICS are set to script new rules for tomorrow’s agriculture. By Mark Noort

86 BRICS Bluebook

Advisory Board

A comprehensive list of geospatial companies in the BRICS.

Aida Opoku Mensah

Bryn Fosburgh

Special Advisor, Post 2015 Development Agenda, UN Economic Commisssion for Africa

Sector Vice-President, Executive Committee Member, Trimble Navigation

Derek Clarke Chief Director-Survey and Mapping & National Geospatial Information, Rural Development & Land Reform, South Africa

Barbara Ryan Secretariat Director, Group on Earth Observations Chair-Executive Board, Cadastre, Land Registry and Mapping Agency (Kadaster), The Netherlands

Geospatial Technologist, Google

Prof. Ian Dowman First Vice President, ISPRS

Chair, Department of Geoinformatics, University of Salzburg, Austria

Mark Reichardt

Vice President, Engineering & Infrastructure, Autodesk

President and CEO, Open Geospatial Consortium

Mohd Al Rajhi

Ramon Pastor

Asst Deputy Minister for Land & Surveying, Ministry of Municipal & Rural Affairs, Saudi Arabia

Vice-President and General Manager, Large Format Printing Business, Hewlett-Packard

Director General and Chief Executive, Ordnance Survey, UK

Greg Bentley CEO, Bentley Systems

Prof. Josef Strobl

Lisa Campbell

Vanessa Lawrence

Chief Scientist, Esri

Ed Parsons

Chairman and CEO, Rolta Group

Kamal K Singh

Dawn J. Wright

Dorine Burmanje

Dr. Hiroshi Murakami Director-General of Planning Department, Geospatial Information Authority of Japan

CHAIRMAN M P Narayanan

Stephen Lawler Chief Technology Officer, Bing Maps, Microsoft

Juergen Dold President Hexagon Geosystems

Matthew O’Connell CEO, Adhoc Holdings

Dr Swarna Subba Rao Surveyor General of India

Publisher Sanjay Kumar

Publications Team Managing Editor Prof. Arup Dasgupta Editor — Building & Energy Geoff Zeiss Editor — Agriculture Mark Noort Editor — Geospatial World Weekly (Hon) Dr. Hrishikesh Samant Executive Editor Bhanu Rekha Deputy Executive Editor Anusuya Datta Product Manager Harsha Vardhan Madiraju Sub-Editor Ridhima Kumar Graphic Designer Debjyoti Mukherjee Circulation Manager Amit Shahi

Geospatial World January 2014 / 5

Inside January 2014 • Vol 4 • Issue 6

10 The Men Behind the Glassdoor Find out who is the most popular CEO of geospatial companies as per Glassdoor rating.

16 Geospatial World Readers’ Survey 2013 The survey reflects how top geospatial companies are perceived by key stakeholders across a spectrum of criteria. 96 Top Geospatial Conferences 106 Top Geospatial Media and Communications Conferences Technology for Tomorrow Products that top companies are betting their money on in 2014.

20 DAT/EM Summit Evolution

32 Blue Marble Geographics Global

21 FARO Laser Scanner Focus3D X 330

.........Mapper LiDAR Module

22 GE MAGIC1 23 HP Designjet T2500 eMFP 24 Leica Geosystems HawEye III 25 Microsoft UltraCam Osprey 26 RIEGL VUX-1

35 Rolta GeoCAD 36 Esri Geotrigger Service 37 exactEarth exactAIS 39 Nokia HERE Maps

28 Topcon LN-100 29 Trimble V10 Imaging Rover 30 Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro 31 BAE SYSTEMS GXP WebView

6 / Geospatial World January 2014

34 Pitney Bowes Spectrum Spatial

38 MDA BlueHawk

27 TomTom VIA-125

Disclaimer Geospatial World does not necessarily subscribe to the views expressed in the publication. All views expressed in this issue are those of the contributors. Geospatial World is not responsible for any loss to anyone due to the information provided.

33 Intergraph Geospatial 2014

40 Safe Software FME Cloud 41 Astrium WorldDEM 42 Bentley Mobile Apps

Owner, Publisher & Printer Sanjay Kumar Printed at M. P. Printers B - 220, Phase-II, Noida - 201 301, Gautam Budh Nagar (UP) India Publication Address A - 92, Sector - 52, Gautam Budh Nagar, Noida, India The edition contains 112 pages including cover

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From the Editor’s Desk

Prof Arup Dasgupta Managing Editor


A fission of new ideas and fusion of solutions


n the beginning there were the developed countries and the under-developed countries. But the term under-developed was politically incorrect; so it became developing countries and that was good. So good that in 2001, Jim O’Neill of Goldman Sachs pointed out that four of the developing countries together represented almost 3 billion people, covering 40 million sq km of land, with a combined nominal GDP of $16.039 trillion, and an estimated $4 trillion in combined foreign reserves and could become an economic force by 2027. These countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and later joined by South Africa, became the BRICS nations and have caught the world’s attention. Significantly, these nations are rich in natural resources, both over and under ground. They are also rich in terms of human resources but their potential is not fully realised. The other drawbacks include governance, which has failed to move with the times; corruption and a legacy of exploitation through colonisation or feudalism or both. The sleeping giant stirred in 2006 with a meeting of foreign ministers of BRIC and a formal summit in 2009. South Africa joined in 2010. BRICS nations decided to improve cooperation amongst themselves and get more involved in global affairs like improving the global economic situation, reforming financial institutions and moving to a more stable global reserve currency. They pledged $75 billion to the IMF conditional to the implementation of certain reforms. A new development bank to rival the IMF and World Bank is on the cards.

Geospatial World January 2014 / 7

Such bold moves have to be built on a sound economy. The BRICS nations are engaged in precisely that activity. What is of interest to the geospatial community is the universal acceptance of these technologies in three major areas — agriculture, mining and urban planning. This acceptance is in terms of solutions, not pieces of hardware and software, and this is the challenge that the geospatial companies must face. The issues are better agriculture management, environmentally benign mining, sustainable urban agglomerations, better housing, better infrastructure, more efficient tax collection and lesser litigations over property. We have seen many piecemeal initiatives in e-governance and g-governance sectors, innovative hardware and software, novel services, etc. Piecemeal efforts will not provide the solutions needed nor will ready to go shrink-wrapped packages. The need is for a holistic approach, which, in turn, requires collaboration between geospatial companies, professionals and domain experts in each field. The goals have to be achieved through the PPP model. This calls for a better understanding of the governments’ goals by the industry and a better understanding by the decision makers of what the technology can offer. Innovation and thinking out of the box are prerequisites on both sides. Innovation cannot be restricted to products alone but in new ways to use existing products in conjunction with other devices and technologies. It is not that such efforts have not been made. A readers’ survey conducted by Geospatial World has brought out some interesting results which are available in this issue. Leading on innovation are Google and Esri, quite understandably. Google has created many disruptive products and services beginning with Google Earth which have demystified geospatial technology and made it available to the general public. Esri, as a first adopter of the then abstruse technology of geospatial computer graphics, has led the way in the evolution of GIS as a powerful spatial analysis and a versatile geovisualisation toolbox. Our second feature, a Glassdoor rating of the leading CEOs, throws up some surprises as well. This is a view from the other side, that of the people working in the geospatial companies. Larry Page of Google expectedly leads the pack but Jack Dangermond comes in a distant 8th. In between are the CEOs of companies that did not score as high as Google and Esri in the readers’ survey. Perhaps the reason is the age of the workforce engaged in cutting-edge research and development. In a fast evolving field, the workforce has to be young, brash, risk takers who value a work environment that is fun, transparent and creative. So we see a promising situation here. On the one hand, we have the BRICS nations with their plate of unique problems and on the other side, innovative companies led by charismatic CEOs. Will the two meet and create a fission of new ideas, products and services, and a fusion of solutions? We can look forward to interesting times in 2014. On this hopeful note, Geospatial World wishes you an exciting year ahead!

8 / Geospatial World January 2014

The need is for a holistic approach, which, in turn, requires collaboration between geospatial companies, professionals and domain experts in each field

Tourism services on Bhuvan

RISAT-1 Medium Resolution with VV polarisation


National Remote Sensing Centre, Hyderabad

Corner Office

The Men Behind the Who is the most popular CEO? Do you approve of the way your CEO is leading the company? This is what employees of leading geospatial companies had to say about their CEOs on Glassdoor*, the leading jobs and careers community.




*Glassdoor ratings in December 2013

The brain behind Google, Page assumed the role of CEO in 2011. What started off as the world’s largest search engine, has turned the world of mapping on its head. At the age of 40, Page and Google co-founder Sergey Brin feature in the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans. Why employees like him: The fun and casual working environment are a hit with young and dynamic people. Employees say the transparent and open culture, actively advocated by Page and Brin, encourages creativity. Google is also an excellent pay master. 10 / Geospatial World January 2014

of Employees approve of Google CEO Larry page

91 %

of Employees approve of Bentley CEO Greg Bentley

Supporting Bentley Systems’ vision of building a sustainable infrastructure, Greg Bentley joined his four brothers at the company in 1991. Why employees like him: The company under the aegis of Greg Bentley provides a flexible and good working environment. It has been rated as a good company for beginners and there is very little internal politics. Though the company gives creative freedom to its employees, some feel salary standard could be a little higher.



of Employees approve of Infotech CEO B.V.R. Mohan Reddy

An entrepreneur and technologist, Reddy established Infotech Enterprises in 1991. He is acknowledged as the pioneer of CAD/CAM in India. Through Infotech Enterprises, Reddy established the ‘Engineered in India’ brand by providing design engineering services to reputed global companies. Why employees like him: The management under Reddy provides a good work-personal life balance to employees. Geospatial World January 2014 / 11

Corner Office



of Employees approve of faro CEO Jay W. Freeland

As President and CEO of FARO Technologies since 2006, Freeland has guided the company to record highs in revenue, profitability and share price. Freeland is a firm believer of disrupting the market place with new technologies. Why employees like him: The company provides good incentives and a learning environment. A great company for young and dynamic people, Freeland has been instrumental in promoting an open culture within FARO which further breeds a friendly environment.



of Employees approve of autodesk CEO Carl Bass

As President and CEO of Autodesk since 2006, Carl Bass has been credited with expanding the company beyond its core AutoCAD software through acquisitions and new products and transitioning from 2D to 3D model-based design. Why employees like him: The management under Bass provides a decent work-personal life balance. Employees get a chance to work on product development from scratch, hence get an opportunity to learn and grow.

12 / Geospatial World January 2014



of Employees approve of trimble CEO Steven W. Berglund

Berglund took over as the CEO of Trimble in 1999 and has been instrumental in transforming the ‘GPS-only’ company to pursue a wider range of technologies. Under his leadership the company’s revenues have grown in leaps and bounds reaching over $2.0 billion in 2012. Why employees like him: The top management under Berglund has been ranked as approachable. Facilities like flexible timings, work-from-home options and numerous employee benefits promotes a employee-friendly and positive work culture.



of Employees approve of esri CEO Jack Dangermond

From an environmental research institute, Esri evolved as a global geospatial major today under Jack Dangermond’s leadership and vision. As founder and CEO of Esri, Dangermond’s vision stimulates the ongoing innovation of GIS technologies that enable insightful decisions. Why employees like him: Esri has been rated very high in terms of job security and provides a perfect balance between work and personal life. A strict follower of customer-first policy, Dangermond advocates less hierarchy within the organisation which promotes greater creativity.

Corner Office



of Employees approve of rolta CEO Kamal k. Singh

A visionary in his own right, Singh founded Rolta in 1982. The company pioneered CAD/ CAM/ GIS in India under his leadership. Why employees like him: Employees say they are given creative freedom and are encouraged to open up with their seniors. However some feel remuneration and growth opportunities are not satisfactory.



of Employees approve of tomtom CEO Harold Goddijn

Goddijn co-founded TomTom in 1991 and took over as the CEO in 2001. He has been instrumental in shifting company’s focus from hardware business to software and content services. Why employees like him: The company offers a thorough professional environment and good salary benefits to its employees. However employees also complain of lack of vision and multi-layer middle management.

14 / Geospatial World January 2014



of Employees approve of digitalglobe CEO Jeffery R. Tarr

President and CEO of DigitalGlobe, Tarr, aims to build on past successes and create even more value for shareholders and customers. It was under his leadership that the historic merger of DigitalGlobe and GeoEye materialised. Why employees like him: Tarr and his management provide a dynamic and learning environment. Rated as a ‘fine’ company for beginners, it provides wide exposure to its employees. However, despite competitive salary and capacity training, older employees complain of workload and lack of communication.



of Employees approve of hexagon CEO Ola Rollén

As President and CEO of Hexagon AB since 2000, Rollén is responsible for re-defining the company, both organically and through strategic acquisitions. Hexagon has touched new heights under his aegis. Why employees like him: A great working environment and good compensation work in favour of Rollen and his management. Hexagon has a good retention rate and the employees feel that its multiple offices and locations ensure a good exposure for them. However, employees feel the need for more support and guidance from the top management.

Geospatial World January 2014 / 15

Geospatial World

Readers’ Survey 2013

Most innovative company


Google, Esri



15.6% Trimble




Astrium, Autodesk, Rolta

Company with the most competitive pricing









7.98% DigitalGlobe

The Readers’ Choice Survey reflects how top geospatial companies are perceived by key stakeholders across a broad spectrum of criteria. The survey aims at identifying and understanding the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities in the geospatial technology industry. Respondents reflect a wide range of spectrum – staffers across a variety of geospatial players, academia, user industries to plain geoenthusiasts.


Most customer-friendly company











26.01% Google

25.45% Hexagon

14.37% Trimble

12.2% Rolta


Company with the most aggressive and creative leadership

The list of geospatial players chosen to feature on the survey: 1. Astrium 2. Autodesk 3. Bentley Systems 4. DigitalGlobe 5. Esri 6. FARO Technologies 7. Google 8. Hexagon 9. Infotech Enterprises 10. Nokia-HERE 11. PASCO 12. Rolta 13. TomTom 14. Topcon-Sokkia 15. Trimble

any to st comp






n Hexago

r work fo

12.35% 5.80%





Company with the best global coverage

40.86% Esri




% .33


23.13% Hexagon

12.57% Hexagon





8.86% Trimble

Company with the best training programme












1% 11.9

3% 7.39 % 6.53 %










Trim b


Company with best post-sales service/support

Company with the most effective business communication Esri




Esri Google Trimble




Hexagon Trimble DigitalGlobe



Most transparent company in its business dealings

20.70% 18.10% 16.74% 12.09% 8.38%

Tech for Tomorrow/ Hardware

As you plan your business moves in 2014, get updated on some of the most promising products and services from top companies.

Digital Workstation T

for processing 3D data

he Summit Evolution 3D digitisers from DAT/EM are affordable, user-friendly, Windows-based, best-inclass digital photogrammetric systems. The tools are powerful, for viewing, analysing, manipulating, and processing 3D geodata. There are three levels of Summit Evolution: Professional, Feature Collection and Lite. Projects may be created from virtually any source of stereo imagery, including aerial digital and scanned film, close range terrestrial, digital sensors, orthophoto, synthetic aperture radar (SAR), LiDAR, and satellite sources. Projects from third-party systems may be imported and brought into production as Summit projects. Projects not already registered in three dimensions may use a pre-existing DTM in the Follow Terrain tool to direct movement of the Summit cursor. Similarly, the Elevate Layers tool can elevate 2D vectors to 3D. Terrain Visualizer gives real-time graphic feedback. Project management: Summit Status Tracker and the Summit Project Viewer are two additional tools for managing data processing projects. Coordinate Conversion tools add capabilities for managing and transforming project coordinates. Drag-and-drop functionality makes building projects easy.

Summit Evolution Radargrammetry, Close Range projects, etc. Recent developments include tools for bathymetric correction of imagery.

Imagery: Due to the sensitivity of the production environment to image sizes and complexity, the tool supports a wide variety of image formats, including GeoTIFF and BigTIFF, ECW and Image sources and orientations: In addition to manual MrSID, and other popular types. 64-bit applications virtually and automatic interior and relative orientation support, it eliminate file-size limitations. On-the-fly image adjustments, offers a set of tools for control measurement and processing including epipolarisation and histogram adjustment, maximise pipelines for absolute orientations. It supports aero-trianusability of the information contained in the imagery. gulation results from all common orientation packages, such as Trimble/Inpho’s MATCH-AT. On-the-fly epipolar Unique features adjustments from non-frame sensors like Leica ADS40/80 •  Digitises 3D vectors into AutoCAD, MicroStation, or Airborne sensor and earth-sensing satellites using rational ArcGIS using DAT/EM’s Capture interface. polynomial coefficients make stereo project setup straight•  Complete access to geospatial databases using the forward for modern non-standard sensors. Any type of Capture interface. optical imagery is supported, and more are added as new •  Terrain Processing Tools with a rich, detailed set of operations for the collection and deployment of 3D sensors come online: Visual Intelligence Iris camera, Vifeatures and objects. sionMap A3, Microsoft UltraCam, satellites, even SAR and

20 / Geospatial World January 2014

Adding a New Dimension

to 3D laser scanning


ARO Laser Scanner Focus3D X 330 is a high-speed 3D scanner with extra-long range measurement and can scan objects up to 330 metres away even in direct sunlight. With its integrated GPS receiver, the laser scanner is able to correlate individual scans in post-processing, making it ideal for surveying-based applications. With its increased range of 330m, accuracy of ± 2mm and scan speed of up to 976,000 points per seconds and touchscreen, the FARO Focus3D X 330 considerably reduces the effort involved in measuring and post-processing. These advances in performance did not come at the expense of safety as the model is using a Class 1 ‘eye safe’ laser. It has a high measurement speed and delivers extraordinary scan data quality at extended range with very low noise. The 3D scan data can easily be imported into any commonly used software solutions for accident reconstruction, architecture,

Unique features •  Integrated sensor features include compass, altimeter and dual axis compensator. •  Ultraportable design allows for operation without external devices. •  With a size of only 24 x 20 x 10cm3, it is the smallest 3D scanner ever built. •  Photorealistic 3D colour scans due to an integrated colour camera featuring an automatic 70 megapixels parallaxfree colour overlay. •  It offers extra long-range (330 m) integrated GPS and the possibility to perform scanning even in bright sunlight. civil engineering and construction, forensics, forestry, filming, gaming, heritage, tunnel and mining, shipping, process, power and piping and general surveying. Data is stored on a SD card enabling easy and secure transfer to a PC for post processing in the FARO SCENE software.

Focus3D X 330

Best suited for: Focus3D X 330 is ideal for 3D modelling of large-scale scenes and helps facility managers generate as-built documentation of assets. Consulting engineers can reverse engineer CAD models for process, plant, design and maintenance while forensic scientists can obtain accurate accident and scene-of-crime recording. Surveyors can use it for measured building surveys, elevations, plans and to create 3D models while building contractors can model their structures as they evolve. The model supports architects in preserving our cultural heritage with 3D models of historic buildings.

Geospatial World January 2014 / 21

Tech for Tomorrow/ Hardware

Adding Magic

to geospatial intelligence


eospatial intelligence relies on the timely processing of large volumes of sensor data. For many applications, this means that the data can be acquired, stored, collated and delivered for processing on large workstations or even super computers far removed from the data source. However, there is a set of applications which require real-time (or near real-time) processing on mobile, often airborne, platforms — and this implies a set of constraints which drives the need for a low size, weight and power (SWaP) solution based on high performance embedded computing (HPEC) components. The MAGIC1 Rugged Display Computer from GE Intelligent Platforms is an example of such a low-SWaP system, combining the latest Intel Corei7 processors and NVIDIA GPUs in a true rugged system. Currently running with the 384-core NVIDIA EXK107 Kepler GPU, this year will see integration with the Intel 4th generation Corei7 processor, further enhancing its processing capability. How it works: The high speed interfaces can acquire data from multiple sensors, enabling the unit to run complex GEOINT algorithms, combining the real-time sensor data with databases stored in solid state memory to increase in-theatre loiter time while streaming actionable intelligence to a range of users within actionable time frames.

MAGIC1 22 / Geospatial World January 2014

Unique features • CUDA-enabled compute node. • Multiple video standards. • Dual channel output. • Up to 256 GB solid state disk. •  Baseplate, convection or forced air cooled.

The Intel and NVIDIA architecture scales to larger arrays of CPU and GPU for systems that can tolerate a larger size, weight and power envelope. The IPN251, for example, combines the Corei7 and NVIDIA Kepler GPU with MellanoxInfiniBand, further enhancing the bandwidth of the external interfaces and reducing the latency of data throughput, leveraging GPUDirect technology to eliminate unnecessary memory copies as data moves around the system. Best suited for: GE Intelligent Platforms is actively working with NVIDIA on its GeoINT programme to ensure that customers who require the highest levels of performance on rugged mobile platforms can access the technology needed to succeed. Typical applications for these rugged platforms fall into the categories of command, control, computing, communication & information (C4I), and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). C4I applications include search and rescue (SAR) — both maritime and land — and situational awareness. ISR applications are often performing similar GEOINT data fusion and analysis tasks, but may have the added requirement to send the resulting information to a ground station or other mobile platform via a low bandwidth data link. Using modular open systems architectures (MOSA) based on the best of commercial technology, the GEOINT community can benefit from mainstream investments while retaining all of the SWaP — and ruggedisation features needed to deploy complex data processing algorithms in the harshest of environments.

Large format printing

now gets faster & easier


omplex data analysis and clear communication is at the core of any geospatial project, be it photogrammetry, cartography, geodesy, earth observation or positioning and surveying. HP’s Designjet T2500 eMFP improves customer creativity by allowing users to manage and process this complex data. It is a large format multi-function printer which comes under the workgroup range of printers that cater to the geospatial sector. It enables large scale printing as well as processing with high speeds e.g. for GIS companies scanning large-format colour documents is one of the most effective ways to review and communicate changes. However, large-format scanning is a time-consuming and complex process. This printer brings new customer-driven design features to a single, compact device that scans, prints and copies to help highly mobile teams work together better and faster. The compact Web-connected HP Designjet T2500 eMultifunction printer lets one instantly share and manage content and the integrated output stacking tray helps eliminate output clutter. The two rolls and scan and copy capabilities help to speed their workflow. Having designed together with customers from around the world, the HP Designjet T2500 eMultifunction Printer has a 30% smaller footprint than its predecessor. The integrated output stacking tray delivers flat, collated prints, helping teams stay organised between multiple projects. With two-roll, front media loading, customers can print projects that require different paper types and sizes without having to change the roll. Additionally, the printer’s Embedded Web Server (EWS) gives users add-

HP Designjet T2500 eMFP ed control, allowing them to submit files, manage job queues, track print jobs, accurately calculate the costs of each individual print, as well as create multiple destination folders within their network in order to manage scans in a secure manner. Users can also enable nesting, which will allow jobs to be printed side by side, thus enhancing productivity, minimising wastage and saving costs on media.

Unique features •  Help cut downtime: Print multiple jobs on a variety of media types and sizes with two rolls and smart switching. •  Eliminate the output clutter: Get flat, collated prints, thanks to the integrated output stacking tray. •  Speed up the workflow: Easily scan and e-mail sketches and hand annotated drawings directly to the partners. •  Instantly share and manage content: Scan to network folder, FTP, USB drive, or directly to   the cloud. •  Use Apple or Android smartphone or tablet to print from virtually anywhere. •  Print and scan without drivers using a USB stick and directly email projects to your Designjet T2500 eMFP.

Geospatial World January 2014 / 23

Tech for Tomorrow/ Hardware

The Next Generation

of airborne bathymetry


ighly accurate hydrographic surveys are of particular importance when it comes to monitoring and managing data of deep sea construction work, rivers or the effects of changing sea-levels, flooding, or coastal damage due to natural disasters. Leica Geosystems’ range of products like HawkEye III, Chiroptera and LiDAR Survey Studio represent the new generation of state-of-the-art airborne bathymetry. HawkEye III: It is a combined airborne bathymetric and topographic multi sensor LiDAR system. With its high resolution and accuracy, HawkEye is the perfect tool for mapping, planning, maintaining and managing all national waters and coastal regions. It can do nautical charting of near shore and coastal zones and characterisation and mapping prior to infrastructure and constructional work. The HawkEye III delivers full seafloor search. Point densities are easily configured by optimising survey altitude and airspeed. The survey parameters are easily adapted to the requirements of the survey and local water conditions. CHIROPTERA: This airborne LiDAR system meets the highest demands for near-shore and coastal zone mapping. It is an integrated unit delivering harmonised land and sea data. With its high resolution and accuracy, it is the perfect tool for mapping, planning and managing the near-shore region. It can model sea level rise and global warming effects over time. The Chiroptera delivers a point density of up to 1-2 points per square meter in the bathymetric channel and 10-30 points per square meter in the topography channel. The survey parameters are easily configured in the system settings and by selecting optimal flight levels and airspeed. It is a cost-efficient sensor system for developing harmonised land and sea geographic datasets. In addition, combined LiDAR data can be used

24 / Geospatial World January 2014

for simulation and studies of low-level land flooding and the effects of sea-level raise. LiDAR Survey Studio: It is a state-of-the-art software tool for point-cloud generation and cleaning of raw LiDAR data acquired by the HawkEye and Chiroptera systems. It provides an extensive software toolbox for processing of multiple missions and simultaneous review of data from all sensor channels. This allows review of the deep bathymetry, the shallow and the topographic LiDAR data, which at the same time including reviewing the image taken at the same location as the point cloud data. Together, HawkEye III, Chiroptera and LiDAR Survey Studio represent the next generation of state-of-the-art airborne bathymetry.

HawkEye III, CHIROPTERA & LiDAR Survey Studio

A New Angle

to digital photogrammetry


he Microsoft UltraCam Osprey digital photogrammetric camera system combines a high performing photogrammetric nadir camera with oblique capture capability, offering a more versatile dataset than other oblique systems in the market today. The UltraCam Osprey incorporates several new and unique concepts with a clear emphasis on professional photogrammetry and collection productivity. First, there is the metric nadir component which has been derived from the well-known UltraCam Lp camera. This nadir camera constitutes the “geometry backbone” of the UltraCam Osprey and enables traditional photogrammetric processing from an oblique aerial camera system. For example, Osprey images are compatible with the UltraMap software supporting the full workflow from aero-triangulation to dense surface modelling and ortho image creation. The ability to perform aerotriangulation (AT) and dense matching allows for the creation of high accuracy point clouds, DSM, DTM, DSMorthos and DTMorthos (traditional orthos). Secondly, adding the six oblique camera heads makes the pixel harvest extremely productive. The wing cones are pointing in the four cardinal direction at 45 degree off-nadir. There are dual cones forwards and backwards, and single cones left and right.

that integrates all components into one unit. To achieve high flight efficiency, the UltraCam Osprey is designed so that the full swath width of the nadir cone (11,674 pixels) can be used, and oblique wing images overlap enough to generate oblique orthos. The 60 MP backward and forward wing images and the 32 MP left and right wing images, combined with a 2.2 second frame rate, ensure adequate coverage. The camera is also compatible with the UltraNav direct georeferencing and flight management system. Unique features •  Weighs less than 75 kg. Reduces fuel consumption and allows for longer flight missions. •  High-resolution lenses and state-of-the art CCD technology. •  Advanced electronics for improved frame rate and less noise with 72 dB signal-to-noise ratio. •  Third generation of UltraCam architecture, everything integrated into a modular sensor head. •  Third generation filters with curved characteristics to flatten out vignetting.

UltraCam Osprey

Best suited for: The nadir camera collects five bands (PAN, RGB, NIR) with sub-pixel accuracy and high dynamic range equivalent to other UltraCam cameras. This dataset can be used for most photogrammetric applications, such as cadastre, infrastructure planning, and DTM or DSM ortho generation. The combined oblique and nadir imagery is appropriate for more kinds of applications than a standard oblique camera or a stand-alone photogrammetric camera. The resulting data is very useful for urban mapping and 3D city modelling. UltraCam Osprey builds on the UltraCam Eagle technology, including advanced electronics to achieve an exceptional signal/noise ratio; solid state storage of 3.3TB; and a modular housing concept

Geospatial World January 2014 / 25

Tech for Tomorrow/ Hardware

A New Survey-Grade

productivity laser scanner for UAS itisation and online waveform processing, which enables achieving superior measurement results even under adverse atmospheric conditions, and the evaluation of multiple target echoes. The scanning mechanism is based on an extremely fast rotating mirror, which provides fully linear, unidirectional and parallel scan lines, resulting in excellent regular point pattern distribution.

Best suited for: With its high-resolution multi-target RIEGL VUX-1 capability, the instrument is perfectly suited for agricultural and forestry applications, power line, railway track or pipeline inspection, as well as surveying he RIEGL VUX-1 is a lightweight and of urban environments, mapping of mines, or terrain and cancompact laser scanner, meeting the challenges yon mapping, to name just a few possible applications. of emerging survey solutions by unmanned aerial Measurement results acquired with this new, fully surveysystem (UAS), gyrocopters and ultra-light aircraft, grade UAV airborne laser scanner are planned to be presented both in measurement performance and in system at AUVSI conference (May 12-15, Orlando, USA) and at FIG integration. With regard to the specific restrictions conference (June 16-21, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia). RIEGL and flight characteristics of UAS, the RIEGL VUXwill provide insights on the employed technologies as well 1 is designed to be mounted in any orientation. It as integration and operation of the instrument. The results is tailored for platforms with limited weight, space, are analysed with respect to precision, resolution, and other and supply power for payloads. The entire dataset application-related aspects like the provided point attributes. of an acquisition campaign is stored onto an internal 360 GB SSD and/or provided as real-time line scan data via the integrated LAN-TCP/IP interface.


How it works: The RIEGL VUX-1 employs echo signal digitisation, online waveform processing, a measurement rate of up to 500 kHz and a fast scan speed with upto 200 scan/sec. The field of view is 300 degrees. The RIEGL VUX-1 provides high-speed data acquisition using a narrow infrared laser beam and a fast line scanning mechanism. High-accuracy laser ranging is based on RIEGL’s unique echo dig-

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Unique features •  R IEGL VUX-1 is a lightweight and compact laser scanner and can be mounted on any orientation. •  Has an internal 360 GB SSD memory and provides real-time line scan data via the integrated LAN-TCP/IP interface. •  It provides high-speed data acquisition using a narrow infrared laser beam and a fast line scanning mechanism.

For a Congestion-free

driving experience


he influx of cars on Indian roads, improved road infrastructure and connectivity has enhanced the driving experience in the country. To further boost this experience, TomTom offers the VIA Series Portable Navigation Devices which are loaded with features specifically catering to the Indian driving culture. These portable navigation devices enable a user to seamlessly navigate across cities without having to worry about the cost. The TomTom VIA-125 is designed & localised for the Indian consumer, keeping in mind TomTom global standards. With the Landmark Navigation feature, drivers can search for the nearest landmark, whether a monument, park or an attraction in a simple way, and let their portable navigation device show them the route. The Map Share technology enables drivers to keep the TomTom map on their device up-to-date with immediate changes in their area. Dynamic road changes, such as changed speed limits, new street names, blocked roads and new traffic directions can be updated directly on the device. Drivers then have the choice to share those road changes with TomTom and the broader Map Share community. Furthermore, IQ Routing feature helps one to efficiently calculate routes. This innovative technology is based on actual average speed data, rather than permitted speed limits. Devices with IQ Routes plan a route by analysing all possible routes and then selecting the one that takes the least time

TomTom VIA-125 based on recent historical data. This results in a faster route, and saves money by significantly reducing travel time and fuel usage. This intelligent routing technology is based on historical speed data collected anonymously from millions of TomTom users worldwide who voluntarily provide us with speed-data from their journeys.

Special features •  Hands-free calling: Now you can make and answer phone calls safely while driving, making you in control and in touch. Access entire phone book and call log information. •  Landmark navigation: TomTom maps feature all the monuments, chowks, parks or attractions one needs to find. Wherever you need to be, search for the nearest landmark. •  Map of India: One can get more detailed points of interest. It provides coverage of more than 7300 cities and towns across India. •  Spoken street names: Helps one to get turn by turn directions with instructions in navigation in over 13 local Indian languages (apart from Indian English). •  Frequent destinations: You can choose icons for your most frequent destinations (up to 99) and add your own text. This makes your navigation experience truly your own with even easier and quicker navigation to the places you go most often.

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Tech for Tomorrow/ Hardware

Simple, One-Touch

layout for building infrastructure


or 2014, Topcon has many exciting new instruments and solutions ready to start bridging the gap between the infrastructure needs of tomorrow and the abilities of today. But there is one product that will have an immediate impact on virtually every job site, especially as the requirements for Building Information Modeling (BIM) increases. It’s the LN-100, the world’s first 3D positioning system designed specifically for construction layout. How it works:The LN-100, or Layout Navigator, introduces seamless integration and flow of project data from the design to the field by providing a one-person layout solution. The unit provides straightforward operation, removing the intimidation factor and reducing the learning curve in performing construction layout tasks. The simple design and ease of operation for the LN-100 strips away the complexity associated with advanced surveying instruments for layout tasks. The workflow is simplified with the seamless integration of the LN-100 with Topcon’s MAGNET suite of software solutions. MAGNET Field Layout and Office Layout are specifically designed and configured to meet the needs of

Unique features •  3D layout tool. •  One-person operation. •  Simple setup self-leveling. •  Wireless operation. •  Android smartphone or tablet field controller. •  Easy one-button setup.

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LN-100 construction layout and BIM applications. All that’s required to begin operation is to place the LN-100 anywhere on a project site – on a tripod, column or on the ground – and press one button. The unit self-levels and an operator just has to turn on the wireless controller and get to work. With the wireless controller, an operator can call up simple point layout or CAD drawings anywhere on a site.The LN-100 is the newest of Topcon’s BIM solutions, which include the GLS-2000 laser scanner, and IS-310 imaging robotic station. Best suited for: The system is ideal for construction layout tasks of all types. It utilises Topcon’s time-proven laser and robotic total station technologies to provide a highly productive system that combines design and layout operations. The Topcon family of office software and controller solutions integrates seamlessly with a wide range of Autodesk BIM software and services. The LN-100 provides a unique and productive system to begin to literally transfer the digital design into a finished product.

Integrated Camera System for rapid data collection


rimble’s V10 Imaging Rover is an integrated camera system that precisely captures 360 degree digital panoramic images for visual documentation and measurement. It enables professionals in a broad range of industries — including survey, GIS, engineering, and oil & gas — to quickly capture rich, complete data of their surrounding environment. Together with Trimble Access field software on the Trimble Tablet Rugged PC and Trimble Business Center office software, the Trimble V10 is the complete geospatial solution.

Unique features

•  12 calibrated cameras capture 60 MP panorama

for full site visualisation. •  Rapid data collection with one-button capture of panoramas. •  Familiar, easy-to-use workflows with Trimble Access field software. •  Seamless integration with the Trimble R10 GNSS receiver or Trimble VISION total stations.

Rapid data collection with push of a button The Trimble V10 featuring Trimble VISION technology allows one to capture a 60 MP panorama image with the simple push of a button. A total of 12 calibrated cameras — seven panorama and five downward-looking — provide complete site documentation that can be used to make photogrammetric measurements. This metric imaging functionality is ideal to perform work at sites where there are many features to collect, or where features are complex or difficult to capture. Field work that has traditionally taken hours for data collection can now be completed in just minutes. Capture everything now, measure later Avoid site rework and benefit from increased quality control and data validation by capturing data now and measuring later. From the field, the Trimble V10 Imaging Rover allows one to visually observe and capture the entire job site now and process in the office later. Back in the office, the enhanced photo point measurement functionality in Trimble Business Center can be used to measure and create points, lines, polygons and other imaging components which can be used to prepare rich deliverables for GIS, engineering and survey applications. This system allows for the use of existing familiar workflows to create both traditional and new deliverables for your clients. Seamless integration with GNSS, Total Stations The Trimble V10 seamlessly integrates with the Trimble R10 GNSS receiver and Trimble robotic total stations, such as the Trimble VX spatial station. One can easily associate their collected images with positions to generate a highly accurate geospatial dataset or capture GNSS and total station data. With the existing data capture workflow in Trimble Access, one can add 360-degree panoramas to their dataset as needed for a complete integrated geospatial surveying solution.

Trimble V10 Imaging Rover

Geospatial World January 2014 / 29

Tech for Tomorrow/ Software

Changing the Way

infra projects are designed

Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro


he McKinsey Global Institute estimates that an investment of $60 trillion in infrastructure is needed to maintain global GDP growth through 2030. This requirement is likely to be met with only $24 trillion in funding from the world’s leading economies. To close the gap in demand for infrastructure and available funding, a fundamentally new and better way to manage project complexity and drive down costs is urgently required. For this, Autodesk unveiled the Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro in August 2013. It offers the latest 3D modelling, visualisation and cloud-based collaboration technologies and enhances building information modelling (BIM) workflows by providing desktop software and cloud-based capabilities that enable multidiscipline infrastructure project stakeholders in geographically dispersed offices to publish, store, collaborate and manage large models centrally in the cloud via desktop or mobile devices. Best suited for: With its ability to import GIS data, satellite imagery and point clouds, Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro helps users to rapidly create proposals and 3D designs within the context of real site conditions. To augment a BIM workflow for transportation civil engineers using Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro, the company also launched Autodesk Roadway Design for InfraWorks 360 Pro late last year. It is designed to advance BIM for infrastructure workflows by helping design professionals working on road and highway projects more effectively explore preliminary design options and optimise project performance. A combination of Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro with Autodesk Roadway Design for InfraWorks 360 Pro helps make it possible for road and highway projects of nearly unlimited scale and complexity to be designed and engineered in the context of the existing environment. Using the

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data-rich model as the canvas in which to perform engineering task improves the design processes when working on small, medium and even the largest, city-scale projects. Users can reach a bigger audience, including technical and non-technical project stakeholders, to quickly and efficiently explore and communicate engineered design alternatives, all within a compelling 3D environment. Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro is available via a quarterly or annual rental plan, making it ideal for firms to test-drive or use it for short-term project needs. Unique features •  More efficiently build large infrastructure models from existing 2D CAD, 3D model, GIS, and raster data. A link for direct access to WeoGeo. com portal comes to acquire free or for-purchase data. •  Model infrastructure objects more accurately in the context of the existing environment with easy-to-use, industryspecific features. •  Create compelling simulations and visualisations that present design alternatives more accurately in the context of the existing environment. •  Exploit the data behind the visualisation to help demonstrate an unparalleled understanding of project needs. •  The power of the cloud can be used for computational intensive aspects of performance analysis and simulation for complex infrastructure projects.

An Intelligent

imaging tool


he entire Intelligence community requires the ability to rapidly add imagery into intelligence reporting and situational awareness products. BAE Systems’ Web-based ELT, GXP WebView provides a solution that can access, annotate, measure and disseminate the full range of GEOINT products. GXP WebView is a server application with a browser-based interface developed using HTML5 technology. It is a component of GXP Xplorer which empowers all-source analysts to view, annotate, and publish products on their own, without the need for assistance from a geospatial imagery specialist. Supporting the Microsoft Windows platform, it utilises the open, extensible and scalable GXP Xplorer architecture and can be virtualised across multiple machines and administered remotely. Satellite images today can easily approach file distribution limits. Downloading from a remote location could take hours or fail completely because of network interruptions. The GXP WebView Pixel Server leverages the capabilities of SOCET GXP, sharing the same underlying software components to stream data natively eliminating the need for full-product download or special software to start interacting with the pixels. SOCET GXP loads data in its native format, which supports nearly 30 imagery formats; commercial formats such as JPEG2000, GeoTiff, NITF satellite imagery, and specialised commercial formats like CosmoSkyMed and SPOT imaging. The GXP legacy in photogrammetry yields an unmatched level of expertise in the implementation and support for rigorous sensor models for both domestic and international platforms. GXP WebView also offers several methods for navigating and viewing imagery as well as image manipulation once launched from GXP Xplorer. Specific menu panels display based on the type of action to perform such as zoom, and tooltips appear on mouse hover with menu button functions. Traditionally, these actions are performed in a desktop application with dedicated processing power. However, with the GXP WebView Pixel Server and implementation of modern browser technology, these actions and other

exploitation functions are performed directly in a Web browser. Unique features •  It displays geospatially referenced imagery in a Web browser instantaneously, allowing for rapid visualisation, analysis, and report generation. •  It enables users to interact with full-resolution, geospatially referenced imagery within an intuitive and enterprise-accessible interface. •  Integrated with a catalogue, search, and discovery product such as GXP Xplorer, it provides capabilities to view, annotate, and publish products faster than order-based exploitation workflows. •  It integrates the technology of photogrammetric software development and supports commercial and national imagery formats.

GXP WebView

Geospatial World January 2014 / 31

Tech for Tomorrow/ Software

For In-Depth

point cloud processing

Global Mapper LiDAR Module


ver the past few years, the use of LiDAR data has taken center stage in the GIS software industry. Many software developers have stepped forward to provide high-end, overly expensive, yet incomplete solutions for GIS professionals who need to process this data into a deliverable format. Blue Marble Geographics’ Global Mapper LiDAR Module offers an inexpensive, powerful and easy-touse alternative. Originally developed in partnership with the United States Geological Survey, Global Mapper offers over 250 spatial data formats, geometry and attribute editing as well as advanced analysis and provides just the right level of GIS functionality to satisfy both GIS experts and mapping novices. With a starting price just over $400, it is a must-have for anyone who works with maps or spatial data. How it works: Global Mapper’s optional LiDAR Module significantly enhances the LiDAR processing capability of the software. Providing support for point clouds with over a billion points, it offers a wide range of filtering, visualisation, modelling, editing, and export functions. Unlike some other applications, Global Mapper does not automatically filter or thin out the data for faster rendering. It gives the user the ability to decide if and how they want to decimate the

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point cloud data. During the import process, the point cloud can be optionally thinned to remove erroneous points,for customising the resolution or geographic extent of the data. Filters can be applied to limit the display to specific point classifications or return types. After import, points can be manually reclassified to correct or update any errors or omissions in the collection operation. This procedure can be based on a manual selection process; a more systematic query or search; or on a cross-sectional profile view of the point cloud that can be used to easily isolate any elevated points that represent buildings or vegetation layers. Point cloud visualisation may be adjusted to reflect various aspects of LiDAR data including return intensity, elevation, classification and RGB values, if present. The tool even offers an option to automatically assign the RGB from an underlying imagery layer to each point individually. When rendered in the 3D window, this displays a visually realistic, rotatable model of buildings, trees, and any other extruded features. For most users of LiDAR data, point cloud manipulation is a means to an end with the ultimate goal being to generate a terrain or surface model. Global Mapper excels at this procedure and provides many options for customising the parameters of the resulting 3D raster layer. The software also offers the opportunity to perform a wide variety of 3D data creation and analysis functions such as contour generation, flood analysis, terrain flattening, and volume calculation.

Unique features •  Fully functional LiDAR analysis and processing available at less price. •  Incorporates a range of powerful terrain analysis functions. •  Free technical support. •  Supports all versions of LAS, LAZ and other compression formats.

A One-Stop Solution

for analytics, mobility & big data

Intergraph Geospatial 2014


usinesses require dynamic geospatial solutions for driving enhanced decision making. A key component of bringing this vision to life is fully integrating modern geospatial solutions that leverage the power of the cloud through mobility, analytics and big data management tools. As such, Intergraph Geospatial 2014 provides the most comprehensive portfolio of industry-leading technologies that support these new technology paradigms. How it works: Through new customised analytics capabilities, users can leverage highly intuitive spatial modelling for creating powerful data analysis. The enhanced spatial modeler allows users to work with point clouds and other specialised operators. In addition, users can exchange Esri file geodatabase data across users’ geospatial enterprises. Users can see, edit, validate and update their GIS from their mobile device in the field, in real time with Intergraph Mobile MapWorks. Intergraph Mobile Alert provides crowdsourced incident information to organisations such as governments and utilities. The ERDAS ECW/JP2 SDK now supports Android, iOS and WinCE devices, enabling third-party developers to use Intergraph’s data compression technology to solve mobile problems. Following are the product’s enhancements: •  IMAGINE Photogrammetry (formerly LPS): The functionality of LPS and its optional modules have been repackaged into three new ERDAS IMAGINE add-on modules: IMAGINE Photogrammetry, IMAGINE AutoDTM and IMAGINE Terrain Editor. This simplifies purchasing decisions — reducing choices from six to three products — while maintaining configuration flexibility.

• ImageStation: It enables digital photogrammetry workflows. New features include enhanced capabilities to exploit data stores, big data management and ribbonising the interfaces of the GeoMedia add-on products. • ERDAS IMAGINE: It helps organisations perform advanced remote sensing analysis and spatial modelling. Key new features are expanded sensor model and datum support, enhanced data display, improvements to the spatial modeler and new radiometric capabilities. • GeoMedia: This GIS management package enables users to realise the maximum value of their geospatial resources. New 2014 features include enhanced GeoMedia Smart Client and ERDAS APOLLO integration, EsriFGDB support, management of extensive data stores and ribbon customisation. • GeoMedia WebMap: This fully scalable server solution allows organisations to create high-performance web applications. Key new features are the ability to access and share Esri data across the geospatial enterprise and the in-depth exploration of data in 3D. • ERDAS APOLLO: This enables companies to catalogue, search, discover, process and disseminate massive volumes of data. New features are one catalogue for all data, enhanced cloud security, speed improvements to the OGC WMS, WMTS, ECWP and JPIP protocols, and the ability to create beautiful styles for imagery, point cloud and vector data. • Geospatial SDI: The interoperable and scalable spatial data infrastructure is designed for data providers. New enhancements include viewing data in 3D. • Geospatial Portal: Key new features are the discovery of ERDAS APOLLO vector and business data.

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Tech for Tomorrow/ Software

Achieving and Delivering

more through location awareness


here are a number of trends that impact our customers and partners. One of the most significant is that consumers through their utilisation of services from Google, Bing, Apple and others, have incorporated location services into many aspects of their everyday lives. This has greatly contributed to a trend referred to as the consumerisation of GIS, which because of its pervasiveness increasingly requires non-GIS experts to build and support location-based applications and services. Consider the ever growing sources of spatial data–for example, cellphones, tablets, laptops, location enabled devices, censor/trace data the amount of location-enabled data has grown exponentially in terms of volume, variety, and velocity, which requires more flexibility and higher performing technologies. These trends and others increase the value of technologies like Pitney Bowes Spectrum Spatial. At Pitney Bowes, we have focused our product roadmap to better enable us to address the growing needs of national and multinational organisations that must rapidly build and centrally manage location-based services to fulfill the growing needs of their customers, citizens, and employees. Spectrum Spatial is an enterprise location intelligence platform designed to provide organisations with a suite of broadly applicable location capabilities – spatial analysis, geoprocessing, routing, geocoding, and mapping.These capabilities can be combined with a wide range of Spectrum’s data management capa-

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Benefits •  Provide a well-defined set of location functionality proven to solve real business problems. •  Using open standards to ensure seamless integration within existing IT and amongst numerous applications. •  Enabling the rapid delivery of location capabilities to any application using standards-based web services. •  Delivering its capabilities on premise or a proportion of the functionality OnDemand or in a hybrid mode. bilities and our extensive data catalogue to solve a diverse variety of business problems. It provides organisations with a way to centrally manage and deliver a powerful array of the most frequently requested location services, and apply those services across departments and applications. Using standards-based or OGC certified web services technologies, Spectrum Spatial delivers precise and reusable functionality in a scalable, high-performance package that does not require GIS expertise. It enables organisations to deploy location services for Web or mobile applications to support business users and consumers. It supplies location services to multiple, disparate applications from a centrally managed platform and deploys one or more location-enriched applications across multiple geographies. It also integrates location capabilities across multiple departments or into multiple existing business applications.

Spectrum Spatial

Effective and Efficient

emergency response management capability through various communication methods. This service provides timely treatment to the patient at the incident site and ensures efficient data sharing to hospitals for necessary arrangement. Product components Rolta GeoCAD Desktop: It provides advanced call taking, dispatching and supervision capabilities for emergency response management.

Rolta GeoCAD


olta GeoCAD is an advanced CAD based public safety solution for police, fire, and other emergency response agencies to provide better emergency services. This solution provides seamless integration with GIS maps allowing emergency response agencies to record, locate and respond to distress calls from within a geospatially-enabled environment. This solution empowers responding agencies by providing mission critical information and situational awareness through an intuitive common operating picture. It leverages the strengths and capabilities of desktop, Web and mobile technologies to seamlessly integrate the command centre with the necessary response forces. It significantly improves quality and response time for emergency events. The solution has resulted in improved emergency recovery by analysing events in spatial environment. It has also enabled automated call taking and recording and supports automatic number identification and automatic location identification of the caller. The ‘Hot Call’ feature ensures effective handling of critical calls and reduces the response time. The solution is also available for emergency medical services (EMS). GeoCAD EMS is a command & control center application utilising automated vehicle location and CAD technologies with additional communications support to address the emergency and non-emergency requirements. It provides a real-time situation awareness picture on a geospatial platform with call taking

Rolta GeoCAD Web: It enables the users to view the complete event information and response vehicles in their current geographical position over the Web. It also provides dashboards and enhanced management reporting software suite. Rolta GeoCAD Mobile: This software is deployed on Mobile Data Terminals (MDTs) – handheld devices associated with the responding units and personnel. It provides access to detailed information regarding the assigned events to the responding units including shortest path computation. The responders can also update the control centre about the progress of the event as well as send live photographs from the event location thereby enabling better coordination between the responding units and control centre. Rolta GeoCAD Resource Manager: It allows the administrative features/ configuration of vehicles, operators, shift details, vehicle resources, vehicles equipment, event types, event priorities, modems etc.

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Tech for Tomorrow/ Services

Location-Aware Apps

for iPhone and Android


Geotrigger Service


ow, developers can easily create location-aware apps for iPhone and Android without compromising battery life with the help of Esri’s Geotrigger Service. The cloud-hosted geofencing platform sends push notifications to a remote server when a device enters or exits an area. Developers working on location-based apps can now receive real-time location tracking, geofencing, and messaging tools. At present only beta version of the service is available. The beta Geotrigger Service is available at no cost and feedback from developers will be used to shape the official release in 2014. The Geotrigger Service allows apps built on the Esri location platform to quickly gather business intelligence such as where people are and when the app is used. Developers can also design apps that send messages to users when they arrive at or leave areas defined by a geofence. How it works: An invisible area drawn on a map is set to have an action or message associated with it. When your mobile device crosses into the ‘trigger zone’ the Geotrigger Service sends a location-based message to that device, or even notifies your server for custom events. The Geotrigger Service runs in the cloud. That means one has to just add the Geotrigger SDK to their application, set up push notifications, and associate their client ID with the service. Finally, define their geofences,

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push notifications into the service, and begin testing their location-aware apps. The Geotrigger Service provides a new level of functionality to apps. The apps can now easily send messages to users when they arrive at or leave areas you define with a geofence. And, quickly gather business intelligence such as where people are and what time it is when the app is used. The service can send messages to devices or notify the server so that one can implement custom actions when triggers are fired. One can use the Geotrigger API to programmatically create a collection of triggers based on existing data sets, or allow users to create their own triggers.

Who can use Geotrigger? •  Retail & Loyalty: Engage customers with personalised content and deals the moment they enter a store. •  Real Estate: Send messages to prospective home buyers when their search criterion matches a home nearby. •  Energy Management: Use your location to automatically manage power consumption. •  Tourism: Bring public attractions to life by informing tourists of interesting locations as they explore your city. •  Public Alerts: Notify citizens about events such as road closures or civic emergencies based on past locations.

Transforming Marine

intelligence with exactAIS


he world’s water network is getting busier by the day. Knowing the exact location of ships travelling in water at any given time and where they are headed to is one of the most challenging questions to answer with certainty. This critical situational awareness — the who, where and when on the water — is what exactEarth’s exactAIS information provides. An information anchor for the marine environment, it receives and delivers near-real time global AIS messages to customers via a secure internet link, providing an unparalleled, global view of the recognised maritime picture at any given time, for any given area of ocean. To transform Satellite AIS data into an integral and actionable beacon of marine intelligence, exactEarth created exactAIS Geospatial Web Services (GWS), a customisable, on-demand data distribution model that allows users to easily access and integrate near-real time (NRT) ship information into existing OGC compliant geospatial platforms such as Esri and Google Earth. How it works: GWS synthesises and transforms text-based AIS messages into spatial-ready, ship-centric information. Functioning like a vessel information drive-through, users can access the GWS through their existing geospatial platform, choose specific datasets on offer, Unique features •  OGC-certified delivery of maritime vessel information, derived from the latest AIS messages. •  Ability to seamlessly integrate exactAIS with existing geospatial platforms with little to no time or effort. •  Provides the ability to create custom data views using filters. •  On-demand data, which means get what you want, when you want it, and only pay for what you get.

exactAIS such as the latest vessel information, historical track information, or ship density maps, and the service then delivers the files for immediate consumption. While Satellite AIS (S-AIS) data provides ship details like position, course and speed, GWS stands out in its ability to combine the near-real time, individual messages received for a vessel and automatically convert them into a geospatial, vessel-centric model of individual ship movements over time. Those visual and temporal tracks can then be viewed on a map or retrieved on demand. With GWS, the maritime picture becomes even brighter as it allows customers to access data ‘on-demand’, enabling them to pull out the information they want, when they want it. GWS give users the chance to experience exactAIS data on their own terms — they pilot the vessel data and eliminate the need to understand or deal with the complexities of S-AIS messages because they transform them into easy-to-digest, vessel-centric data. Customers need only their own geospatial platform to access and retrieve data through the GWS — exactEarth hosts the data on its own dedicated server.

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Tech for Tomorrow/ Services

For Global Maritime

domain awareness

MDA BlueHawk


ith water covering about 70% of the planet, maritime domain awareness is one of the most important activities undertaken by national and international agencies. Traditionally, maritime security agencies relied on surveillance aircraft, ships following patrol patterns and coastal radar to search for suspicious vessels and activities. Oflate a myriad of additional data is available, creating additional big data challenges. Maritime environment is vast and complex, and with the massive amount of legal maritime traffic finding a threat is very difficult. To help address these challenges, MDA has developed MDA BlueHawk, a multi-sensor, unclassified maritime domain awareness and threat detection solution that provides navies, coast guards, customs, law enforcement, and fisheries with immediate access to broad-area maritime surveillance across their Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and global areas of interest. Fusing space-based radar, automatic identification system (AIS)data, vessel registries, and other maritime information, MDA BlueHawk delivers the information and tools to help customers detect potential threats. It provides for the detection of non-reporting ‘dark’ vessels, validation of reporting vessels, and identification of oil slicks, weather, and other events. It provides ocean and coastal coverage through the fusion of data from multi-sensor, space-based satellite synthetic aperture radar (SAR), satellite and terrestrial AIS, vessel registry data and other contextual data.

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Benefits: It offers national and international maritime agencies an efficient, cost-effective way to improve overall maritime domain awareness. It better utilises existing assets with queued dispatch, leverages all-weather broad-area maritime surveillance, identifies potential threats close or far from the shore and allows one to share information with other team members, agencies, or governments. It can be delivered as an online hosted solution, a customer-managed implementation or a data feed into an existing end-user system. Through MDA BlueHawkOnline, MDA is supporting a national Navy with their maritime domain awareness activities. In one case, the Area of Interest for the programme was initially confined to an area of 1 million km2 over the Pacific Ocean, and then was expanded to cover the country’s entire EEZ. The customer is exploring a second phase of the programme, and is looking to develop a business case to acquire a maritime-optimised RADARSAT-2 ground station to improve the timeliness of their response.

Unique features •  Unclassified maritime domain awareness Web portal. •  Detection of non-reporting ‘dark’ vessels, including observed vessel size and heading. •  Identification of self-reporting vessels with verification by satellite radar. •  Coastal and open water coverage (coastal and satellite sensors). •  Automatically generated alerts based on suspicious behaviour. •  Historical and predicted vessel tracks. •  Vessel registry data (e.g. IHS Fairplay). •  Oil slick detection. •  Maritime weather information. •  Available as an online service, system, or direct datafeed into customer systems.

Enjoy a Smooth Ride

with real-time updates


ocation-based services are becoming integral for travellers today. People from Web enterprises as well as the car and mobile industry are constantly developing complementary location-based services and other offerings to make the journey smooth. Nokia is helping people not only to effectively navigate their worlds, but also to discover new adventures along the way with the help of its set of location-based apps like HERE Maps, HERE Drive+, HERE Transit, HERE Traffic, HERE Venue Maps etc. Smoother navigation While planning a journey, it’s always a good idea to check the traffic and road conditions. HERE not only shows the route, it can also highlight any traffic, planned road closures or incident problems. The real-time traffic updates delivers detailed information about traffic speeds on motorways, main and secondary roads to enable more accurate estimated arrival times. HERE’s real-time traffic service is available free of cost to any smartphone that has Symbian and Microsoft’s Windows OS. Users just need to pay the data services charges to telecom service providers. A new update for the HERE Drive+ navigation suite was introduced recently. It adds real-time traffic information, a route overview list with turn-by-turn directions and more. The


Unique features •  Traffic Patterns: Provides average speeds by time of day and day of week. •  Real-Time Traffic: Provides real-time speeds for traffic enabled roads.

new version of Drive+ brings lots of new traffic features. One can get real-time traffic info, which provides very precise arrival times. One can also check the entire traffic overview on a map. Another new feature is the list of turn-byturn directions for a particular route. This way, one can explore the route they are about to take and get familiar with it. HERE products provide more than just a map: they help one in driving from point A to point B. It gives the driver a new generation of location products to help them make sense of the world around them. Driver safety is also a big concern in today’s world. By delivering the correct and freshest map at the right time, HERE traffic minimises distractions. HERE has distinguished itself as the clear leader in this space; it powers four out of five cars with in-dash location content that can be extended to include dynamic services such as weather, traffic and local search. Easing traffic globally Globally, HERE traffic covers 34 countries with real time traffic and 71 countries with Traffic Patterns. It covers top 30 cities in India, out of which there is 100% coverage in top 5 cities. Additionally, it has an All-India Highway coverage. These patterns are built using billions of probe points collected over last few years, which are updated twice a year.

Geospatial World January 2014 / 39

Tech for Tomorrow/ Services

The World’s First

location-aware iPaaS


loud computing is said to be the way of the future. With the beta release of the world’s only location-aware iPaaS (integration Platform as a Service), FME Cloud, organisations can now leverage the cloud for application integration. GIS, IT, data and business analysts alike will appreciate FME Cloud’s application connections for integrating information from 300-plus systems, including cloud data, Web services, SaaS, on-premise systems, databases, social, mobile and spatial data. Regardless of where information is created, managed, or stored, it can be made available to those who need it, using FME Cloud.

Best suited for: FME Cloud ensures organisations leverage the power of location alongside their existing data. It provides intelligence to decision makers based on solid business logic that answers the question ‘where’. It enables users to perform location-based analytics, create location outputs for use in other applications, or combine location information with other data and Web services. As an integration platform, FME Cloud moves data where it is needed so that answers can be discovered in the systems that make sense for each end user. The results can also be moved to and displayed in any mapping tool or service, presenting the facts to decision makers in a way that’s easy to read and understand. FME Cloud users do not rely on developers to transform infor-

FME Cloud

40 / Geospatial World January 2014

Unique features •  FME Cloud ensures that organisations can leverage the power of location alongside their existing data. •  It enables users to perform location-based analytics, create location outputs for use in other applications, or combine location information with other data and Web services. •  FME Cloud offers pay-as-you-go option and scalability.

mation. They control everything themselves using FME’s simple, graphical user interface. Tools for integration, scheduling, automation, and notifications provide true set-it-and-forget-it peace of mind. It does not just move information from point A to point B but enables users to control how the information is moved between systems, adding value along the way. FME Cloud provides its integration technology in a cutting-edge deployment model — iPaaS (integration Platform as a Service). By providing FME technology through a cloud service, organisations can start their operations in less than 10 minutes, with no hardware or server infrastructure to buy and manage, or external departments to coordinate with. Based on Amazon Web Services (AWS), FME Cloud provides infrastructure that businesses can rely on with automated backups, high availability, dedicated tenancy, and enterprise-ready security. A true cloud solution, FME Cloud offers pay-as-you-go option and scalability to ensure that organisations can access the capacity they need, when they need it, making everything from the smallest prototype to the largest enterprise project cost-efficient.

Tech for Tomorrow/ Data

Global Coverage

of unprecedented quality


he WorldDEM is a global elevation dataset of unprecedented quality, accuracy, and coverage and will be launched this year for the Earth’s entire land surface - pole to pole. The accuracy of the WorldDEM — provided by Astrium Services — will surpass that of any satellite-based global elevation model available today. The worldwide homogeneous acquisition guarantees a global DEM with no break lines at regional or national borders and no heterogeneities caused by differing measurement procedures or data collection campaigns staggered in time. The high-resolution radar satellites TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X started the synchronous data acquisition in December 2010 and completed the first coverage of the Earth’s entire landmass within 13 months. Following the first part of the acquisition campaign, the two satellites are continuing with the second coverage, which again requires approximately one year for completion. More complex terrain areas are covered with a third and fourth acquisition campaign to ensure the quality and accuracy of the final product. Astrium Services will refine the raw DEM in additional processing steps according to customer requirements, e.g. editing of water surfaces. In case of additional customer requests, individual solutions can be designed by the company, tailored to the respective application. Best suited for: It is suitable for customers from both private and public industries. Applications are manifold, ranging from improved base data for orthorectification processes and national mapping, through a more targeted preparation of

WorldDEM defence and security related missions all the way to improved management of oil and gas fields, aviation and infrastructure applications. Initially three core WorldDEM products will be available: DSM Basic: The basic Digital Surface Model includes the heights of all natural and man-made objects. It is an ideal elevation foundation for supporting a wide range of geospatial applications and services. DSM Hydro: This hydro-enforced Digital Surface Model includes water body features derived from radar imagery. It provides a solution for a broad range of applications, like water body identification and flood modelling. DTM: The Digital Terrain Model represents bare earth elevation with all vegetation and man-made objects removed. It provides detailed terrain information for even the most remote and difficult areas.

Unique features •  Vertical accuracy of 2m (relative)/10m (absolute). •  12m x 12m raster. •  Global homogeneity. •  High geometric precision of the sensors make ground control information redundant.

Geospatial World January 2014 / 41

Tech for Tomorrow/Apps

Increasing Productivity

via mobile apps


hen working in the field, it is important that personnel are able to view and analyse the most current infrastructure data. Bentley’s mobile apps bring that information to field crews’ fingertips, whether they leverage that data in construction, maintenance, surveying, inspection, or emergency response processes. Bentley Map Mobile: First released in July 2013, it enables publishing of Bentley Map models on tablets. It increases information mobility between departments working from the office and in the field. It also empowers nonGIS specialists, such as installation and maintenance, construction and engineering field technicians, and field inspectors, to have continuous access to the up-to-date geospatial information. While the first release supported Android-based tablets, Bentley is about to release a new version which will have iOS support. A new and improved version of this mobile app will also be released during the first half of 2014, including the ability for field personnel to mark up the infrastructure information in the field. Navigator Mobile: Released in March 2013, it enables workers in the field to navigate 3D architecture, engineering and construction models using i-models, as well as to view relevant object information to identify and resolve conflicts. In 2014, the app will have markup functionality, so that closed-loop mark up workflows from the field are synchronised back to the data source and available for immediate action. Already available for iOS-based devices, it will also offer Android support.

42 / Geospatial World January 2014

InspecTech Collector Mobile: Introduced in March 2013, it works with Bentley’s InspectTech softwareas-a-service offering. The latter helps asset owners streamline the process of planning inspections, collecting and managing inspection data, and complying with government reporting requirements — reducing inspection times by up to 25%. It empowers inspectors of transportation and infrastructure assets — from bridges and culverts to signs, light poles, antenna towers, stormwater networks, and more — to quickly and effectively collect a range of inspection information, including photos and audio, in the field on their iPads. Field Supervisor: It extends the reach of information securely managed by Bentley’s ProjectWise and eB, as well as data stored in other user repositories, including SharePoint, to construction workers in the field — providing both online and offline access. The app

uniquely provides true federated data access, and a software development kit allows users to connect to other data sources such as Documentum, Oracle, SAP, Dropbox, Aconex,, SkyDrive, Google Drive, and FileNet.New and upcoming capabilities include a geospatial interface providing a one-click option to access project information. Unique features •  Provides accurate and up-todate asset information which enables field workers to make better decisions. •  Increases worker safety by providing information on adjacent utilities that might have an impact on the work they are completing. •  Increases the return on investment by making this valuable data available to an entirely new group of users.

Bentley Mobile Apps


How do the BRICS rank on a global scale

Regulation is a reality businesses face every day. According to the Doing Business 2014 report by the World Bank, the global average of starting a business takes 7 procedures, 25 days and costs 32% of income per capita in fees. However, this is not as rosy as it should be for the BRICS economies. This data is equally critical for the geospatial industry.


Where do BRICS stand in the Doing Business Rankings

116 Brazil

Starting a business in Brazil needs 13 procedures to be followed and takes up to three and half months to complete the process.

2 Change in rank from 2013

City covered: Sao Paulo

BRICS countries share of global GDP


DB* Rank 2014

Procedures to be followed

Time taken (days)

Construction permits




Getting electricity




Registering property





BRICS share of world population

*Doing Business

92 Russia

Russia ranks 3rd in the list of top 10 economies improving across three or more areas, especially in starting a business, dealing with construction permits and getting electricity. City covered: Moscow


DB Rank 2014

Procedures to be followed

19 30% Change in rank from 2013

BRICS share in global land area

Time taken (days)

Construction permits




Getting electricity




Registering property




Geospatial World January 2014 / 45

Doing Business in BRICS


DB Rank 2014

Construction permits







Registering property





DB Rank 2014

China has introduced some reforms but still finds challenges in areas such as turnaround time for construction permits & power connections.

Time taken (days)

Construction permits




Getting electricity




Registering property




41 South

South Africa is way ahead of its BRICS contemporaries. However, the greatest challenge for the businesses here remains electricity.

Africa Requirement

DB Rank 2014

City covered: Johannesburg

Procedures to be followed


Change in rank from 2013

Time taken (days)

Construction permits




Getting electricity




Registering property




46 / Geospatial World January 2014

3 Change in rank from 2013

City covered: Shanghai Procedures to be followed

BRICS nations offer promising markets for geospatial industry with governments investing heavily in development projects. While data secrecy and sharing remain a challenge, the BRICS have realised the value of geospatial data and technology, and ongoing changes in laws and policies are opening up new avenues.

Time taken (days)

Getting electricity

96 China

-3 Change in rank from 2013

City covered: Mumbai

Procedures to be followed

Geospatial industry in BRICS

Source: World Bank/IFC Doing Buisness

134 India

India is one of those countries where there are differences in regulations or in the implementation of national laws across locations.

Doing Business in BRICS RUSSIA

BRAZIL Geospatial technologies encompass all fields of economic activities in Brazil, and are the key in the promotion of sustainable development. However, the industry focuses only on the public sector, and there is limited services provided to the private industry. Data availability: All satellite images received by INPE are freely available on the Web. From 2004 to 2009, over 1 million images were distributed by INPE. Industry organisation: Brazil has launched Institute of Brazilian Companies on Geomatics and Geospatial Solutions, a non-profit organisation promoting the development of geospatial sector in the country.

Russia is seen as a potential market with the use of geospatial data and technologies taking off in various industries. GNSS/ GLONASS: Russia is the one of the major spender in GNSS space. It wants to build a network of GPS ground stations in the US to improve the accuracy of its GLONASS system and also expand in Asia. It will also be used extensively in the future to control spacecraft, satellite tracking and fix satellite glitches. Policy challenges: Russia is planning to reduce secrecy of geographic data. A new law in the field of remote sensing is also in the works.

CHINA GIS market is growing aggressively in China and touched $42 billion by 2013 end. The total annual output is likely to reach $81 billion by 2015 and $163 billion by 2020. While China’s GIS industry involves more than 23,000 organisations and 400,000 employees, it has no impact globally. However, it remains a strong customer for global geospatial majors. Even for companies like Hexagon, China contributes to 14% of the net sales. Geographic census: China is set to launch its first national census of geographic conditions between 2013 and 2015, which will collect information on land, vegetation, waters, deserts, and bare areas, as well as transport grids, residential areas etc. Satellite imagery: China used to import over 90% of its remote-sensing data but is now moving towards self sufficiency. It plans to build a remote sensing mapping satellite system in the next 10 to 15 years. Boost for 3D: From 3D smart cities to 3D cadastres, there is extensive work going on in this area. BIM has been now mandated as China continues to work towards smart cities. GNSS: China’s satellite navigation and location service industries is likely to exceed $36.6 billion in 2015. Beidou will cover the entire globe by 2020.

INDIA With huge infrastructure projects in the pipeline, India offers a huge opportunity to the geospatial community. Ambiguous policies: Ambiguous policies are the main hindrance in India. For instance, it is restricted to import a GPS device with Bluetooth, WiFi and smartphone functions but importing a smartphone with a GPS, Bluetooth and WiFi is allowed. The import duty on GPS and GNSS (including TotalStations) is 27%. Satellite imagery highly restricted: Anyone can download a sub-metre resolution satellite image on his computer but a company needs approval from the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) for processing 1m resolution satellite image. Time taking processes: Processes in government offices take long. For instance, it is very difficult to get a licence for using GPS/GNSS receivers with UHF radio. project implementation is affected by poor conceptualisation, and slow take-offs and deliveries.

SOUTH AFRICA A progressive country technologically, areas driving use of geospatial technology are local government bodies, mining, water resources, environment and infrastructure projects. The Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Bill introduced in 2013 makes municipalities the prime regulators in land-use planning. Satellite Imagery: There is on-demand request for sub-metre resolution imagery. For government and other public entities in South Africa, SANSA is allowed to distribute the SPOT 5 data for free. Challenges: There are currently no standards for addresses in South Africa and there are a number of variations and inconsistencies when address details are involved. The geospatial market is dominated by few product companies. There is shortage of skilled manpower especially in application of geospatial technology. Financial crisis is placing a toll on implementing newer technologies; eg, UAVs have been put on the backburner. Geospatial World January 2014 / 47

Geospatial Infrastructure

A framework for next-gen BRICS Home to some of the oldest civilisations of the world, the BRICS nations were early adopters of technology as well. Post World War-II, BRICS have been building their geospatial infrastructure progressively — be it space based earth observation satellites, navigation systems or augmenting national mapping capabilities. Towards the end of 20th century and early 21st century, these emerging nations have stepped up their geospatial investments by launching path-breaking initiatives and creating forward looking policies to take their economies to the next level. Here’s a peek into the geospatial infrastructure of BRICS nations.




Earth Observation Satellite


Spatial Resolution (m)





PAN doublet
















Spatial Resolution (m)











CCD/Infrared multispectral




Spatial Resolution (m)





With German Collaboration. Scheduled to be launched in 2015


Indigenous EO satellite. Scheduled to be launched in 2014




Spatial Resolution (m)







Resurs-DK No.1



Resurs-P No.1 World January PAN/Multispectral 48 / Geospatial 2014


Satellite Based Augmentation System

India is developing GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) Objectives: To provide satellite-based navigation services with accuracy and integrity required for civilian and aviation applications over Indian Air Space; better air traffic management over Indian Airspace, APV 1 capability over the entire Indian land mass; RNP 0.1 capability over the entire Indian FIR.

Doing Business in BRICS

Satellite Navigation Satellite



Expected positional accuracy

Total satellites/ functional satellites in orbit

Expected year of operationalisation/ completion




~2.5 m





Regional (up to 1,500km)











No indigenous system. Brazil hosts first overseas GLONASS ground station for differential correction & monitoring

South Africa


No indigenous system.


System: Everest Ellipsoid Organisation: Survey of India Coverage: Regional Description: Named after Sir George Everest, the system was derived in 1830 and since then it has been used as basis for all types of control surveys. It is inconsistent and inadequate for present needs. Accuracy of the network is only of the 1st order or less

System: National Reference Systems of the Russian Federation (PZ-90.11) Organisation: Ministry of Defence of Russian Federation Coverage: Global (consistent with ITRF) Description: Established in 2012, PZ-90.11 is an improvised version of earlier systems â&#x20AC;&#x201C; PZ-90.02 and PZ-90. It provides a relative positional accuracy of 0.05m and angular accuracy of 0.001 angular seconds.

Geodetic Reference Systems

China System: China Geodetic Coordinate System 2000 (CGCS 2000) Organisation: National Bureau of Surveying and Geo-information (NASG) Coverage: Global (consistent with ITRF) Description: China Geodetic Coordinate System 2000 (CGCS 2000) is an earth-centered, earth-fixed terrestrial reference system and geodetic datum. CGCS 2000 is the standard Chinese geodetic reference system for geospatia information and BeiDou/COMPASS. The reference frame of CGCS 2000 is CTRF 2000, which is maintained by 28 CORS stations and more than 2,500 GPS stations.

South Africa System: Trignet Organisation: Chief Directorate: Surveys and Mapping (CDSM) of the Department of Land Affairs (DRDLR) Coverage: Regional Description: TrigNet is a network of permanent continuously operating GNSS base stations distributed throughout South Africa at approximately 100km to 300km spacing. All stations record 1 second epoch data on both GPS frequencies (L1 and L2) via geodetic standard choke ring antennas. TrigNet provides DGPS coverage over the entire country; RTK positioning in much of the country; and an RTK network in two principal urban areas based on NTRIP for the delivery of data.


System: SIRGAS:2000 Organisation:Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) Coverage: Americas (consistent with ITRF) Description: The Geocentric Reference System for the Americas (SIRGAS) is the new geodetic reference system for the Brazilian Geodetic System (GBS) and the activities of the Brazilian Cartography. Brazil hosts 21 of the 200 SIRGAS continuously operating network stations. Through a resolution, Brazil facilitated a transitional period not exceeding ten years, where SIRGAS2000 can be used in parallel with SAD 69 for the Brazilian Geodetic System (SGB) and the SAD 69 and Stream Alegre for the National Cartographic System (SCN). Geospatial World January 2014 / 49

National Mapping & SDI Russia

• The Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography, Rostreestr, was established in 2009 as a result of reorganisation and merging of the Federal Registration Service, the Federal Agency for Real Estate Cadastre and the Federal Agency for Cartography. • Currently, Rostreestr makes maps available at 1:100,000 and 1:50,000 for the whole country. Large scale maps are available at 1:10,000 scale for 400 towns. It carries out resurvey and produces digital maps once in three years. • The geoportal hosts more than 500,000 open-for-all maps. Rostreestr is currently undertaking the country-wide cadastral mapping project, bringing together all the 5000 different databases containing spatial data and semantic data, developing new systems for the entire Russian Federation, and centralising business processes. Russian Spatial Data Infrastructure • Russia has big plans for NSDI development. The government will adopt a new law this year to establish a framework and guidelines for the establishment of NSDI. • The NSDI geoportal is ready with the base layer by the Federal Service and other layers including transportation, land use, land resources, regional development etc by local and regional governments. Ahead of the formulation of NSDI, government organisations have already started using the data and creating applications with the same.


The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) is responsible for statistical, geographic, cartographic, geodetic and environmental information. It undertakes various national censuses including population census and agricultural census every 10 years. IBGE provides a series of general, continuous, homogeneous and connected maps in the standard scales of 1:1,000,000, 1:250,000, 1:100,000, 1:50,000 and 1:25,000. IBGE’s cartographic products include index map; cartographic bases at several scales; cartographic planning and preparation for printing of various maps. It provides several thematic maps including land use maps, geology, geomorphology, pedology, vegetation, hydrogeological and hydrochemical maps, all released in a supporting cartographic base for the whole country at a level of detail compatible with 1:250,000 scale. Brazilian Spatial Data Infrastructure (INDE) • Legally established by presidential decree in November 27, 2008; launched in April 2010. • Implemented under the supervision of CONCAR, the Brazilian National Committee of Cartography. IBGE is the execution institution. • The SIG Brasil geoportal provides access to geospatial data, metadata and services • 110 members, representing 26 organisations in Brazil; 22-federal, 3-state secretariats, 1-university. • Data is free to any registered user. 50 / Geospatial World January 2014

Doing Business in BRICS China

The National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation (NASG) is the central authority responsible for surveying, mapping and geoinformation in China. NASG has completed 1:4,000,000 topographic database; 1:1,000,000 topographic database and DEM database; 1:250,000 topographic database, DEM database and geographic name database; 1:10,000 DEM database and ortho-image database of 7 major river valleys; 1:50,000 digital raster graphic database, DEM database, geographic name database, land cover database and TM satellite image database. Each province is establishing 1:10,000 topographic database, DEM database, ortho-image database, digital raster graphic database. By the end of 2011, 1:50,000 topographic maps have covered the entire land territory of China and 80% have been updated. China National Spatial Data Infrastructure • National Geospatial Information Coordinating Council coordinates NSDI development and coordinates with the 21 ministerial departments. • The National Fundamental Geographic Information System stores and manages basic geographic data at multiple scales and themes. • Geospatial framework for digital city projects is part of NSDI and so far it has been implemented in more than 270 prefecture-level cities and more than 40 county-level cities. • Map World ( is the public geoinformation service platform. Over 1000 public or commercial applications have been developed on the basis of the Map World website.


South Africa

The National Geospatial Information (NGI) is mandated to regulate all land survey activities, provide the necessary control infrastructure and to maintain the SDI. It is mandated to provide data at 1:50,000 scale or equivalent for all topographical information, elevation data, hydrography, transportation, urban centres, etc. NGI is responsible for aerial photography and since 2008, NGI is using digital cameras for flying one third of the country every year, with a three-year refresh cycle. NGI has been producing orthophoto maps at 1:10,000 scale. As user requirement for orthophoto maps has been replaced by orthimagery, all aerial photos are now rectified to orthoimagery.

Established in 1767, Survey of India (SoI) is the oldest scientific establishment of the Government of India. It is responsible for all topographic control, surveys and mapping in India. SoI makes maps available at 1:250,000; 1:50,000 and 1:25,000 scales. Currently, Survey of India is working on producing maps at 1:10,000 scale for the whole country. It is spearheading the ambitious $0.7-bn National GIS project, which envisages a GIS-based decision support system on a well-founded GIS-ready data that is maintained and seamlessly available for the whole nation. National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) • Idea mooted in 2000, NSDI strategy adopted in 2001. • 17 nodal agencies, who are major contributors, are affiliated to NSDI. • India geoportal launched in December 2008. With this launch, NSDI has become the first government agency to host OGC compliant metadata on the Web. • NSDI also guiding the development of SDIs in various states.

South African Spatial Data Infrastructure • NSDI came into being with the Spatial Data Infrastructure Act 2003. • SDI Act provides for data sharing, data discovery, avoiding duplication of data collection, reporting of quality issues, safeguarding of geospatial information, data custodians (with responsibilities) • Currently, detail policies being formulated. • Developing strategy and strategic objectives in lieu of a NSDI national policy framework. • Geoportal hosts electronic metadata catalogue. Revised geoportal to be operational early 2014 Geospatial World January 2014 / 51

Breaking New Grounds Land and growth are interrelated. Land is the key asset in a country and is pivotal to all its developmental plans. A good land administration system aims at equitable distribution of wealth and sustainable growth. So how do the BRICS countries stack up in this?





South Africa

GDP (in $ bn)






GDP growth (2012]






Population (mn)











Population density

Area (sq km)

8,511,965 17,075,200 3,287,590 9,596,960 1,219,912

Arable Land











Cropped area per person (ha)

Grounded with Growth While the BRICS have awakened to the need for effective land management to further development, the push for evolving, changing, and modernising has to move from top-down in a clear, systematic and strong fashion; else chances of delays and failures are high. By Prof Arup Dasgupta, Managing Editor 52 / Geospatial World January 2014

BRICS: The Breakout Nations / Land


and is a limited resource on which there are huge demands. Burgeoning populations require more food and more area for habitation and infrastructure. This conflict has different dimensions in different BRICS nations. In India, more than half the land is under cultivation while in the other countries, it varies from 16% in China to a low 7.2% in Russia. Yet, a simple calculation shows that Russia has the highest acreage under cultivation per person and India and China the lowest. What do these numbers indicate and what impact do these statistics have on the land management in each of these countries?

Brazil: Towards an Integrated System Brazil’s problem is in urban planning and management. Between 1900 and 2010, its population jumped from 3 million to 181 million but its urban population percentage jumped from 6% to 84%. These settlements are informal like slums, former slums, informal subdivisions, housing projects and combinations of the above and a large percentage are on federal lands. The families living here do not have their land rights formally registered with the notary publics. The federal government is addressing the consolidation of these settlements and the regularisation of the land rights of their inhabitants. In Brazil, land administration is based on the land registry, which includes legal information and the cadastres. The rural cadastre is federally administered, while the municipalities structure and administer the cadastres of urban areas. The urban cadastres are

not standardised though a 1980s model recommends modernisation of municipal administration. In 2009, the Portaria n.511 of the Ministry of Cities was published, establishing guidelines for the creation, institution and update of the multipurpose cadastre in Brazilian municipalities. The multipurpose cadastre is based on the surveys of the boundaries of each parcel, which is given a unique numerical ID. The Portaria 511/2009 deals with questions such as land unit to be registered, cadastral mapping, multipurpose use of the cadastre, management and financing of the cadastre, and land evaluation; and includes the legal framework in which these guidelines are supported. Brazil has enacted laws for addressing the illegal occupation of federal lands. The law states that the description of the parcel in the registry should be represented by its characteristics, location and denomination, if rural, and by a number if urban. Rural parcels are described through the coordinates of its boundaries referred to the Brazilian Geodetic System. Apart from georeferencing of rural parcels, the law deals with the exchange for information with the land registry, essential in environmental and regularisation actions, and the creation of the National Cadastre of Rural Properties (Cadastro Nacional de Imóveis Rurais – CNIR), a singular cadastre of information about rural parcels in the country, which includes sharing of information with other cadastres: environmental, indigenous lands and public federal lands —each with its own base of descriptive and graphic information. The rural cadastre is a federal responsibility, administered by the INCRA (National Institute of Agrarian

Colonization and Reform). “One of our biggest challenges is the size of Brazil,” says Carlos Guedes, President, INCRA. Besides, Brazil has at least five completely different biomes, and each regional reality and environment must be properly observed, he adds. Brazil is planning to expand the mapping information of its textual records, but also integrate land registry information with others such as environmental records. Brazil recently approved a new Forestry General Law which is expected to create a rural environmental registry. These two will be connected with the real estate registry, which will be done under the supervision of the judiciary. The real challenge then is to integrate these three different cadastres with the taxation department. Brazil seeks to automate the entire land certification process. The first step in this direction was the developm e n t of a land management system, which will host the

All BRICS countries are spread over large areas; hence administering land is a challenge. They have baggage of legacy issues and hence a resistance to change. Corruption in land dealings are also common here.

Geospatial World January 2014 / 53

INCRA shows the way The National Institute of Agrarian Colonization and Reform (INCRA) in Brazil has a long-standing partnership with the Brazilian Army, which has helped in land certification. The certification process is a basic requirement for any owner to make any kind of movement in the dominion of property registries and INCRA can greatly speed up this service through partnership with the Brazilian Army. INCRA is beginning to forge partnerships with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, which has developed a management platform that works with agricultural elements such as bovine traceability and animal quality conditions, and this is being connected with land information. Further, it will be possible to join the elements of agricultural management platform with the issue of land ownership information. Also, partnership with the Ministry of Environment will help in the development of the Rural Environmental Registry. The idea is to give environmental regulation work access to INCRAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s National Rural Registration so that the procedure is simplified and brings quality information to environment agencies. INCRA is strictly following the guidelines of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (INDE) developed by the Brazilian government to speed up the integration effort of base information. INCRA website gives access to all the legally valid properties in Brazil.

survey measurements online. Already the INCRA webpage gives access to all the legally valid properties. Next, there will be more innovations as which will also allow provision of services to farmers, generate knowledge about the Brazilian agrarian sector, and ultimately direct public policies. In Brazil, the Ministry of Agrarian Development is responsible for rural land planning, and the Ministry of Cities for urban land planning. The goal is to integrate these two efforts. Bra-

zil has evolved from a perspective in which the municipal master plans and the zoning of all projects have been incorporating different dimensions of development â&#x20AC;&#x201D; social, economic, environmental â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and these cadastres will help in improving the implementation of public policies. By combining the rural and urban outlook, INCRA hopes to offer an integrated foundation to municipalities and states that can then be a one-stop address for these different dimensions.

How BRICS Fare in Legal & Political Environment Score














South Africa



Source: International Property Rights Index 2013

54 / Geospatial World January 2014

(Of 131 countries surveyed)

Russia: On the Fast Track In Russia, the Federal Service was established in 2009 as a result of the reorganisation in late 2008. The Federal Registration Service, the Federal Agency for Real Estate Cadastre and the Federal Agency for Cartography formed a single agency -- the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography, Rostreestr. It was the greatest merger in the government sector in Russia with respect to data, organisational processes, and human resources processes involving 100,000 employees which now work as a single organisation with approximately 6,000 offices working on a single database. Russia undertook a major project to bring together all the 5,000 different databases containing spatial data and semantic data, develop new systems for the entire Russian Federation, and centralise business processes. Now there are 83 centralised unique business processes for all the regions of the

BRICS: The Breakout Nations / Land decreased the cost and time of transactions. Secondly, increase in staff productivity has contributed to an increased number of transactions. In days to come, transactions are expected to be much easier. For example, mortgages can be done electronically in just one day.

India: Locked in Legacy Land-related challenges have dealt a major blow to the Indiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s growth story in the recent years, exposing its unpreparedness in developing efficient land management system. Land and its management is a state subject under the Indian Constitution; so all states are responsible for their own mapping. At present, multiple agencies are involved with the management of land. While the revenue department maintains the land records; registration department is involved in the sale purchase of property; gram (village) panchayats are responsible for mutations; consolidation department consolidates and redistributes land holdings; municipal committees, municipal panchayats, maintain land records of towns and cities; and the survey and settlements department conducts land surveys. In India cadastral mapping is done between the scales of 1:1500-1:2000, depending on each stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s requirement. Some states like Maharashtra have also done mapping at 1:500 scale. Cadastral maps show the boundaries of the parcel and coordinates of the corners. Depending on the agency, features like vegetation and soil type are updated on these maps. The main agenda of the National Land Records Modernisation Programme (NLRMP) is to resurvey and digitise the cadastral maps of the entire country, so that a GIS can be created with the data. Different states are at different level of progress in this aspect. NLRMP has recommended three technologies for the resurvey -- high resolution satellite imagery with ground truth using advanced total sta-

Taking the PPP Route There is a new law for NSDI in Russia which will make a PPP network necessary. Every network needs to be registered with the government, so that a virtual network could be built. It is modelled on the lines of the telecom network, which also uses PPP model. The Federal Service will operate the NSDI geoportal for all government data while delivery part will be with industry. Data is not yet open to the public but is being used by cadastral engineers and professionals in the domain. Territorial information is shared with local governments free of charge. Digital data is fed to other government and private sector organisations like banks and insurance agencies, but as the latter are still working on paper-based systems, this poses a problem for citizens, who get a digital copy of their maps with digital signature and the banks do not know how to handle these. The Rosreestr webpage gives descriptive information, including land types for the entire country

Geospatial World January 2014 / 55

Courtesy: Esri

country and one single database. The whole of Russia is now being covered under the cadastre mapping project and data is updated once every three days. Land surveying techniques are being used for cadastral procedures. About half the work has been completed. Updating this information into the cadastre, however, is taking a longer time. Registration procedures have been simplified and the number of steps involved reduced. The system now has data for over 60 million land parcels, approximately 72 million buildings and part of buildings, flats, separate rooms, etc, all part of the cadastre. Currently, there are separate databases for cadastre and registration but a common process. The government is in the process of adopting a law about single object for property details. Cadastre database will be completed in the next three years. In the next two years, a huge task of determining the specific rights associated with a building or land parcel and joining this to the cadastre awaits the Federal Service. The driving force behind these efforts has been the new government taxation policies, which are to be implemented from 2014, which consider buildings and land parcels as single objects. Tax will be used locally to fund regional development. To this end, a new road map for the development of Federal Service has been adopted and should be in place by 2018. The goals are to make 70% of transactions electronic and decrease the number of days required for registration from 20 days to 7 days in three years. Business processes ought to be totally public oriented and need to achieve 85% public satisfaction. The system aims at eliminating the use of paper, especially within the government sector. These actions are expected to make procedures simple and increase the guarantees for investors, thus increasing investment potential. It is difficult to assign specific numbers yet, but it has certainly

Banking on Urban Infrastructure In India, the share of the urban population may increase to about 40% of total population by the year 2021 and it is estimated that by the year 2011, urban areas would contribute about 65% of GDP. However, this higher productivity is contingent upon the availability and quality of infrastructure services. While NLRMP focuses on land-related issues for rural development, urban development in India is being addressed by the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), which covers 67 cities and towns. The project seeks meet the demands of urban infrastructure in view of the growing urbanisation. Specific geospatial tasks identified in the mission are introduction of a system of e-governance using IT applications, such GIS and MIS for various services provided by urban local bodies and parastatal agencies, reform of property tax with GIS as this is a major source of revenue for urban local bodies, and arrangements for its effective implementation so that collection efficiency reaches at least 85% within the next seven years. The Ministry of Urban Development, which is managing the JNNURM, also has another project on National Urban Information System (NUIS) which seeks to create GIS databases for 152 urban agglomerations. Interestingly, there has been some criticism regarding the lack of coordination between the two schemes under the same ministry. Karnatakaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Urban Property Records System provides all information about a registered property at the click of a mouse

tions (ATS) and GPS; aerial photography with ground truthing; and only ground survey techniques using ATS and GPS. While the National Remote Sensing Center (NRSC) supplies the satellite data directly or through private industry, private industry does aerial photography. Aerial photography over sensitive regions, however, requires prior permission of the Ministry of Defence. Industry is working hand in hand with the government in PPP mode for cadastral mapping purposes.

56 / Geospatial World January 2014

Since cadastral mapping is a state subject, the repository of this database is with the states. Users from any government or private agency need to approach the nodal agency in each state for the cadastral maps. While all states agree that a single nodal agency is needed, their approaches however vary. For instance in Gujarat, Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geoinformatics (BISAG) has been given the mandate to maintain and keep all cadastral data for the state so that any changes are reflect-

ed in the main database. Some states have the data online while others are working towards it. Different states have different models and rules for access and pricing. Some give free access to citizens to view, but not download, as they charge for downloading data. In terms of land registration, India applies the principle of Eminent Domain, which states that the government can take ownership of land any time from private individuals for developmental or security reasons. India does not have a titling system; instead it follows a deed and document registration system as per the Registration Act of 1908. The system is very complicated and it is not possible to estimate the area under registration because of various reasons. First, the title is not registered, only deed or document is. There are many families and households that do not have any documents for their property, as it has not been registered originally or it has not been bought and sold in 80-100 years. These deeds and documents are being digitised in many states. The main goal of NLRMP programme is to ensure the digitised deed registrations are integrated with the cadastral maps, whether in textual or other format by end of the 12th Five Year Plan (2017). Depending on the level of computerisation and integration, there is significant speed up, for example in Delhi the turn-around time for deed registration is 30 minutes. States are taking special interest in developing this aspect, as it allows them direct revenue gains. The main problem with this system is that it recognises only the documents related to the transfer of property, and therefore does not recognise any rights of ownership. When a sale deed is registered, the person who is the custodian of land records database issues a notice and if no objections are received, then an order is passed for mutation to take place. As a result, the civil courts are

clogged with property disputes. NLRMP aims to usher in a conclusive titling system in the country. However, this requires real time land records reflecting ground reality at all time. Only when this is in place, can the titling system be implemented. Another problem is land encroachment. In the absence of good technology tools, the concerned officer takes notice only when someone approaches with a complaint of encroachment. However, using satellite imagery overlay on previous years maps, tracking these encroachments becomes easy and quick. For example, Gujarat maintains a register of encroachments which has details of all properties, including government properties that have been encroached.

China: Grounded with the Government In China, all land is owned by the state and there are no individual ownership rights. Urban land is state-owned while rural land is owned by rural collectives. Instead, there are land use rights and

ownership can be accorded to what is on the land, say a building. On March 10, 1998, the 9th National People’s Congress passed the ‘Reform Plan of the Ministries of the State Council’. According to the Plan, the Ministry of Geology and Mining, State Administration of National Land, State Administration of National Oceans, and State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping merged to form the Ministry of Land and Resources. The State Administration of National Oceans and the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping have remained unchanged but have become departments under the jurisdiction of the newly formed ministry. There are the corresponding organisations for land administration and management of surveying and mapping in every province, city and county. Some cities combine the Department of Land Administration with the Department of Urban Planning, and other cities with the Department of Housing. These institutions take the daily work of cadastral

survey and land registration. There are about 6,000 state-owned surveying and mapping institutions registered with local administrative offices for survey and mapping. However, there are hardly any privately owned enterprises. Surveying is a licensed activity and licenses are given only to organisations and not individuals. China follows a multipurpose cadastre and land information system but it is mainly used by the government agencies for land administration. There are two types of cadastres, one only for the land and the other for land and buildings. The cadastres are established for the city areas but not for the rural areas. These are large scale cadastral databases, at the scales of 1:500, 1:1,000 and 1:2,000, and georeferenced in a GIS. Lack of trained manpower and enough funds for cadastral mapping are the challenges. Data sharing is only within the government and there is no provision for public access due to the absence of a policy on wider access.

3D for Development Shenzhen, located in the south-eastern coastal region of China, has experienced rapid economic growth and urbanisation in recent years. This has increased the demand for urban space and has put more pressure on maintenance of land and property rights. In order to deal with this complex land-use issue, current 2D cadastral maps are proving to be inefficient, giving rise to the need for 3D cadastre. The typical land space use in Shenzhen includes underground parking lots and commercial streets and over-ground arching buildings where their surface parcels have a different ownership or are used by other parties. The practice of a 3D cadastre in Shenzhen is a good example of effectively managing limited urban land resource. 3D cadastre was effectively used in Tanglangshan where an underground subway station was constructed below Visualisation of 3D spatial extent of constructions a group of commercial residential mansions. It was also used at Wanxiangcheng — a plaza for international brands consisting of several buildings separated by a municipal road but connected by an arch structure over the road. This arch and the underground lot are owned by the same owner as the other main buildings, but the land space used for the arch actually belongs to the municipality. This example breaks the homogeneity of spatial extent within a parcel in parcel-based cadastres. Understandably, it is complex to manage 3D urban landscape presently as of date all legal objects are defined in 2D. Further, no single commercial 3D software system seems to be able to fulfil a complete functionality of a 3D cadastre. However, with some push from the administrative and political level, innovation and integration of 3D technologies and training of on-ground personnel in these systems will yield very favourable results in administering and managing urban 3D land space.

58 / Geospatial World January 2014

BRICS: The Breakout Nations / Land South Africa: Burdens of a Dual System South Africa has about 7.5 million land parcels (urban and rural) in its cadastral dataset, of which 70% of land parcels in urban areas and 80% in rural areas are legally registered and surveyed; another 5% of parcels in urban areas and 15% in rural areas are legally occupied but not registered or surveyed; and 20% of parcels in urban and 5% in rural areas are informally occupied without legal title. Certain land tenure rights are formally recognised and registered under a deeds registry system. However, the law does not guarantee title to land and other real rights but only informally recognised rights which include customary systems. The South African land policy is part of the national policy promoting objectives, including sustainable agriculture and sustainable human settlement. Dealing effectively with the legacies of colonial and apartheid eras, providing access to land and land-related opportunities are major challenges for the land policymakers in contemporary South Africa. Land-related activities of government include regulating the land tenure (rights on land), controlling the land use and land development. Land tenure in South Africa has a dual system of land rights: one is based on the western system of landholding originating from colonial systems of Dutch and British landholding and the other is based on customary law. The land valuation system is not spatially-enabled. Cadastral surveying is undertaken exclusively by or under the control of registered professional land surveyors and conveyancers who work closely to record land ownership and/or rights in a public register kept by the Registrar of Deeds. South Africa faces some unique problems as it moves away from the old systems to a new one which is more user-friendly. The old procedures are lengthy, time consuming and cost-

ly. There are vast differences in the ordinances of various provinces, which results in different survey procedures that are applied throughout the different Surveyor Generalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s offices. This results in confusion for the land surveyors, conveyancers and general public. These problems are sought to be resolved by bringing together different offices. For example the Office of the Surveyor General and NGI are in the same department. The Deeds Registry is also close to the Surveyor Generalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office. In most places, they are in the same building. Though they have developed their systems separately, there is a project to integrate them into the same system, which would also provide for the electronic lodgement of both the cadastral and deeds records.

NGI Caught in a Web The National Geospatial Information (NGI), a unit of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, is mandated to regulate all land survey activities and provide the necessary control infrastructure and to maintain the Spatial Data Infrastructure. All NGI data is supplied only at the cost of the paper on which the map is printed. This can be accessed through the Web as well through a geoportal based on OGC Web services, but it is rarely used for data downloads

BRICS at a Precarious Point Almost all BRICS countries are very large and hence administering land is a challenge. They have the baggage of legacies; hence the resistance to change is more intense. Corruption in land dealings is common to all these countries. While all the five countries have awakened to the need for effective land management to further development, the push for evolving, changing, and modernising has to move from top-down in a clear, systematic and strong fashion; else chances of delays and failure are high. There are high expectations from all these economies however, as already acknowledged well established, well maintained and well-run land administration lies at the core for further development. The BRICS nations are now at a precarious point where giving attention to and taking right political and administrative decisions with respect to mapping and land management can make or mar their progress to a large extent. Once a Land Information System is established, these countries can look at

NGI has the largest and most extensive archive of aerial photography and imagery dating back to 1926

because of bandwidth problems. Therefore, a Web cartography service is under the works, where the users will not have to download the data itself, but can just see the information online.

making that as the core information set for integrating other data and metadata sets in order to develop federal or regional SDIs, which can further boost urban and rural planning, help in disas-

Geospatial World January 2014 / 59

An example of good land administration is the Tata Nano case in India. When Tatas moved out of West Bengal to Gujarat over land acquisition issues, the latter handed over land in 72 hrs. This was possible since Gujarat has computerised land records

ter management, boost agriculture and infrastructure sectors and many more. One of the common issues which arise from the study of these countries is the attempt being made to bring a level of standardisation in land information and reduction in ambiguity of duplication by having a single definitive source of data and by instituting a mechanism for the sharing of data within government departments by either bringing together or providing a coordinating mechanism for the different departments and organisations involved in different aspects of land

management. While Russia and China have created new institutions by merging old agencies, India, Brazil and South Africa have chosen a less disruptive route by promoting coordination among the different departments. One surprise is the relatively lower stress on mapping for addressing issues like food security, environmental protection, and disaster management. These are expected to be addressed through SDIs. All the countries except India have indicated this approach though most of them have stressed the major drawbacks in terms of reluctance to share data. In India neither of the two major projects, JNNURM and NLRMP mention SDI though there are ongoing initiatives like NSDI and National GIS project. Another interesting feature is the rural-urban divide. In India, the major stress is on the modernisation of cadastral maps of rural areas, while the urban areas are being addressed from the points of e-governance and improving the tax regime rather than long term urban planning. On the other hand, all the other countries are concentrating on the urban mapping for better property registration and taxation while rural mapping seems to have a lower priority. Both Brazil and South Africa are grappling with issues related to informal settlements and their formalisation to address unambiguous ownership and removal of encroachments on federal lands. A good news for the geospatial community is that the use of these

How BRICS Fare in Physical Property Rights Score














South Africa



Source: International Property Rights Index 2013

60 / Geospatial World January 2014

(Of 131 countries surveyed)

technologies for land management in these countries is a given. One common feature is the creation of a national reference grid for all maps using GNSS satellites. There is also a very realistic approach towards the use of high resolution satellite data. China and Russia have clearly said these cannot be used for urban mapping at scales of 1:2,000 and larger. South Africa depends on digital aerial imaging. However for mapping at coarser scales of 1:5000 and smaller, HRSI data is being used. It is interesting to note that all countries express a desire for providing the data to the public. However, that is easier said than done. The World Bank Doing Business study throws up some interesting numbers for property registration in the BRICS countries. Clearly, data access to parties other than the government is â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;work in progressâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; for all the countries. A more proactive PPP initiative is required and opportunity is immense, especially for the geospatial sector. However, in that sphere too the political mechanism needs to allow for and accept private engagement in land management sector. Prof Arup Dasgupta, (This story has been compiled from interviews and secondary sources. We wish to thank Charanjit Singh, Director, Department of Land Resources, Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India; Derek Clarke, Chief Director: Surveys and Mapping and NGI, Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, South Africa; Sunday Ogunronbi, Executive Manager Spatial Planning & Information, Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, South Africa; Fanie Minnie, Professional GIS practioner, Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, South Africa; Rajesh Makan, Director: Spatial Planning Facilitation, Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, South Africa; Natalia N Antipina, (Former) Head, Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography (Rosreestr), Russia. The author would also like to thank colleagues, Megha Datta, Anusuya Datta and Bhanu Rekha for their inputs and suggestions.)


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THE POWER FACTS Global power generation is likely to increase at an annual rate of 2.2% between 2010 and 2040. As the BRICS economies grow, their energy demand will rise. By 2025, the traditional four BRIC nations will account for nearly 38% of global primary energy demand, up from 27% in 2005 Global power generation trends

Installed capacity

45,000 40,000 35,000 30,000 25,000 20,000 15,000

Installed capacity (GW)












Total World












5,000 0



(in KWh)





208.093 GW Installed capacity in 2010


375.504 GW

Installed capacity target by 2030


229.112 GW


987.935 GW Installed capacity in 2010

Installed capacity in 2010

2006.633 GW

298.608 GW

Installed capacity target by 2030

Installed capacity target by 2030

South Africa


44.535 GW

Installed capacity in 2010


113.73 GW

Installed capacity target by 2030

Installed capacity in 2010

191.019 GW

Installed capacity target by 2030


Natural gas






Source: International Energy Outlook, 2013. Figures for South Africa: Department of Energy, Republic of South Africa

(Em)powering the Growth Engines BRICS countries have been employing geospatial technology in various capacities in planning, generating, transmitting and distributing electric power, but have a long way to go in developing smart grids with well-integrated, spatially aware enterprise architecture. By Geoff Zeiss, Editor-Building & Energy 62 / Geospatial World January 2014

BRICS: The Breakout Nations / Energy


he BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) are geographically, culturally and economically diverse, but have one common point on their agenda â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the rapid development of the energy industry as a national priority. This is owing to the fact that the primary contribution to the projected increase in world energy consumption (the International Energy Outlook 2013 projects 56% growth between 2010 and 2040) comes from the BRICS. The energy use in non-OECD countries is projected to increase by 90% as compared to an increase of 17% in OECD countries. The BRICS countries represent 36% of total global renewable power capacity and almost 27% of non-hydro renewable capacity in 2012 The BRICS nations have a vastly varying degree of utility infrastructure sophistication, capacities and technology adoption. From a renewable energy perspective, they range from Brazil, whose electric power generation capacity is about 70% renewable, to Russia, which has just started looking at renewables as a way of diversifying a heavily fossil fuel-based economy. From an electrification perspective, they range from Russia, which achieved universal electrification in the 1930s, to India, where 300 million people are still without access to power. Most of these countries have an objective of reducing energy intensity. China is the most aggressive given the rapid expansion of energy production, primarily coal, that has occurred over the past decade. Reducing different forms of energy losses is also a priority in all these countries with energy conservation in the

form of energy efficient buildings is getting attention. BRICS countries have been employing geospatial technology in various capacities in planning, generating, transmitting and distributing electric power. Here is a snapshot of the application of geospatial technology in these emerging countries.

Accurate geolocation of assets The Brazilian electric power regulator, ANEEL, has defined a set of guidelines to achieve three major objectives for which smart meters will be necessary. The guidelines require utilities to supply precise geographic information about the location of cables, transformers and customer metering points. This is set to improve asset management in a number of ways, one of which is to reduce the duration of outages by being able to locate and repair/replace failed equipment faster. This effort to improve the quality of geolocation information about electric power facilities has been underway in Brazil since 2008. At that time, ANEEL promulgated guidelines that required power utilities to achieve 95% accuracy in geolocating their facilities by 2010. In Brazil, this has been a compelling event that motivated power utilities to invest in technology to optimise business processes. This regulation put Brazil in a position to have one of the most reliable digital models of its network infrastructure in the world which is seen by ANEEL as a prerequisite for the Brazilian smart grid. In South Africa, Eskom, the State power utility, has accurately mapped all of its transmission lines (532, 400,

Spatially aware applications can save up to 10% of annual operations and maintenance costs for electric holding companies, estimated at $500-750 mn for a large utility, finds an analysis by Accenture in the US

275, and 220 kV) and substations. Eskom embarked on this exercise about two decades ago and today has all its assets up to the last mile mapped. The Indian governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ambition to bring in power sector reforms in the country, saw the launch of Restructured Accelerated Power Development & Reforms Programme (R-APDRP) in 2008, which envisaged asset mapping of the entire distribution network at and below the 11-kV transformers and include the distribution transformers and feeders, LT lines, poles and other distribution network equipment. As of now, this has progressed quite well in many states but is yet to be completed owing to delays in state procurement policies and procedures.

Generation and T&D Utilities in BRICS countries are often quite advanced in their use of geospatial technology for planning and operations. South Africa is a fine example. Eskom, which generates 95% of the power supplied in the country, employs about 200 GIS

Geospatial World January 2014 / 63

professionals and uses geospatial technology in all the phases of power sector, including generation, transmission and distribution. Some of Eskom’s power plants are as old as 50 years; most are about 20 years old. GIS is used to help prevent unplanned shutdowns of older power plants in particular. 3D models have been developed for some power stations, in particular the Koeberg nuclear power station, to improve safety, operational efficiency and reduce costs. Laser scanning has been used to produce highly accurate models of power plants. For some very new plants, BIM has been used to design buildings and other structures. As part of its preventative maintenance programme, Eskom is using geospatial technology, including LiDAR, in detecting building foundation shifting to identifying problems potentially leading to outages before they occur, according to Mfundi E Sango (Pr.Eng), Senior Manager (Planning COE & GIS),

Eskom. GIS is used to map seismic faults, direction of prevailing winds, and geological structures all of which can impact the structural soundness of generation facilities. Other areas of generation where geospatial technology is used by Eskom are air and water pollution analysis, ore body modelling and environmental assessment. Eskom builds about 800-900 km of new transmission lines each year. Digital terrain models, aerial photography and classified vegetation maps are used to identify potential routes for transmission lines. At the distribution level, a major area of focus is rural electrification. Eskom has been working on mapping the distribution network for the past two decades to support universal access to electric power. GIS is a critical component along with economic impact modelling in determining the optimal plan for rural electrification. Eskom partners with municipalities to map electric power usage down to

Smart building market is supported by •  Rapid speed of urbanisation •  Government direction in smart cities • User demand in low carbon buildings •  investors look for a higher asset value

Smart building market in Asia


China is building 36 smart cites Green building = Intelligent building + Smart building


$427bn $1,036bn Data courtesy: BSRIA

64 / Geospatial World January 2014

The BRICS countries represent 36% of total global renewable power capacity and almost 27% of non-hydro renewable capacity in 2012 the individual house. It has also developed programmes to help municipalities develop the requisite GIS skills. Eskom develops maps showing the kW load per household, which are also used for routing crew for routine and emergency maintenance work. These help to reduce the duration of outages by routing crews to failed equipment. In its GIS-enabled asset database, Eskom records the cost of equipment and labour required for each type of construction activity. As part of the pre-engineering design process, this allows the utility to provide accurate estimates of the expected cost of new construction. The R-APDRP project in India also talks about the adoption of IT applications for meter reading, billing and collection; energy accounting and auditing; MIS; redressal of consumer grievances; and establishment of IT enabled consumer service centres by the state-run electricity boards. Though this seems a distant dream as of now, the private electric utilities are much ahead in technology adoption. For instance, the Kolkata-based CESC Ltd, the first power utility in India to implement GIS way back in 1990, is currently working on a consumer indexing project. GIS-based servic-

BRICS: The Breakout Nations / Energy

Brazil: Diversifying Energy Mix The IEA projects that Brazil’s energy demand will increase by 80% through 2035, driven by the national objectives such as universal access to electricity. About 72% of Brazil’s electric energy capacity (74GW) is hydroelectric generation. However, the threat of prolonged drought has motivated Brazil to diversify its energy mix. Also, the proposed 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympics to be held in Brazil are demanding the reliability of the electric power system. The IEA projects that Brazil will increase significantly the deployment of onshore wind power, natural gas and electricity generated from bioenergy (bagasse primarily). Universal electrification and non-technical losses are major problems in Brazil. It is estimated that up to 30-40% of Brazil’s electric power consumption is non-revenue generating. The National Agency for Electric Energy estimates that electricity worth $4 billion is stolen each year. Other challenges include rapidly increasing demand, grid reliability and increasing energy efficiency. The Itaipu Hydrolelectic Dam generates 20% of Brazil’s electric power

es were launched in January 2013 in three of CESC’s 10 LT network operational districts, while the remaining seven are nearing completion. Delhi-based BSES Yamuna Power Ltd has also seen improved operational efficiency following integration of GIS and SCADA.

Electrification Planning A GIS-based model is used in several BRICS countries to facilitate electrification planning. For example, a South African planning model uses demographic and other data from GIS datasets together with a score sheet to quantify the ‘assumed benefits’ of electrification of all non-electrified settlements in a target region. The costs of different electrification options (grid, mini-grid and solar home systems) are then derived for each settlement using experience based look-up tables. The system prioritises projects and technologies, based on the ratio of ‘assumed benefit points’ and cost. The model operates as a first pass tool — facilitating longrange strategic level planning for entire regions (including 50 to 2000 settlements). It can be used to assist detailed engineering planning. The GIS model is linked to a macro-level financial and economic analysis, which provides regional and national level forecasting of

the economic impacts of the micro-level technology and prioritisation decisions. Together, the two systems comprise a powerful information and scenario analysis tool to assist policymakers and electrification implementation agencies in the process of electrification technology, budgeting and prioritisation decision-making. In South Africa, where the impact of the electrification programme has been very extensive, planning decisions have been of crucial importance to communities, as they make the difference between getting no benefits from the programme and receiving an effective per household subsidy on the order of R3000 to R5000 ($280.50 to $467.50) per household.

can be used. They need to define technology strategies for spatially aware big data and develop a vision for how analytics will supply real-time information to help achieve their business objectives. Smart grid is still in its infancy in the BRICS, but Brazil and China are investing significantly in this area. Brazil has taken a major stride forward (and ahead of many developed countries) in mandating that all utilities compile and maintain accurate geolocation data of their network infrastructure. Total smart grid investments in Brazil will increase to $36.6 billion by 2022, according to a study by the Northeast Group. In 2009, the electric power regulator ANEEL set a

Smart Power A recent report from Navigant Research estimates that the market for smart grid technologies will reach $73 billion in annual revenue by 2020. The benefits of geospatial technology are clear to many in utility operations and maintenance. But with the rise of the smart grid, the benefits will become increasingly evident to planners, managers and C-level executives throughout utility organisations. Utility leaders need to start thinking differently about how and where geospatial information

The Brazilian Soccer Federation is planning to make the 2014 World Cup the world’s ‘First Green World Cup’.

Geospatial World January 2014 / 65

Courtesy: Bentley

electric holding companies that serve more than 3 million customers indicates that spaRussia: Tapping tially aware applications are Renewable Resources enabling improved planning Russia achieved national electrification by the and management of utilities’ 1930s. At present, its installed capacity totals billion-dollar assets. This can 230 GW, of which 68.7% is thermal, 20.7% redirect or save up to 10% of hydro and 10.6% nuclear. Russia is the world’s their annual operations and fourth top emitter of CO2 in 2009, contributing maintenance costs, estimated 5.2% of the global total. It plans to reduce its at $500 million to $750 milGHG emissions by 15-25% by 2020 compared lion for a large utility. to 1990 levels. The 2009 national energy plan But with the rapid deploycalls for the expansion of renewable energy ment of smart grid technolgeneration, which was practically zero until that ogies, GIS is now evolving time. The country’s distribution infrastructure from a tactical support tool loses 12-14% of transmitted energy — worth to playing a foundational about $10 billion every year. role in the utility sector. The Smart grid technologies are already being and combination of geospatial will be increasingly deployed in Russia. Drivtechnology and big data from en by the 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2018 intelligent electronic devices World Cup, investments are projected to grow such as smart meters create in the Russian smart grid market from $5.5 bilopportunities for a new era lion in 2012 to $15.7 billion in 2017. The green of decision making. This building movement has only just begun to take integration enables utilities root in Russia. Russia is the last major developed to forecast requirements economy to organise a green building council. and expenditures needed to optimally maintain the grid. South Africa is rapidly increasing its renewable energy capacities, especially to bring electric power to the remaining 15% of the population. Linking this to the grid will require smart grid technology. In addition, reducing technical and non-technical 3D model of booster compressor station and losses is becoming a top digital terrian model for the Yurkharovskoye Oil Field, Russia priority and one that is expected to provide an immediate payback. Smart grid non-binding target of replacing all 63 million existing electromechanical me- is also expected to help with reducing the frequency and duration of outages. ters with smart meters by 2021. The original geospatial tool, GIS, At Eskom, GIS is a key technology to has today evolved from being mere- enabling planning and implementing ly a software for drawing maps to an Eskom’s smart grid roll-out. Also with increasing demands on the effective location-aware decision support system. An Accenture Research work force, utilities are using geospatial analysis of US Federal Energy Regu- data to help bridge the knowledge gap latory Commission (FERC) data for between experienced electrical workers

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and the new skill requirements of the smart grid. Visualisation of network infrastructure based on location is becoming an essential tool in designing sub-stations and transmission lines by enabling stakeholders, including the public to experience these additions to the grid before they are constructed.

Powering the BRICS’ Future The priorities that have been identified above for utilities in BRICS countries make it possible to forecast the types of applications that utilities will be increasingly deploying in the future. Spatial analytics to drive utility performance: One of the primary drivers for implementing smart meters and AMI in Brazil and India is reducing non-technical losses (AT&C), a priority even in many advanced economies. Oracle’s survey of 151 North American senior-level electric utility executives with smart meter programmes highlighted the greatest benefits from the application of predictive analytics. The top benefit identified by the respondents was improving revenue protection (70%), also known as reducing non-technical losses. Other benefits identified include reducing asset maintenance costs (61%), reducing asset replacement costs (57%) and reducing infrastructure costs (54%). Bradley Williams of Oracle Utilities has made a convincing case that spatial analytics drive utility performance because utilities’ biggest issues have a spatial component — customers, assets, and employees. There are a number of areas, which have a spatial dimension, where significant benefits from applying spatial analytics to smart grid data can be expected. These include: • Reducing non-technical losses: Identify illegal tampering automatically. This has been one of the first areas where analytics has been applied by many utilities. The payback is typically significant and immediate.

BRICS: The Breakout Nations / Energy

50% of new commercial buildings in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Curitiba in the next two years will be green buildings. Brazil ranks 4th in global ranking of LEED registrations & certification processes • Targeting demand response: Prioritise customers for conservation and demand response programmes using geospatial techniques such as energy density mapping. •  Distribution operations planning: Target customers with very high peak load to help them cut down peaks by staggering powering

on ventilation, heating/cooling and lighting. •  Transformer load management: Identify transformers that are overloaded or underutilised. Mapping transformers in near real-time allows the network to be reconfigured to rebalance transformer loading. •  QA/QC data quality: Improve the quality of connectivity information, specifically, for the secondary network by linking transformers, conductors, and other equipment. •  Voltage correlation: Analytics to link meters to transformers. •  Energy modelling: Analyse usage patterns including unmetered usage from street lights and other devices. •  Voltage deviation: Identify transformers with voltages deviating from rated voltage by 2-3% or more. •  Geospatial outage frequency analysis: Analyse all outage patterns geographically to identify patterns. •  Predictive analytics for electric vehicle adoption: Identify PEV owners and predict demand pat-

terns to ensure adequate transformer capacity is in place. Situational intelligence: As more intelligent devices are added to the smart grid, the need for situational intelligence becomes more critical. Advanced analytics and visualisation in space and time based on network topology provide holistic insights into power grid dynamics that have not been possible before. Both South Africa’s Eskom and China Power and Light have invested in technology that is helping them improve their oversight of their power grid. Integration of geospatial and other enterprise systems: The Electric Power Research Institute has made a strong case that the first step in achieving an integrated smart grid IT system is integrating advanced metering infrastructure with GIS in order to reliably link customers’ physical addresses to the utility’s service points and geolocation. This enables a wide range of other systems to be integrated with the AMI and GIS, including outage manage-

India: Stepping up Generation

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Courtesy: BSES Yamuna Power Ltd

India has an installed capacity of about 229 GW, of which 87% is thermal (mostly coal) and 13% renewables. The country currently suffers from a major shortage of electricity generation capacity. At the end of 2011, over 300 million citizens had no access to electricity while only 9 of 22 states were recognised as completely electrified. Electrification is a national priority and about 15% of federal funds are allocated to the power sector. Reliability is a major challenge — much of India is subject to frequent power outages. To meet these challenges, the IEA estimates that India will require 600-1,200 GW of new capacity by 2050 or about $135 billion in investment. In India, average power losses, referred to as aggregate technical and commercial losses (AT&C), have been officially reported as 23% of the electricity generated. The government has made reducing AT&C losses a priority and has set a target of reducing them to 17.1% by 2017 and 14.1% by 2022. As of December 2011, India had an installed capacity of about 28 GW of renewable electricity. Investments in renewables reached $10.3 billion in 2011, up 52% over 2010. India’s goal is to double renewable capacity by 2017. The India Smart Grid Task Force, set up in May 2010, aims at addressing the three top pain-points reduction of technical and non-revenue losses; peak load management; and integration Using GIS for total network visualisation of renewable energy into the grid. The government has also proposed a new national energy conservation building code for designing of new commercial buildings. Currently, green buildings make up less than 5% of the Indian building market, but it is projected that once the National Building Code is amended, 50% of new buildings could be built ‘green’ by 2025.

China: Focusing on Smart Grid Agenda The total electric power generation capacity of China reached 989 GW in 2010, only slightly behind the United States. About 67% of this is coal, 20% hydro, 3% gas, and 5% onshore wind. China’s power industry is projected to grow 6.6-7.0% annually for the next 10 years. About 30 million rural citizens currently lack access to power. A rural electrification programme currently underway relies on off-grid technology, a mixture of small hydro, photovoltaics and wind power. China is already the world’s biggest carbon emitter and its emissions continue to increase. In January 2012, China established goals of reducing carbon intensity by 17% by 2015, compared with 2010 levels. It also plans to meet 11.4% of its primary energy requirements from non-fossil sources (renewable energy sources and from nuclear power) by 2015. China’s five-year energy plan for 2011 through 2015 includes smart grid technology as a key industry focus. It is estimated that China is spending a total of $590 billion in implementing its smart grid agenda over the period 2011 to 2020. The government has recently announced that green buildings will account for 30% of new construction projects by 2020. 3D rendering of the Tuoba power station in China, which has redefined its water and power management policy with large dams

ment system, data analytics and workforce management system. Real-time big data: The development of scalable, geospatially enabled solutions built on an open, service-oriented Web architecture and ‘big data’ technology such as GeoHadoop and incorporating spatial analytics will enable real-time monitoring of grid status and automated decision-making. Aerial imagery for solar energy deployment: Oblique imagery and other forms of inexpensive nearly 3D imagery can be used with a GIS to enable solar contractors to quickly, easily and accurately calculate solar exposure, panel placement, sizing, roof pitch and square footage — information that is essential for positioning panels for maximum sun exposure and energy output. Energy efficiency of new buildings: Energy performance, natural lighting, solar radiation and other analyses will soon be used by architects and engi-

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neers to optimise energy and water usage and reduce emissions for new buildings. Combining a BIM model of the building containing the key elements of the structure with the geographical lo-

Investments in Russian smart grid market projected to grow from $5.5 bn in 2012 to $15.7 bn in 2017 driven by the 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2018 World Cup

cation of the building, surrounding geographic features and the local environmental conditions, thermal, lighting and airflow simulations can be performed to estimate how much energy the building consumes in a year. Almost half of the new commercial buildings that will be launched in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Curitiba in the next two years will be green buildings. In the worldwide ranking of LEED registrations and certification processes, Brazil ranks fourth. The Brazilian Soccer Federation (CBF) is planning to make the 2014 World Cup the world’s ‘First Green World Cup’. Energy density modelling: Conservation and demand management (CDM) is increasingly becoming a priority for utilities in BRICS countries. Energy density mapping using a GIS helps take the guesswork out of targeting customers for (CDM) programmes. Detailed building and property information such as building age, sun exposure, heating type, air conditioning, and parcel data, standard metrics for different building types, and lifestyle profiles and demographic data, can be brought together and managed in a GIS. Real-time disaster management: Smart meters provide invaluable information during typhoons, earthquakes, and other natural disasters. When integrated with a GIS, the smart meter information provides an accurate visualisation of the impact of the disaster on the utility’s infrastructure. It can map areas in detail down to the building level in near real time where power has been lost, all without making a telephone call. 3D transmission line siting, design and visualisation: All BRICS countries are rapidly expanding their transmission networks. This requires accurate digital terrain models, integrating data from total stations, airborne lasers and photogrammetry. Terrain models, 3D engineering models, sag tension and structural analysis, spotting, and drafting can be integrated into a single environment

BRICS: The Breakout Nations / Energy to streamline siting and design process. 3D visualisation has become a critical component of transmission line siting, especially in urban areas. Gaming technology has been integrated with engineering design tools to enable photo-realistic modelling of transmission lines and sub-stations before they are constructed to make the stakeholders, including land owners, government officials and regulators, understand how exactly transmission lines look after construction and also offer design alternatives. Bringing the field into the office: There is a worldwide shortage of engineers and skilled labour in the electric power sector. Utilities in BRICS countries are competing for trained resources with other industry segments in a rapidly expanding economy. Utilities are finding that tasks that used to require sending staff into the field can now be done much more efficiently in the office using high resolution orthophotos, oblique imagery and LiDAR. In 2014, low cost, high resolution, near real-time satellite imagery will start to

be available, which can be effectively used for this purpose. Automated vegetation management for transmission lines: LiDAR, imagery and GIS mapping are used in planning vegetation management for transmission lines. Transmission lines are typically scanned utilising a fixed-wing or helicopter-based platform. Feature extraction to create models of conductors and pylons and algorithms to classify vegetation into multiple priority categories based on the risk of causing an outage are increasingly being automated. Geolocating underground facilities: Accurately geolocating underground resources is a worldwide challenge. According to national statistics, in the United States an underground utility line is hit every 60 seconds on an average. In the Lombardy region of Northern Italy, which includes Milan, a pilot project to map all underground infrastructure estimated a return on investment of about €16 for every euro invested in improving geolocation information of underground infrastructure.

Courtesy: GTI Geoterraimage

South Africa: Towards Universal Electrification Electrification is a priority in South Africa, owing to the fact that about 15% of households are still without access to power. South Africa’s abundant renewable energy resources, primarily wind and sun were largely unharnessed for power generation until last year, when the government began encouraging private investors to produce clean electricity for the national grid to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Roughly $5.5 billion has since been invested into the country’s renewable energy sector. Non-technical losses are another cause for concern. During 2011-12, state utility Eskom reported a total energy loss of about 14,000 GWh within its distribution networks, of which between 25-40% can be attributed to non-technical losses. The South African Smart Grid Initiative was launched in 2012. Smart grid is seen as an opportunity to introduce grid modernisation while addressing a $32-million maintenance, refurbishment and strengthening backlog and the challenge of technical and non-technical power losses. The Green Building Council is leading the transformation of the South African property industry to ensure that buildings are designed, built and operated in an environmentally sustainable way. Using GIS and demographics to qualify and quantify electric power demand in South Africa

In BRICS countries, the problem is exacerbated by rapid expansion of the utility infrastructure. Brazil’s electric power regulator has already recognised the benefits of knowing accurately where utility infrastructure is located and it is expected that as in Brazil, ensuring accurate geolocation of above ground and underground infrastructure will become a priority for regulators and governments in all BRICS countries.

Powered Up Utilities in BRICS countries are uniquely positioned as they have been using GIS as an operational tool for some time and are familiar with its capabilities. At the same time, they are not encumbered to the same extent by old, legacy IT systems based on operational silos that remain a challenge for utilities in developed economies. Their work forces are younger, more internet savvy, and more willing to adopt new technologies. However, the BRICS also face a wide range of challenges, the critical ones being the universal electrification, especially in rural areas; rapidly increasing demand; the need to decrease energy intensity by deploying more renewable energy sources; reducing the high rate of energy losses, especially non-technical; and improving energy efficiency. The development of a smart grid with a well-integrated, spatially aware enterprise architecture can improve asset management and better opex and capex planning of utilities. The dawn of this data-driven, geospatially aware era promises new opportunities to deliver improved availability, efficiency and affordability. If utility leaders in the BRICS understand the vision and seize the opportunity, they could propel these countries into a leadership position in the electric power utility sector. Geoff Zeiss

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The mining and metals industry supplies the feedstock for a large part of everyday lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;from coal for power, to iron ore for steel girders, to the minerals and metals that are processed into our everyday necessities. 16% Share of mining sector in national GDP 25% Share of mining in national exports $5bn Mining production value in 2012 $67.2bn Expected production value by 2016 4.8% Expected growth rate during 2012-16 20% Share of M&M industries in industrial output 15% Share of minerals in national exports $158.7bn Mining production value in 2011 $173bn Estimated production value by 2017 3% Expected growth rate from 2012 levels

Coking coal 15

Brazil Others 25

Global Mining Production

$340bn Value of mining production in 2012 $432bn Estimated production value by 2017 5.6% Expected growth rate from 2013 50% Share of China in global supply and demand of coal 6% Share of mining sector in national GDP 18% Share of mining in total industrial output 60% Share of mining sector in exports $32.4bn Size of mining industry in 2013 $34.0bn Estimated production value by 2017



Iron ore 2.2- 2.5% Share of mining industry in GDP 10-11% Share in total industrial output 700,000 Jobs provided by mining industry $41.79bn Production value in 2011 $51.9bn Expected production value by 2017

Thermal coal



South Africa


$1.5 trn Size of the global mining & metals industry


Of total mining production is coal

Source: ICMM, Business Monitor International , PwC, IBRAM, E&MJ, Infomine, ThomasWhite

Digging Deep to Development Geospatial technology is expanding the bottom line for mining companies in the BRICS countries and could go a long way addressing the sectorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s current confidence crisis. By Anusuya Datta, Deputy Executive Editor

BRICS: The Breakout Nations / Mining


n the midst of the worst recession ever to hit the world in 2008, the mining industry surprisingly experienced a commodity boom. The surge, largely fuelled by economic growth and development in the BRICS, particularly in China, created an unprecedented demand for coal and mineral resources. In the years to follow, the BRICS nations emerged as the new global powerhouses in more ways than one. Along with their increasing political influence on global issues, these rapidly growing economies are building up an industrial base fast closing the gap with the developed nations — in some cases, like China, even surpassing them. No other sector illustrates this global trend better than mining, which had the immediate job of constantly fuelling the chugging growth engines. The coal production figures highlight this aspect the best. As World Coal Association Chief Executive Milton Catelin puts it, the BRICS’ demand for coal by 2035 is set to rise by around 1,350 million tonnes of oil equivalent, which is about three-fourths of China’s demand for coal today. Much of this demand will be from India and China. In many ways, the story of mining and metals (M&M) sector is that of China’s. Valued at $1.5 trillion currently, the sector grew more or less in sync with the global GDP for years. Turn of the millennium saw the sector outsmart global growth, even during and after 2008 crisis. The main reason for this can be attributed to the takeoff in the Chinese economy. At present, 40- 60% of any mineral extracted anywhere in the world ends up in China.

But for over a year now, the mining industry is facing confidence crisis. Mining scrips have stopped outperforming the broader equity markets. Low confidence in cost controls, return on capital and volatile commodity prices are giving sleepless nights to industry leaders, reveals a PwC report. So what changed the storyline? The current slowdown in the Chinese economy and not-so-encouraging trends in other BRICS partners hold the key to this riddle. In trying to rebuild the market’s confidence, miners are moving towards maximising returns from existing operations from improved productivity and efficiencies, underlines PwC. In such a situation, the geospatial industry sees the mining challenges in the BRICS as similar to the global challenges — improving operational efficiency, managing capital budgets, mine valuation strategies, miner safety, environmental and regulatory compliance, and developing a skilled workforce, says Nathan Pugh, Business Area Director for Mining, Trimble. Remote sensing and GIS have long played a key role in the mining sector but evolving geospatial technologies and integration of the geo-element in mainstream IT are bringing up new solutions. Geo applications are widely adopted in larger mining operations, including mine planning and productivity management systems, while emerging areas are mine valuation and safety. Mining companies buying or selling properties can also use geoinformation more effectively to evaluate mineral resources, assets, and infrastructure of a property in the scope of their entire portfolio.

Mining Management Systems (MMS) are today widespread for optimised resource management, ie, exploration, reserve estimation, production optimisation and environmental remediation. As in GIS, a combination of vector- and grid-based modelling and a relational database management system comprises the core of current MMS, explains Robert Marschallinger, a geoinformatic expert.

Maximising production, minimising costs Mining practices and application of geospatial technology varies across regions and mine operators. However, they all share a common requirement — that this technology should help increase efficiency of operations, improve safety and optimise productivity, points out Matt Desmond, General Manager, Product Management and Marketing, Leica Geosystems. Several years ago, a study by Brazil-based Vale found that the use of the advanced technologies reduces cost and increases productivity manifold. The world’s second largest mining company uses the most advanced technology in all

World GDP and mineral production 500

World GDP (PPP, current prices) Total value of metal & mineral production

400 300 200 100 0

2000 ’01 ’02 ’03 ’04 ’05 ’06 ’07 ’08 ’09 ’10 Source: Raw Materials Group; World Bank

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Brazil: All is not ‘Vale’ Brazil, a mining powerhouse in the world, has been ranked top among the BRICS nations in its use of most advanced technologies. Besides Vale, most other mining majors like Kinross Gold, Votorantim and Petrobras use modern technologies, says Juarez Milmann, Executive Secretary, Brazilian Association of Mineral Research Companies. Even government departments like those under the Geological Survey of Brazil are increasingly taking the help of such technologies for their work. According to Diogo Martins of Topcon Positioning, mining companies were the first ones to start using RTK systems in Brazil. The use of such advanced technologies is not common in many others industries in Brazil; but the mining sector is leading in terms of investments. GPS systems, robotic total stations and laser scanners, as well as satellite imaging, can be easily found in this market. Most of these companies use specialised applications — some developed specifically for mining

its mines, and reviews of survey jobs, for example, have shown that productivity has increased 10 times in 10 years. “The immediate RoI timeframe is very short. This is why progressive companies continue investing in emergent products. This investment in solutions is easily justified when costs can be dramatically reduced and profit increased,” says Diogo Martins, Regional Survey Sales Manager (Latin America), Topcon Positioning. Like in developed countries, remote sensing and GIS are extensively used in the BRICS during the exploration and development phases. In

Vale has set up an advanced decision making centre which uses spatial data and high degree of immersion and interaction with geoinformation to create virtual reality environments for better planning.

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— seeking the integration of geological, geophysical and geochemical data, and data from surveys, remote sensing and laser scanners, using a GIS to integrate information shared between different company departments, says Sérgio Augusto Dâmaso de Sousa, General Director of DNPM. “The newest technologies also guarantee compliance with environmental regulations and shorten times to complete projects,” adds Martins. The mining sector in Brazil is currently mired in a new controversial mining Bill, which seeks to increase taxes but also aims to make the licensing process more transparent. Whatever the outcome, the undefined direction of the rules that will regulate the sector is hurting it at the moment as companies stall investments into new technology. Besides, with only about 30% of its territory systematically explored using geological mapping, there is a clear need for better control of land property and environmental indicators, which again demand growing investment on high-end technologies. The problems of mining are also attached to issues of infrastructure: roads, railways, ports and energy as well as environmental issues, especially in the Amazon region.

these early stages, GIS is probably the most utilised of all technical software in the industry, points out says Dan Haigh, Natural Resources Industry Manager, Pitney Bowes. As a company progresses into the construction and production phases, use of GIS reduces (but does not disappear) and a 3D resource modelling package becomes primary. “We also have geospatial technology, including satellite imagery, digital photos, geophysics, surface geology, cross-section borehole data — the socalled ‘big data’ — playing a key role,” adds Louis Morasse, Industry Solutions Manager, Autodesk. The more information you can gather and provide, and combine, the more it will help for site development and infrastructure site selection, waste dump, tailing ponds etc. Construction is a critical phase and technologies for engineering design, 3D modelling and information management have taken off well with BRICS mining majors, says John Sanins, Solutions Executive, Bentley Systems. The use of geospatial software tools, coupled with advanced 3D design and modelling systems, permits rapid development of mine infrastructure. This can be validated to take into

account the local environment and communities. Adoption of Building Information Modelling (BIM) is picking up too and is seen as crucial in data recovery, or reuse for new projects or expanding existing ones. BIM also facilitates 3D visualisation to communicate design intent and environmental impact for technical and non-technical stakeholders; and helps coordinate with engineering, procurement and construction firms. Another technology fast picking up is laser scanning, which allows for very precise measurements for speedy and accurate decisions. Some companies are using laser scans of open pit mines to calculate the volume of material removed each day. Others are using such scans to measure ground movement in order to pre-empt landslides or other disasters at mine sites. Also, with different modules of a mining facility being designed and built across the world, construction crews can take 3D laser scans of sites, which can then be compared to a module being built in another part of the world to ensure exact fit, explains David Canady, Global Director (Metals & Mining), Intergraph Process, Power & Marine (PP&M). Mining is an asset-intrinsic sector.

BRICS: The Breakout Nations / Mining And “knowing the position of assets, be they people, equipment or ore bodies, is fundamental to the mining process,” underlines Jason Nitz, a fleet automation expert from Australia. “More importantly, knowing the exact location of these increases their value, and in the current times we are experiencing this value is amplified,” adds Nitz, who works with US gold mining major Newmont Mining. Vale indeed showed the way in using innovative technologies in Brazil. It invested $8 billion for a GPS-enabled ‘truckless’ system of conveyor belts by automating part of the world’s largest iron ore mine in the Amazon. The solution also enables automation of the recovery and piling through satellite positioning and 3D scanning. This process takes about 100 trucks off the site, reducing diesel consumption by 77%. In 2011, Vale’s production was 109.8 million metric tonne (mmt), which is likely to more than double following full automation in 2016. Another interesting example is Coal India Ltd (CIL). Among its many technological innovations is its plan to introduce GPSbased vehicle tracking systems by March 2014 after an internal study showed that any of its 170-tonne capacity trucks remaining idle for half an hour translates to losses worth $84. This would double if the truck was of 240-tonne capacity. The geospatial industry has seen significant investments from big mining companies in the past 10 years. Anthony Fraser, Sales Manager (Asia-Pacific), Leica Geosystems, says such advanced technologies were unaffordable for many in the BRICS region as recent as five years ago. Since then, development push has been upping their usage.

Environment & Sustainability The mining industry is increasingly under pressure to consider environmental concerns while evaluating economic viability of a project. In addition, communicating and engaging with local governments and community stakeholders are also becoming imperative. As it is in India, every major mining project in the past few years has faced opposition from local communities or environment activists. “A company’s licence to explore or mine can be severely compromised without first gaining a ‘social licence’ to operate. Geospatial technology can assist in pulling together baseline studies on the chosen community. Also, by leveraging the power of Web mapping, companies can engage with and communicate with communities, investors or authorities,” explains Haigh. Again, Brazil shows the way in using geotechnology for clean mining. Since many of its new mines are located in or near the Amazon, the government has spelt out environmental responsibilities.“The environmental impacts of mining are tracked using multispectral satellite images with high spatial resolution,” says Antonio Machado e Siva, President, AMSKepler, a local geospatial player. Spatial analysis allows observation of the consequences of mineral exploration in areas of permanent

preservation and environmental preservation, among others. GIS even allows simulation scenarios, thus mitigating environmental accidents before they occur. The Russian mining industry is notorious for environmental pollution. The Arctic in particular has suffered due to waste discharges during offshore oil and gas activity, and smelting of ore deposits. Recently, the Russian government began using satellite remote sensing to monitor mining activities in the Far East region. Outlining the advantages of remote sensing over traditional checks due to “continuity and objectivity”, Sergey Donskoy, the Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology, had said: “It (remote sensing) can detect previously unregistered land and eliminate the damage caused by illegal activities.” China too faces environmental issues due to use of outdated technologies and equipment by smaller firms. Now, there is an emphasis on environment protection partly because of the unprecedented haze around the country,

Russia: Battling the Soviet Ghost With its coal and iron ore deposits believed to represent around 20% of the total global reserves, Russia is currently a global leader in several minerals. However, since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Russian mineral industry has been struggling. Many of the primary minerals are now located in other CIS states. The reciprocal also applies, as Russia was the main producer of oil and gas to the CIS. “This places a huge strain on trade and import/ export agreements, and resulting in almost 50% fall in production for most commodities,” explains Arthur Poliakov, Managing Director and Chairman of MINEX Russia Mining and Exploration Forum. Although Russia accounts for about 14% of global mining, apart from a few large steel companies and oil & gas giants, most large Russian mining firms are unknown. A challenge for the sector will be to upgrade its ageing equipment and increase productivity, which currently lags 72% behind the average for OECD countries, according to the World Economic Forum. A PwC report says one of the most frequently quoted risks for the Russian mining industry is “the use of outdated, inefficient and unsafe techniques in constructing and operating mines”.

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The Arctic hosts Russia’s massive raw materials base, with reserves estimated at approximately 20 years for iron ore and 10-30 years for other non-ferrous metals. The Arctic holds 15% of the world’s oil & gas reserves. points out Singer Chang of the China Mining Association. This could be reduced by closing smaller mines and shifting smelting plants. Even in South Africa, sustainability concerns provide a potential for geospatial industry through assessment and remediation projects, says Stephane Chevrel, a senior scientist with the French geological survey authority (BRGM), who, however, sees a lack of coordinated action in this area.

Safe & Secure Mining operations are generally risky business. “There is a huge risk since you don’t know what’s underneath.

With mine-planning software, you can minimise that risk and the RoI will be immediate,” says Dinakar Devireddy, Senior Project Manager, Infotech Enterprises, an Indian geospatial solutions provider. Visualisation of complex designs that make up a large mining facility enhances better design and allows mining companies to easily factor safety into the designs. The use of UAVs keeps surveyors out of hazardous areas and the positioning technology used in proximity detection for mobile mining equipment vulnerable to blind spots can prevent accidents. Knowing accurately where a person is located is vital to keeping them safe. “Think of the incident in Chile a few years ago when miners were trapped underground and geospatial technology helped the rescue team find and extract the miners. They brought a camera down one of the bore holes and located the miners underground with exact coordinates,” points out Morasse. This level of visibility is what many companies are now offering as part of the proximity awareness systems. Some of these use GPS to position people in and around the equipment. For instance in China, because most coal deposits are located deeper, it has

India: Caught in Regulatory Maze India hosts a wide range of globally significant mineral resources, ranking among the world’s top five nations for its

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to be mined underground, which results in a high number of casualties. This has been coming down in the recent times with the takeoff in technology adoption. In South Africa, 3D laser scanning is a huge hit in open cast mining for slope stability monitoring and survey of dangerous and inaccessible areas due to safety risks. Canady adds that 3D modelling of mining facilities greatly enhances visualisation, which allows mining companies to plan for safe evacuations or maintenance procedures.

Utility & Maturity The mining industry has traditionally been behind other engineering industries in adopting technology, but that is changing and the sector in developing nations is anxious to learn new techniques, maintains Canady. Mining powerhouses Brazil and South Africa, for instance, are on a par with developed nations in terms of technology adoption. While the use of an emerging technology like geospatial is not common in many others industries in Brazil, mining is leading in terms of investments, says Martins, who also points out that private mining companies were the first ones to start using RTK systems in Brazil. Besides Vale,

core competency commodity reserves of coal and iron ore. India has a number of giant, mostly state-owned mines that have an outsized impact on total output, in addition to the existence of a large number of small and inefficient mines operating illegally. A total of 5% of operating mines in India produce about 50% of the country’s mineral output. However, only 10% of the country’s landmass has been explored, primarily due to significant regulatory and bureaucratic hurdles. Despite the potential passage of a new mining Bill on the horizon, which seeks to improve transparency and introduce better legislative environment, analysts are wary of calling for a sea change. And they have reasons to. Environmental concerns and land acquisition hurdles have dealt a major blow to the once-booming sector in India, with almost all activities coming to a halt in recent years. Coupled with that, corruption and vital regulatory and bureaucratic obstacles remain major obstacles. There is lack of transparency – starting from tenement lease to excavation details.

BRICS: The Breakout Nations / Mining most other mining majors like Kinross Gold, Votorantim and Petrobas use modern technologies. Now, even government departments like those under the Geological Survey of Brazil are increasingly adopting such technologies. In South Africa, most large and medium mining companies today use GIS for integration of exploration datasets while applying for mining leases or even financial assistance, says Dr Siva Subramanian, Head (Agriculture & Natural Resources), RMSI, an India-based geospatial player which operates in that country. While the annual planned production and pit head costs for mining are also linked to geospatial technology, the country has also picked up on the global trend of mapping large area mineral potential and corridors. The initiatives though are said to be too dispersed and needs to be harmonised. Further, managing resources in the remote parts of Africa remains a challenge, and this makes geotechnologies well worth investing in to keep a handle on resources and optimise revenues, points out Francois Stroh of HORTS Geo-Solutions, a local distribution partner of Riegl. For Russia, one bright spot is the high competency and potential of geological survey agencies/companies engaged in exploring. Even though surveying technologies, long-range laser scanners, satellite imagery and GPS-GLONASS integrated solutions are also coming up, it is mostly limited to gas and oil majors. There are some M&M companies like Phosagro, Uralkali, but the rate of uptake is very slow, says Mikhail Zimin, Head of Geodesy and Cartography, ScanEx. But the major problem in Russia is extraction. Vast uninhabited territories in a harsh climate and an undeveloped transport infrastructure combine to make the Russian Far East and Arctic even more remote. Additional investment required for basic assets due to climate and permafrost, higher labour, transpor-

tation, energy costs and costs for many supplies and commodities present other obstacles, underlines Arthur Poliakov, Managing Director and Chairman of MINEX Russia Mining and Exploration Forum. Because of Russiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s difficult terrains, almost 70% of the massive explored reserves are not exploitable using existing Soviet-era technologies. Technology adoption greatly varies across China, from very low-level to use of some of the world-class equipment because of lack of awareness on sustainable development and inadequate supervision, says Singer. Most mining majors have their own teams for acquisition of geospatial data and now a majority of them use GNSS for daily surveying, says Sam Chen of Red China Geosystems, a local distribution partner of Riegl. Further, more and more miners are using multi-sensor land slide monitoring system with GNSS, laser scanning and ground-base InSAR technology. A few of the more-established ones are using CAD, automation and monitoring software. Another encouraging trend is the recent focus on the combination of geology and integrated applications, such as ground, underground, 2D or 3D integrated analysis of spatial visualisation, geological modelling of volume stereo profile, says Zhuo Wei Jie, Director, SuperMap, a local GIS player. Interestingly, the Indian mining industry, widely regarded as a laggard among its BRICS counterparts, has seen great strides being taken by its stateowned miners led by CIL. Some claim the level of penetration of geospatial technology in coal mining at least is on a par with the developed world. Former CIL Chairman M.P. Narayanan points out that remote sensing was used as far back as 1985 to delineate the fire areas in Jharia Coalfields. Today the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest coal miner is using this technology for pre-mining, surveying, exploration, and compiling baseline data of environmental and land-use patterns; as also real-time trip counting at opencast

China: Nailing the Dragon China is the leading producer of around half of the over 70 minerals contained in the World Minerals Statistics database. It is also the leader in Rare Earth minerals. But coal remains the overriding focus in a sector dominated by large stateowned enterprises. Mining is facing pressure both from the falling prices of commodities and energy, as well as environment and sustainability issues. Chinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s growth rate is slowing down, leading to a slump in commodities consumption. Industry experts like Singer Chang of the China Mining Association is of the view that much of the issues are related to the fact that the government takes the mining sector merely as a tool for supporting infrastructure rather than a growth pole of the economy. Many laws and statutes are incomplete and there is a serious lack in terms of long-term mining strategies.

mines, vehicle monitoring etc. CIL is also updating topographical maps of all coalfields and has also initiated satellite surveillance of all the 162 open coal mines for assessing land reclamation status on an annual basis, a first of its kind in the world. CMPDI, a CIL subsidiary and a consultant in mine planning and design, uses a wide range of remote sensing technology for exploration, infrastructure development, land-use mapping,

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environmental management plan; thermal infrared for mine fire mapping; DInSAR for subsidence monitoring; LiDAR for excavation measurement etc. It has also started surveying of mine lease areas using DGPS. Meanwhile, the rest of the sector, especially private miners, is lagging behind, largely owing to high costs and lack of awareness. Sanins, however, sees a huge opportunity in this void.

Bridging the Talent Gap The advanced level of geospatial technologies is pretty new to mining. As Devireddy explains, what happens inside the earth is basically in the domain of geologists and the knowledge they have is in 2D environment. “People trained with geospatial technology do not know how to mine and do not understand the structural aspects of a mine. So you need to have the best of both worlds.” In South Africa, for instance, mining companies earlier had GIS experts supporting them with management of datasets. But now there is an increased focus on having GIS experts who combine their domain expertise with hybrid technologies for advanced modelling and analysis outputs, says Subramanian. Operating mining management systems involves a range of skills — a thorough knowledge of the geological processes that lead to the resource to be modelled, an in-depth knowledge of the used modelling and simulation al-

gorithms and their pitfalls, the production process and the social context of a mine location, underlines Marschallinger, who sees trained resources as not being a problem for big companies. The key to implementing technology found in other industries within the mining industry is to have an understanding of how and where the technology has a role to play, says Nitz, who has a background in IT, combined with practical mining experience with some of the leading global miners, and then again backed up with postgraduate engineering studies. A resource like Nitz is unusual but not impossible in the developed countries, but in BRICS mining engineering courses are yet to marry this kind of technology with basics of the subject. While such a culture is almost non-existent in India, trained labour is a big problem even in Brazil and Russia. “This deficiency is very high in Brazil because even big miners do not have a post of Surveyor Engineer or Cartographer,” points out Neves. In China, though there are enough number of geographic information technology graduates, they still require specialised training in mining. In South Africa, however, there is a growing trend among large mining conglomerates to undertake local capacity development and training, which stems from the government mandate to develop mining skills of local resources, explains Subramanian.

In such a situation, both mining and geospatial organisations are learning fast and customising solutions to make it easier. Leica, for instance, is moving from optimising the flow of trucks and shovels to optimising the knowledge worker by providing access to geospatial tools and analysis. Bentley supports and encourages proactive local education advancement through a series of structured learning programmes —Bentley Learning Paths — as part of the Bentley LEARN program, an on-demand programme tailored to meet the education demands of those involved in M&M engineering and design.

Awareness and Regulatory Hurdles There is a feeling that today that mining companies in the BRICS are more progressive than the governments about the significance of geospatial technology. Companies typically go faster than governments because they are motivated by a need to have RoI as quickly as possible, says Morasse. Major miners and regulators, particularly in developing nations, have an eye on the best practices across the globe. There is often a reluctance to implement these demands across the entire industry due the nature of pre-existing small-scale operations, but major miners do not solely rely on legislations to

South Africa: A Land of Hidden Treasures South Africa’s total reserves, estimated to be worth $2.5-trillion, is the world’s fifth-largest mining sector in terms of GDP value. It is the world’s leading producer of platinum, as well as a major player in the production of gold, diamonds, base metals and coal. The potential for further discoveries in huge yet-to-be explored regions means that mining could contribute even more to national GDP than the current 8.8%. Given its history and mineral wealth, it is no surprise that the country’s mining companies are key players in the global industry. Its strengths include a high level of technical and production expertise, and comprehensive R&D activities. South African mining companies are under severe pressure in their local operations from labour unions on the one side and investors on the other. A few have refocused on operations in the rest of Africa as South Africa remains the gateway into the rest of Africa. The labour unrest throughout 2013, uncertainties over the regulatory climate as local authorities dispute over jurisdictions over mining sites, and increasing resource nationalism are considered big hurdles.

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BRICS: The Breakout Nations / Mining ensure best practices, adds Desmond. In Brazil, for instance, there is no awareness on the part of lawmakers of the importance of systematic mapping, given that today Brazil does not have all its territory mapped even at 1:100,000 scale, points out Roger Neves, Director with CPE Equipamentos Topograficos, Riegl’s local distributor. But that didn’t stop Vale. As for mapping, the task has now been taken up by the private sector but in such cases the information generated is not shared with other companies, resulting in duplication of efforts. Brazil has an active and progressive regulatory system in place, but it is a long way from being implemented throughout the entire country. “While big mining companies adhere to regulations, there are innumerable small, clandestine operations in remote areas, which are impossible to inspect,” says Martins, pointing out satellite imaging solutions are a big help towards this. In China, mining companies have been asking for information transparency and open data, and the government too is clear that geospatial technology should be widely used in this sector, says Ma Wei Feng, General Manager, InfoEarth, a local player. Various government departments have for long used spatial information for exploration, macro-industry management, production, safety et al and the first national geographic census being conducted includes mineral resources. Digital mining is currently a hot topic in China and the government has made it one of the State 863 projects (a programme intended to stimulate technological development in a wide range of fields), but the situation regarding mining data is still not satisfactory since issues such as transition to information security controls act as barriers. Also, China’s political and business environment is difficult and costly to navigate and multinational technology providers are cautious to enter China due to these reasons as well as

the lack of IP protection there, says Pugh. Similarly, he finds the political and business environment in Russia to be complex, challenging and thus prohibitively expensive for leading foreign geospatial players. Even though the level or through a China has of understanding is high web mapping the potential among the governportal to to become a global ment and mining assist the innovator in clean coal companies in South technologies. It recognises adoption Africa, local authorof GIS in underground coal ities and regulatory mining gasification as important bodies need further initiaand has dedicated awareness and traintives. government support ing. For instance, the N i t z to develop own rigid rules for surveying thinks reresources. laid down under the existmote sensing ing laws could be the single and visualisation biggest challenge for the acceptance is where the future is of laser scanning technology. To make headed to. Many mining companies are changes to the law could take years and moving towards remote operations centhe fact that mine surveyors are legal tres where all types of mining data are appointments further complicates the displayed, often thousands of kilometres issue, points out Stroh. Labour unrest away from the mine sites. Radar interthroughout 2013, uncertainties over ferometry has been widely recognised the regulatory climate, and increasing in monitoring mining-induced subsidresource nationalism are other hurdles. ence. Hyperspectral imagery is a provIn such a situation, geospatial mapping en remote sensing technique to monitor software will be crucial to create an environmental impacts of mining as it overall view of the complex interrela- enables mapping minerals responsible tionships in areas where high natural for pollution and their extension around resources are found, underlines Sanins. mining sites, points out Chevrel. For now, the biggest challenge is in convincing people about the cost and What Lies Ahead The industry thinks the future is in RoI that these technologies offer. “Hisautonomous mines. And accurate geo- torically, technology has not been in spatial information is the key to this. the ‘must-have’ list for mining but this “Technology today is evolving so fast, is slowly changing. Economic credit and being used in areas that nobody crunches don’t help with this, but we thought it would be used for — eg, will see a return to technology uptake driverless trucks,” says Morasse. Oth- once the situation improves,” says Nitz. For years mining has been seen as er areas are reality capture for ground control and stockpile verification; la- dirty, dangerous and environmentally ser scanning (which has already made contentious. But emerging markets, good inroads) is a great tool for height innovative technologies and a dynamic analysis and blasting taking advantage workforce are steering the modern minof point cloud terrain mapping and er to become smarter. modelling safety; tailing dam control etc. Haigh also recommends making Anusuya Datta government data available via WMS

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Share of agriculture in GDP

SO SHALL YOU REAP The new ‘agricultural powers’ in terms of production, exports and imports, the BRICS are set to script new rules for tomorrow’s agriculture. In terms of food security too, the BRICS will be key players in the world’s fight against hunger because of their demographic and social characteristics.

5% Brazil


Agriculture production 87,183.73 690,251

514,086.2 564,086.3 28,799.46

87,934 749,561




565,489.9 566,542.7 29,761.87 89,541.9 India

Russia Russia 2012

552,401.9 565,859.2 30,581.12 China

17% 2013


South Africa

Average annual growth rate in agriculture (%)



South Africa

3% 2013-2022

Source: OECD/FAO


Agricultural Land

Arable Land













South Africa



Smart Seeds for a Sustainable Future BRICS nations must embrace cutting-edge geospatial technology and put in place well-thought-out policies to raise agricultural productivity to feed its burgeoning population and play a key role as a global economic force. By Mark Noort, Editor-Agriculture

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Source : World Bank

Source: OECD/FAO


BRICS: The Breakout Nations / Agriculture

Area Cultivated (million hectarees)

farming resources. Furthermore, they also keep farmers abreast of crop management and production through digital workflows created from geo-enabled data. The information can be collected and analysed, and action can be taken to optimise the processes, thereby improving crop yields while saving costs. However, in the agricultural development plans of the BRICS countries, geospatial technology is hardly mentioned, or not at all. And whatever little is happening on the ground needs much harmonisation. All BRICS face common problems, but also have competing interests. Production capacity will struggle to keep up with food needs while sustainability is a key challenge. The international food policy research institute (IFPRI) states that “the availability of location-specific data to document changes in these variables [weather, soil, markets, prices] over time is [currently] extremely limited.” A World Bank study on smart agriculture notes that many countries have not invested enough in the public good of weather and climate information. This includes a lack of integration of meteorological and hydrological information services, easy and timely access of which is extremely important for agriculture.

Area of cultivated land (Fig 1)

180 160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 2000

production (million tons)


he growth of BRICS — in particular China, India and Brazil — is the story of our times. With the global power-base shifting to the rapidly evolving economies, agriculture is proving to be a predominant cultural and economic force in BRICS, home to 45% of the world population. On a global scale, the need to feed 8 billion people by 2025 requires production to rise from the current 3 tonne per hectare to 4 tonne per hectare. And BRICS are expected to play a significant role in this. Agriculture is important for all these countries. It is therefore no coincidence that they adopted a cooperation plan earlier this year at the 3rd BRICS Ministers of Agriculture and Agrarian Development meeting to adopt tangible measures for boosting domestic agricultural productivity and dealing with global food crisis, promote global economic recovery as well as play a crucial role in global initiatives for food security. Even not taking biofuel into account, increased urbanisation and rising living standards will lead to an increased demand for agricultural products. This is a global trend, but applies to the BRICS in particular. For most of these countries, extension of arable land is not an option anymore (with Russia and South Africa perhaps as exceptions). The focus should therefore be on increasing productivity and a more efficient use of resources. A parallel goal is to make the sector more resilient, to deal better with food price volatility and other disruptions, including those caused by climate change. “The key word in agriculture is productivity. However, there are a number of critical factors that affect production including availability of land, accessibility of water and sustainability,” says Claudio Simão, President Hexagon Solutions (South America & Asia Pacific). On the other hand, he points out that only 11% of the planet’s land is fit for growing crops. Increased occurrences of natural disasters such as droughts and floods have had a catastrophic impact on the availability of usable land. Further complicating the problem is soil degradation, including erosion and nutrient loss, which causes an estimated 20% decline in food production in the world’s most fertile areas every year. Investments in technology can help BRICS increase productivity. Software solutions can not only optimise the utilisation of land and water, but fertilisers, pesticides, seeds and other



Production of cereals (Fig 2) 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 Brazil

2000 Russia

2008 India

2010 China

South Africa

Source: BRICS Joint Statistical Publication 2013

Geospatial World January 2014 / 79

Canasat to map cultivation The Canasat project uses satellite images to identify and map the area under cultivation with sugar cane in South-Central Brazil. The project is carried out by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), the Industry Sugarcane Association (UNICA) and others. Since 2003, thematic maps are produced every year, including ones with the spatial distribution of sugarcane. The maps are accessible through the Web. People can find where the areas with sugarcane are, how the crop is developing and what the trends have been over the Sugarcane expansion in Sao Paulo years (by municipality and by state). The information is used by the agribusiness sector, but state, Brazil also by environmental organisations: harvests are predicted and planned, and environmental laws and regulations are monitored.

On the positive side, the sector has grown considerably in the BRICS over the past decade. According to FAO, agriculture output has grown 39% since 2000 in the BRICS, while the figure is 14% for OECD countries over the same time span. However, the BRICS are not producing to their optimum capacity and there is also a big difference between performances when compared to each other. A comparative analysis of the total area of cultivated land and production of cereals in each of the BRICS nations (Figure 1 & 2) show that total cultivated land in India, China and Russia is twice as much as Brazil’s, and all four dwarf South Africa’s total area. China is the biggest cereal and meat producer, but Brazil’s cereal production is of the magnitude as Russia’s and its meat production — although not even a third of China’s — is almost three times Russia’s.

Embrapa’s ARAquáGeo tool allows estimates of water contamination, which are incorporated into geostatistical programmes to generate maps to show the risk to evaluated area.

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Brazil: High on Tech Brazil is an exception among the emerging nations in its use of hi-tech technology for agriculture. High R&D spending has been very effective, raising production by over 70% in the last decade. Led by the agricultural research institute Embrapa, Brazil proved the conviction wrong that high yields are only possible in temperate climates, and is, therefore, an example for other tropical countries. The results obtained in the Brazilian North-East, the Cerrado, are especially impressive. The support for agricultural research is accompanied by financial credit and rural extension policies. Agricultural policy tries to cater to both large enterprise-like as well as small family farms, and combine the goals of expanding production while supporting eco-friendly agricultural measures. Still, the level of government support to agriculture is relatively low (6%, compared with OECD average of 26%). Policies focus on enabling sustainable private sector investments and supporting measures that increase the value of natural capital, as R&D investments show. Besides, loans for agricultural development are tied to environmental protection measures. In terms of improved land management, Brazil serves as an example for others. Geospatial technology plays a supporting role in soil and water management, the use of no-tillage systems and land-use management in general. It is also being used for rural planning,

infrastructure and logistics issues, environmental impacts, crop forecast, expansion and intensification of agricultural systems, and cattle tracing. Systems such as Canasat are used for monitoring sugarcane and its effect on the environment. The size and scale of operations lends itself to the use of satellite solutions. Embrapa’s SOMABRASIL (system for agriculture observation and monitoring) is another example. “The project organises, integrates and makes geospatial databases available on the Web, thus contributing to the understanding of land use and land cover changes. It uses data from different sources: Google (hybrid, satellite, physical and street); Virtual Earth (hybrid, aerial, and roads), and Yahoo (hybrid, satellite, and street),” says Mateus Batistella, Director, Embrapa Satellite Monitoring. However, Brazil needs to shift uisfocus from science to applications At the local level, there are opportunities for precision agriculture applications, but also for more general issues, such as the use of geospatial technology for the development of disaster prevention and mitigation plans. Embrapa has also developed a system, ARAquáGeo, for environmental assessment of pesticides, based on geospatial technology. CONAB (translated as the national supply company of Brazil) underlines the importance of geospatial technology for crop yields forecasts, such as for coffee. Currently, the crop forecast in Brazil is done by means of questionnaires to

BRICS: The Breakout Nations / Agriculture

Russia: A Land of Opportunities Russia has a vast potential to increase agriculture output and productivity. With modernisation and vertical integration, the last decade has seen significant government investment in this field. What distinguishes Russia from the other BRICS partners is that only half of the arable land (60%) is used for agricultural production. Productivity lags behind the European Union and the US, which is partly due to unfavourable climatic conditions. But this also provides an opportunity for improvement, in terms of application of modern technology, equipment and machinery, fertilisers and better soil and water management. A government project is worth mentioning here — the System of State Land Monitoring. The project consists of two subsystems — the Agricultural Lands Atlas and the Remote Sensing Monitoring System of Agricultural Lands. Crop development and yield forecasting, fertiliser application, and soil and water management are other areas where geospatial technology can make a difference. At all levels, land-use planning and timely weather and climate information will become important to increase resilience with respect to climate change and meteorological phenomena. “Russian farmers are mostly interested in such information services as inventory and mapping of agricultural lands, registration of field boundaries, assessment of crop conditions during different stages of vegetation, recommendations for differentiated application of fertilisers, yields forecasting and soil mapping etc,” explains Michael Bolsu-

novsky, First Deputy Director General, Sovzond Company, which works with satellite imagery partners like RapidEye and DigitalGlobe to develop this market. Sovzond is investing in pilot projects for customers at minimum financing. Smart technologies like precision farming have also taken off well in some parts of Russia since the technique provides each field lot with differentiated fertiliser and herbicide treatment, different seeding volume, and strict abidance by culture practices in soil treatment. The GLONASS/GPS navigation hardware installed on modern agricultural machinery allows accurate positioning of a unit within a field, adjustment of its trajectory and, depending on uploaded programme, activation of various modes of operation, say Ilya Farutin and Sergei Mikhailov of Scanex. Although incentives for implementation of innovative technologies could be improved, there is a growing interest in the use of precision agriculture techniques, simply because the benefit-cost ratio is high.

India: Battling Inner Devils Self-sufficiency in agricultural production has been the top priority for India, which is home to 17% of the world’s population and 15% of global livestock, but only 2.4% of the geographical area and 4% of the global water resources. Half the population depends on agriculture as principle source of income and agriculture accounts for about 14% of India’s GDP and about 11% of exports. “Since the net sown area is stagnated at around 142 Mha, further increase in production needs to come through an increase in gross cropped area (multiple cropping), coverage of area under irrigation and improvement in the productivity,” underlines Dr G.P. Obi Reddy, Senior Scientist with the National Bureau of Soil Survey & Land Use Planning. This could be achieved by focusing on potential areas, regionally differentiated strategies, crop diversification and scientific

Satellite-based Crop Monitoring The Russian company Scanex has developed a satellite-based crop monitoring system to improve the efficiency of the plant industry. The first step is to establish an accurate estimate of the area under cultivation. Overgrowing with shrubs and trees, loss of land by gully erosion, conversion of agricultural land into built-up areas, and withdrawal of land plots from agriculture are factors that have to be taken into account. Satellite images provide the information that is needed for crop monitoring. Substantial work goes into image classification and field visits to assess and validate photosynthetically active biomass. The results are used to advise on fertiliser application and optimal harvest timing (scheduling machine use). Comparing the vegetation index of winter crops

producers and employees of institutions responsible for crop estimation. However, with variations in spectral behaviour due to factors such as spacing, age, time of year, this can better be identified and mapped on satellite images with reasonable accuracy, improving the results in terms of accuracy and timeliness.

management of natural resources. The Bureau is conceptualising a project to generate high resolution soil resource database at 1:10,000 scale for site-specific agricultural land-use planning. “Geospatial technology plays a key role in all these endeavours,” he adds. For years now, ISRO’s National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) has been working on crop pattern/system analysis, crop monitoring, crop acreage and production assessment,

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drought assessment etc; and farmers are provided assistance through village resource centres. Recently, the government recommended remote sensing and GPS-based support system for land rejuvenation while pilot studies are being planned for land-use planning and precision farming. NRSC’s Bhuvan also provides thematic data for agriculture, water and ecosystem management at national, state and district level on 2D/3D mode on the Web and Mobile. The Ministry of Agriculture’s Mahalanobis National Crop Forecast Centre was established in 2012 to provide crop forecasts and assessment of drought situation. “We use remote sensing data from various satellites (Indian and foreign) for crop and drought assessment. GPS is used for field data collection, while GIS is used for integrating thematic information from multiple sources and generating maps,” says Dr Shibendu Shankar Ray, the Centre’s Director. Ray adds there have been several end-user oriented applications of geospatial technology, such as watershed development, site suitability and precision farming. An example is the work carried out by the North East Space Applications Centre towards horticultural development in the region. Satellite data was used to delineate the area under ‘Jhoom’ (shifting) cultivation. Then, village-level horticulture development plans were generated, based on site-suitability for fruit cultivation, to directly benefit the farmers. Another example is the use of remote sensing and GIS for post-harvest infrastructure (cold storage) planning for

potato crop in the state of West Bengal. ICRISAT and ICARDA are two other organisations promoting the use of geospatial technology for agriculture. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research Indian Sugar sector. In addition has also launched a to the variety of $250-million World Mills Association climatic and Bank-funded has used geospatial economic cirinitiative called technology to map cumstances, the National sugarcane crop in India. this makes Agricultural This enables it to predict the picture Innovation Procrop acreage, drought very diverse. ject which uses impact on crops, water There are geospatial data to utilisation, etc for the some general develop innovative entire country. issues, however, ways of farming. such as the continuing Suhas P. Wani and fragmentation of land holdA.V.R. Kesava Rao of ICRISAT note that developments in the ings and the ever-increasing pressure on field of GIS that synthesise thematic land and water. This calls for a sound information with ancillary data have land-use policy that facilitates rural area not only made this technology effec- development, sustainable natural retive and economically viable but also source management and eco-restoration. an inevitable tool to arrive at sustaina- For such a policy to be effective, comble development strategies for land and puterisation of land records and mapping of land and water use and resources, as water resources management. Dr Chandrashekhar Biradar of well as soil characteristics is necessary, ICARDA confirms the paradigm shift and the potential for geospatial technolfrom landscape-level information to ogy is obvious. Further, countervailing farm scale. In particular, very high measures like subsidising water, electricresolution (VHR) satellite imagery ity and fertiliser should be phased out or now provides unprecedented oppor- at least balanced, to enable productivity tunities for standardised farmscape to gains and modernisation of the sector. It is interesting to note that use of walandscape metrics and analytics to inform sustainable agricultural intensifi- ter and power for agriculture is heavily subsidised in India, contributing to excation in smallholder settings. Agriculture is the responsibility of cessive drawing of power and depletion the states in India. This means there of groundwater resources. Water-use are different policies to support the efficiency can be increased with rain-

ISRO takes the lead The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) coordinates a wide array of remote sensing applications for agriculture. For crop production forecasts a mixture of space, agrometeorology and land-based observations is used. For the early-season crop monitoring the soil moisture conditions are critical, rainfall monitoring and drought assessment are therefore very important. This combined with an analysis of cropping patterns and crop rotation increases productivity by crop intensification and diversification. Advice on fertiliser and water use is another objective. Soil erosion pattern in Karnataka as shown by ISRO’s geoportal Bhuvan.

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BRICS: The Breakout Nations / Agriculture water harvesting, micro-irrigation and watershed management, an area where geospatial technology is a valuable tool. To boost its stagnating agriculture, India has to switch from traditional grains to high-value crops and livestock products. It also needs to change its production based on low labour costs to efficiency and productivity-driven growth. As elsewhere, promotion of geospatial technology in India would make use of a two-fold strategy — showing the potential of concrete geo-based applications and transforming a science and government-dominated discipline into one that also includes the private sector.

China: Farming Out Although China is a big producer, it is also the biggest net importer of agricultural products in the world. China has invested heavily in R&D and the creation of support infrastructure in rural areas (electricity, irrigation) and aims at modernising agriculture through market development, technical innovation, intensification, food safety, regional development, land tenure security, disaster management and climate resilient low-carbon agriculture. Agricultural production has grown considerably over the last few decades; since 1980, production increased by a factor of 4.5 (over the same time span GDP increased by a factor 20). Food security has therefore increased significantly, but demand has also risen sharply owing to improved living standards and urbanisation. The increased pressure on land leads to land degradation, soil salinisation, acidification and pollution and water scarcity and pollution. All this notwithstanding, the achievements of China in increasing productivity and sustainable environmental management are remarkable. In Northern China, for example, water saving is practiced to reduce evapotranspiration. Proper watershed management not only increased productivity, but also helped extend the area under agriculture while maintaining

the water balance. In Central China, the successful restoration of the Loess Plateau (fencing, grazing right, planting of grasses, trees and bushes) is an example in ecosystem-friendly management. In South China, afforestation and rainwater harvesting have been implemented. Paddy cultivation changed from continuous flooding to superficial drainage at midseason, increasing yields and reducing methane emissions. China is now a net ‘sequesterer’ of carbon from land use and forestry, according to the World Bank. Additionally, the government aims at improving the efficiency of fertiliser use, which is currently still low. Tao Xiang, CEO of Hexun Science and Technology, a local player, confirms that thanks to state support agriculture production unit-scale is growing. This enables the application of modern technology for massive production, which in turn increases the demand for monitoring and decision making supported services. GIS is still the most popular concept, but other types of innovation are actively supported by the government. The National Agriculture and Rural Information Development in the Twelfth Five-year Plan had listed “accelerating the pace of information technology of modern agriculture” as one of the major tasks. It had also called for digitisation of agricultural production data and development in precision agriculture, besides actively promoting farm management GIS, meteorological monitoring system of soil moisture, soil testing and fertilisation system, crop growth monitoring system and other information technology applications in field planting, points out Tao. He Hui, Deputy Manager (Remote Sensing), Wuhan Zondy Cyber Science and Technology, confirms the active role of government in stimulating geospatial implementation. This means GIS, remote sensing and other forms of spatial information technology have greater role to play as the government promotes modern, information-oriented farming. The

future prospects for the development of agriculture in China are vast, and will gradually develop in a scientific manner keeping the ecological and environmental concerns in mind.

South Africa: Diversified Approach The total amount of agricultural land in South Africa is in the order of magnitude of 100 million hectares, of which 14 million receive sufficient rainfall for arable farming. A large part of the available land is used for extensive grazing (72 million hectares) and the rest for nature conservation and forestry. As in most other BRICS countries, distinction can be made between large commercial

CropWatch for crop monitoring CropWatch is a crop monitoring system supported by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Science and Technology and others. In its 15 years of existence, CropWatch has developed into a quantitative and dynamic monitoring system. CropWatch delivers information for decision support and policy evaluation on environmental impact, biomass, cropping activities, crop condition and crop production. All this is done not only for China, but also globally. Another use of CropWatch is to monitor and mitigate disasters, such as drought and snow damage.

Geospatial World January 2014 / 83

Precision agriculture has taken off well in the BRICS, especially in Brazil & Russia

farms (owning 87% of the land) and small family farms. These small farms are usually (communal) subsistence farms and the situation is an inheritance from the ‘apartheid’ era. Improving the low-input, labour-intensive production methods of the small farms poses a special challenge, making land reform programme an urgent need of the hour. South Africa exports one-third of its agricultural production (amounting to 8 to 10% of total exports) and this has increased steadily over the last decade. Here too the inheritance from the ‘apartheid’ period plays a role: the sector had to adjust from a protected market to global market conditions. One trend, for example, is the shift from producing large quantities of cheap wine for the domestic market to high-quality wine for the international market. It seems that productivity gains in commercial agriculture have been quite limited and are mainly caused by reducing the number of farm workers. Diversification has been the answer to threats of instability: investing in different crops and/or a geographical spread of risk by growing the same crop in different regions. Although productivity has not increased much, production has increased steadily over the past decades. There has been innovation, for example in the application of minimum tillage and the introduc-

84 / Geospatial World January 2014

tion of improved (genetically modified) seeds. South Africa also faces a number of infrastructural constraints, including access to electricity. The country’s agricultural policy favours innovation as a growth engine and the challenge is maintaining a balance between efficiency and equity. Apart from the land reform programme, technology transfer by entities such as the Agricultural Research Council is very important. South African farmers have always been successful in importing technology and adapting it to local circumstances. The challenges for geospatial industry are similar: the same opportunities as for the other BRICS are there, but solutions will have to be tailored to the specific characteristics of the country, which differs in nature from the other BRICS countries.

Maturity of Technology Adoption Remote sensing and GIS have played a key role in agriculture in the all these countries in some or other capacities since the 1980s. In the initial stages, the technology helped in areas like land resource management, agricultural resources information manage-

ment, regional agricultural planning to present crop yield estimation research, regional sustainable development of agriculture, agricultural production potential research and other aspects. The current trend is the increasing interest in technology tools like GNSS, big data analytics and integration of geospatial with broader information technologies. “Currently, traditional agriculture is developing gradually toward modern agriculture, which needs IT as technical support and foundation,” says He Hui. In such a scenario, integrated solutions provide a wide range of information management tools for agricultural resources, regional agricultural zoning, agricultural land suitability evaluation, agricultural ecological environment research and so on. Even advanced technologies like precision agriculture are rapidly picking up in the emerging nations, in particular BRICS. The focus of technology adoption is toward integration of various technologies into the operations of farms such as planting, spraying and harvesting. Examples include auto-steering with GNSS positioning and automatic shut off for individual rows of a planter or tips on a sprayer. Michael Gomes, Director, Topcon Positioning, identifies two important developments for precision agriculture portfolio: the application of low-cost indicate-only systems and the application of fully automatic systems. Typically, the adoption begins with the lower cost ‘indicate-only’ systems, where the user reacts to a signal and performs manual control. The second and more advanced step is full automation of that particular aspect or operation, whether it concerns earth-moving operations or the ability to steer the tractor or agricultural vehicle for tillage or harvesting. The technology works best on very large corporate-owned farms, referred to as ‘mega-farms’ (typically sizes of 20,000 to 250,000-plus hectares), especially in Brazil and Russia where tech-

BRICS: The Breakout Nations / Agriculture nology is becoming engrained as process and operational control. Gomes is of the view that some of these farms are even far more streamlined and automated than the smaller scale farms in the more ‘mature’ and English-speaking markets. Economies of scale drive technology adoption and practices are being determined very differently as farms retool from a emerging economy to a first world economy of mass-scale production. “The services add a lot of value to them and are based not only on hardware/software distribution for data collection, but on delivery of information which is unavailable or expensive when ground based data collection technologies are used,” says Bolsunovsky. It concerns mainly applications of satellite monitoring, yield forecasting, assessment of vegetation phenology, study of soil characteristics. Even in India where farm holdings are small and fragmented, precision agriculture is taking off well. For instance, sugarcane farmers are reaping the benefits of precision farming through an efficient application of crop inputs and mapping yields and crop quality, says Amit Bhardwaj of the Indian Sugar Mills Association. The technique helps measure the localised environment conditions, thus determining whether crops are growing efficiently, while identifying the nature and location of problem is any. State regulations and initiatives are driving the adoption of automation and machine control technologies. An apt example is the enforcement of air pollution standards to lower burning of sugarcane in Brazil. While this reduces air pollution, it would also help create higher value jobs for streamlined farm operations from planting through harvest. Regulations around usage of radio frequencies for communication and import tariffs on foreign manufactured goods could be considered hurdles to streamlined adoption of those technologies. “These things, however, can vary with country, technology and crop type,” adds Gomes.

An Eye on Future There is strong evidence that there will be an increased demand for agricultural products in the coming days and production will have to grow to keep up with the demand. As in most cases, extension of the area under cultivation is not an option and huge gains in productivity are needed, which is only possible with investments in technology. Parallelly, measures will have to be taken to combat price volatility and mitigate the consequences of extreme events. Further, for most BRICS countries even a steady rise in food prices will be unacceptable, as they may lead to social unrest. The BRICS nations should increase their investments in geospatial projects and develop new policies to improve economic opportunities and reduce hunger, underlines Simão. “Furthermore, from the technical side, it is nec-

Mapping boundaries In South Africa, satellite images are used to estimate the area under cultivation and to map field boundaries. This information is complemented by field visits and airborne surveys. Crop development is then monitored and yields are estimated per crop and per district. A very important aspect is monitoring of the water balance. The findings of the surveys and analysis are used as decision support for government and for advice to farmers on, for example, sowing dates for maize.

essary to develop regulations, policies and procedures to support technology dissemination in these countries.” The 6th BRICS summit, to be held in Brazil in 2014, will be a key event for further development of the sector, and there are high expectations in terms of open access to data, partnerships for sustainable agricultural development, new remote sensing applications and business opportunities. “In view of globalisation of economy and trade, there is a need for a common platform among the BRICS centuries to address many common issues like impact of climate change on agriculture and food security,” says Reddy. Accordingly, agriculture stakeholders and geospatial players both have an eye on the summit for exchanging the technical knowhow and strengthening cooperation in agricultural information technology. “From the technology side, the summit should focus on enhancement of agricultural technology cooperation and innovation, as well as promotion of trade and investment in agriculture,” adds Simão. The BRICS need to improve their basic agricultural information exchange system and develop a general strategy for ensuring access to food for the most vulnerable sections of the population. Besides, it is important to undertake measures to reduce the negative impact of climate change on food security. Geospatial technology is part of the agriculture sector in the BRICS in various levels, from (mostly Web-based) national agricultural information systems and regional watershed and land management tools, to provision of weather information at the local level and precision farming. Going forward, the challenge will be to underline the importance of this technology, devise harmonised policies and increase the role of the private sector in agriculture. Mark Noort

Geospatial World January 2014 / 85

BRICS Bluebook/Brazil

Ação Informatica

Alezi Teodolini

AMS Kepler





CPE Tecnologias





Furtado Schmidt





HP Brasil

Av. Alfredo Egídio de Souza Aranha, 100 - Bloco D - 11° Andar, Chácara Santo Antônio - CEP: 04726-170 - São Paulo, Brasil. Tel: +55 11 35082109 Email:

Av Roque Petroni Júnior, 1089 jardim das Acácias CEP: 04707-900, São Paulo, SP Brasil Tel: +55 11 51815184 Email:

Rua Verbo Divino, 1661 CJ. 13, São Paulo, SP 04719-002 – Brasil Tel: +55 11 28232667 Email:

Endereço Presidente: R. Santos Dumont, 160 19806-060 V. Boa Vista Assis SP - Brasil Tel: +55 18 34212525 Email:

Voluntários da Pátria, 1113, Santana, São Paulo - SP, 02011-100. CEP:01235000 - Brasil Tel: +55 11 22210111 Email:

Avenida Juscelino Kubitschek, 1327 - 21º andar, São Paulo SP CEP 04543-011, Brasil Tel: +55 11 37971554 Email:

86 / Geospatial World January 2014

Endereço: Av. Paulo VI, 184 (Antigo 1952) Sumaré, CEP: 01262-010, São Paulo – SP - Brasil Tel: +55 11 38680822 Email:

Autodesk do Brasil Ltda. Rua James Joule 65 - 4 Andar 04576-080 - São Paulo - SP Brasil Tel: +55 11 55012500 Email:

Avenida Barão Homem de Melo, 4282 Bairro Estoril - Belo Horizonte - MG - Brasil Tel: +55 31 30254001 Email:

Rua Dr. Reynaldo Machado, 1151 Prado Velho, Curitiba - Paraná - Brasil, CEP: 80215-242 Tel: +55 41 32716000 Email:

Rua Nilo Peçanha, 466 Bom Retiro, Curitiba-Paraná, PR CEP: 80520-000 - Brasil Tel: +55 41 30231617 Email:

SGAN 607 Bloco B Sala 123, Centro Empresarial Brasilia, Brasília DF CEP 70 850.070 Tel: +55 61 34478979 Email:

Av. Armando Lombardi, 800 sala 206, Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, RJ 22640-906 - Brasil Tel: +55 21 36223655 Email:

Rua Marquês de Lajes, 1027 São Paulo, SP- CEP: 04162-001 – Brasil Tel: +55 11 29489900 Email:

Rua Dr. Renato Paes de Barros750 cj 45, Itaim Bibi - São Paulo - SP, CEP: 04530001 - Brasil Tel: +55 11 31688466 Email:

Rua: Traipu, 509 - Perdizes, São Paulo SP - CEP:01235-000 Tel: +55 11 38836917, Brazil Email:

Av. Shishima Hifumi, 2.911, 2º Andar - Pq. Tecnológico UNIVAP- Urbanova, São José dos Campos, São Paulo, 12244-000 Brasil. Tel: +55 12 37976811 Email:

Av Rebouças 2455, São Paulo SP CEP 05402-400 – Brasil Tel: +55 11 55025680 Email:

IBM Brasil




Pitney Bowes

Santiago & Cintra

Space Imaging


AV Pasteur 138 , Escritório MB 09 Ramal 2101 URCA, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil Tel: +55 21 21324934 Email:

Rua da Conceição, 105, Salas 15081513, Centro - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - CEP: 20051-011 - Brasil Tel: +55 21 35532717 Email:

Rua Vieira de Morais, 420 - 10 Andar Conj. 107 Cep 04617-000 São Paulo - SP- Brasil Tel: +55 11 35290260 Email:

R. Itororó, 555, Vila Bandeirantes, São José dos Campos, São Paulo 12216-440 - Brasil Tel: +55 12 39468985 Email:

Avenida Shishima Hifumi, 2.911 - Térreo, Parque Tecnológico UNIVAP - Urbanova, SP, CEP: 12.244-000, Brazil Tel: +55 12 32022700 Email:

Rua da Assembleia, 10 - 4015 - Centro Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil CEP 20011-901 Tel: +55 21 21027070 Email:

Av. Eng. Luis Carlos Berrini, 1681, 9º andar, Brooklin, São Paulo, SP 04571-011 Brazil Tel: +55 11 23488860 Email:

SIA Trecho 8 - Lotes Nº 50/60 - BrasíliaDF - Brasil - CEP: 71.205-080 Tel: +55 61 37995000 Email:

Geospatial World January 2014 / 87

BRICS Bluebook/Russia



“Aerospace”, Gorokhovskiy lane. 4, Moscow - 105064 Tel: +7 495 6321654 Email:

Molodogvardiis’ka St., 46, m Youth building 2, Moscow - 121351 Russia Tel: +7 495 9132222 Email:




52/6 Smolnaya Street Moscow - 125445, Russia Tel: +7 495 9883481 Email:

GSP-3, 80, Volokolamskoe St., 4, Moscow - 125993, Russia Tel: +7 495 2215879 Email:

Geoinformica Co ltd

Geoinnovation Agency INNOTER


9N, 16A, Kuznechniy Lane, St. Petersburg - 191040, Russia Tel: +7 812 6030342 Email:

Office 304, Bldg. 1, M. Jushunskaja St.,Moscow - 117303 Russia Tel: +7 495 3198180 Email:

St. Lenin Sloboda 26/2, Moscow - 125047, Russia. Tel: +7 495 6460128 Email:

Jena Instruments

KB Panorama Geoinformation Technologies

KGK Global

Meridian +


Taininskaya st, 7, Moscow, Russia Tel: +7 495 4741328 Email:

ul. Pavla Korchagina, Moscow - 129626, Russia Tel: +7 918 0997672 Email:

Neks Info


Sushchevskaya street, 22, Moscow, Russia Tel: +7 499 6536000 Email:

Jena Instrument Ltd, 42 Lublinskaya St, 509, Moscow - 109387, Russia Tel: +7 495 6496105 Email:

Moscow , B.Tolmachevsky per, 5 (m. Tretjakovskaja) Tel: +7 495 7390245 Email:

Nedelina street, 32, Office 46, 398000 - Lipezk, Russia Tel: +7 4742 232704 Email:

88 / Geospatial World January 2014

Data East

2/2 Ak. Lavrentyev Avenue, Novosibirsk - 630090, Russia Tel: +7 383 3320320 Email:

Avenue Leninskiy, 158, Moscow, Russia Tel: +7 495 6680998 Email:

Pokrovka Street, 47, Moscow - 105062, Russia Tel: +7 499 9990000 Email:

RIEGL VZ-4000 ULTRA LONG RANGE 3D Terrestrial Laser Scanner for eyesafe scan and image data acquisition


Shchelkovskoe Shosse 5, Building 1, Moscow - 105122, Russia Tel: +7 495 6444046 Email:

With the VZ-4000 Laser Scanner and specifically designed software packages, RIEGL provides a perfect solution for the demanding fieldwork in open pit mining and topography.


Ul. Yaroslavskaya, 13A, Office 15, Moscow – 129366, Russia Tel: +7 495 7205127 Email:

Rekarto Group

Tel: +7 4725 480313 Email:


13/1, Nakhimova Street, Tomsk - 634034, Russia Tel: +7 3822 977772 Email:

Scanex R&D centre

Highlights RIEGL VZ-4000

Rumyantsevo” Business-Park, Bld. 1, Entrance 4, 8th floor, Rumyantsevo Village, Leninsky District, Moscow Region - 142784, Russia. Tel: +7 495 7397385 Email:

• range up to 4 ,000 m


• connector for external GNSS receiver

28, Shipilovskaya St, Moscow - 115563, Russia Tel: +7 495 988751 Email:

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monitoring of terrain deformations by analyzing the changes of surfaces


optimized and simplified scan data registration and processing workflow for open pit mining, offering, e.g., automatic extraction of break lines, contours, profiles, and calculation of volumes

Moscow Representation, Business Center “Nakhimov”, Sebastopol Avenue, 47A, Moscow- 117186, Russia, Tel: +7 495 2585045 RIEGL LMS GmbH, Austria


RIEGL Japan Ltd.

BRICS Bluebook/India


ADCC Infocad

Apex CoVantage

Plot No.E/54 & E/54/1, Infocity Chandaka Industrial Estate, Patia Bhubaneswar - 751024. Orissa, India Tel: +91 674 6621016 Email:

10/5 IT Park, Near VNIT Campus, Nagpur - 440022 Maharashtra Tel: +91 712 2249033 Email:

Autodesk India

Avineon India

BAE Systems India

Cyber Gateway, Block A -1st floor, HITEC City, Madhapur, Hyderabad - 500081 Andhra Pradesh, India Tel: +91 40 66632452 Email:

2nd Floor, Hotel Le-Meridien Commercial Tower , Raisina Road, New Delhi, 110-001, India Tel: +91 11 43412345 Email:

Bentley Systems India

COWI India

203, Okhla Industrial Estate, Phase-III, New Delhi - 110 020 Tel: +91 11 49021100 Email:

121, Phase - I, Udyog Vihar, Gurgaon - 122 016, Haryana, India Tel: +91 124 4092500 Email:

CyberTech Systems and Software


Elcome Technologies

FARO Business Technologies

A-6, Infocity, Sector 34 Gurgaon - 122002, Haryana, India Tel: +91 124 4122222 Email:

E-12, B-1 Extension, Mohan Cooperative Industrial Estate, New Delhi - 110044, India Tel: +91 11 46465656 Email:

GE India

Genesys International Corporation

Building No. 7A, 5 th floor, DLF Cyber City, DLF Phase - III, Sector 25 A, Gurgaon - 122002, India Tel: +91 124 4808056 Email:

73-A SDF III, SEEPZ, Andheri (E), Mumbai - 400096, India Tel: +91 22 44884488 Email:

Hewlett-Packard India Sales

Hitachi India

IIC Technologies

306, The Capital, Plot C 70, G Block, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra (E) Mumbai - 400051, India Tel: +91 22 61539393 Email:

Tel: +91 9916139761 Email:

Units 802A and 802B, Tower 2, 8th Floor, Konnectus Building, Bhavbhuti Marg, New Delhi - 110001, India Tel: +91 11 30605252 Email: www.vndslkfndslkf

90 / Geospatial World January 2014

8-2-350/5/B-22, Road No 3, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad - 500034. Andhra Pradesh, India Tel: +91 40 39144444 Email:

89, Road No 2, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 500034, Andhra Pradesh, India Tel: +91 40 30127730 Email:

B-65, CyberTech House, J. B. Sawant Marg, Thane 400 604, Maharashtra, India Tel: +91 22 25834643 Email:

24, Salarpuria Arena, Adugodi Hosur Rd, Bangalore - 560 030, India Tel: +91 80 33824000 Email:

IL&FS The IL&FS Financial Centre- Plot C22, G Block, Bandra Kurla Complex Bandra (E) Mumbai 400051, India Tel: +91 22 26533333 Email:

Infotech Enterprises

Intergraph SG&I India

11, Software Units Layout, Infocity, Madhapur, Hyderabad - 500081 Andhra Pradesh, India Tel: +91 40 23110357 Email:

3rd Floor Enkay square, 448A Udyog Vihar phase 5, Gurgaon - 122016, India Tel: +91 124 4633000 Email:

Lepton Software Export & Research

Magnasoft Consulting India

570, Udyog Vihar, Phase-V, Gurgaon, Haryana-122016, India Tel: +91 124 4725500 Email:

Texas Building, First Floor, Global Village, Technology Park, Mylasandra, Pattanagere Village, Bangalore - 560059, India Tel: +91 80 43466000 Email:

Navayuga Spatial Technologies

NIIT GIS Limited

PetroIT Limited

Plot No. 223-224, 3rd Floor, Udyog Vihar, Phase -1 Gurgaon - 122002, Haryana Tel: +91 124 4002702 Email:

Plot No.61, Sector-44, Gurgaon, Haryana 122003, India Tel: +91 124 4583830 Email:

Pitney Bowes India

Reprographics India

45, 2nd Floor, Okhla Industrial Estate Phase III, New Delhi- 110020, India Tel: +91 11 42195500 Email:

604, Sidhartha Building 96, Nehru Place, New Delhi – 110019 Tel: +91 11 26424631 Email:

Ridings Consulting Engineers


Rolta India

Satpalda Geospatial Services

Rolta Tower A, Rolta Technology Park, MIDC, Andheri (E), Mumbai - 400093, India Tel: +91 22 29266666 Email:

1006, Kanchenjunga Building 18, Barakhamba Road, New Delhi - 11000, India Tel: +91 11 23312648 Email:

TriCAD Consultants

Trimble Navigation India

Plot No. 379, Road No. 10 Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad - 500033 Andhra Pradesh. India Tel: + 91 40 23339990 Email:

A-8 Sector 16 Noida 201301, India Tel: +91 120 2511102 Email:


Stesalit Towers,1st Floor, E-2/3, Block EP & GP, Salt Lake, Sector - V, Kolkata - 700091, India Tel: +91 33 65229064 Email:

C- 44, Madhura Nagar, S.R. Nagar (P O), Hyderabad - 500038 India Tel: +91 40 66610255 Email:


68, Okhla Industrial Estate, Phase 3 New Delhi – 110020, India Tel: +91 11 46009900 Email:

Ganga Shopping Complex(STP), No. 429-430, Block-II, 2nd Floor, Sector-29, Noida – 201301, India Tel: +91 120 4694500 Email:

Unit 312 Time Tower, MG Road Gurgaon, Haryana 122 001 India Tel: +91 124 4256820

Geospatial World January 2014 / 91

BRICS Bluebook/China

Beijing Boif Instrument

Beijing Eastdawn Information Technology

Beijing Geo-Vision

10th Floor, Sinosteel Plaza, No.8 Haidian Street, Haidian District,100080, China Tel: +86 10 6268 6799 Email:

19, Block 11, ABP, No.188 NanSiHuanXiLu, Fengtai District Beijing – 100070, China Tel:+86 13 121462566 Email:

Beijing GEOWAY Software

Beijing Space Eye Innnovation

Beijing Top View Technology

Beijing UniStrong Science & Technology

BHC Navigation

CHC Navigation Technology

A- 204 Buiding, # 10 Jiuxianqiao North Rd Chaoyang District, Beijing 100015, Tel: +86 10 5827 5050 Email:

7 Floor, Tower C, Intelli-Center, No.18 Zhongguancun East Road, Haidian District, Beijing, 100083, China Tel: +86 10 51266697 Email:

ComNav Technology

Guangdong Kolida Instrument

Gvitech Technologies

Hi-Target Surveying Instrument

HuaZheng Geospatial Software

KQ GEO Technologies Co Ltd

Leador Spatial Information Technology Corporation


Oriental Titan Technology

No.2, Xingye St, Beijing Economic Technological Development Area, Beijing, 100176, China Tel: +86 10 6781 6800 Email:

F16, Wanshang Plaza, 22 Shijingshan Rd 100043 Beijing, China Tel: +86 10 6863 8580 ext.1544) Email:

Building E, No.50 Alley 2080 Lianhua Road, 201103 Shanghai, China Tel: +86 21 64056796 Email:

10th Floor, Chuangxin Building, Tian’an Technology Zone, No.555 North Panyu Road, Panyu District, Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province, 511400,China Tel: +86 20 22883930 Email:

Bldg 12th, Innovation Base, Hust Science Park, Wuhan, Hubei,430223, China Tel: +86 27 87492808 Email:

92 / Geospatial World January 2014

No.17, Huayuan Road, Haidian District, 100088, Beijing, China Tel: +86 10 82257160 ext.8029) Email:

2/F, He Tian Building, No 24, Ke Yun Road, Guangzhou 510665, China Tel: +86 20 85542075 Email:

1st Floor, Chuang Ye Building, Wuhan East Lake High-Tech Dev. Zone, Wuhan, Hubei, 430223, China Tel: +86 27 879280212 ext.855 Email:

F 2/13 Tower B Venture Plaza, No.11 Anxiangbeili St. Chaoyang District,100101, China Tel: +86 10 51286880 Email:

Room 1107, Ruidu International Centre, Tongzhou District, 101121, Beijing, China Tel: +86 10 60529357 Email:

Building 35, 680 Guiping Road, Shanghai, China Tel: +86 21 54260273 Email:

F3 Tower D, Beijing Global Trade Centre, 36 North Third Ring Rd East, Dongcheng District, Beijing, 100013, China Tel: +86 10 5893 8000 Email:

Room 1606-1609, Building C, Weibo Shidai Center, No.17 Zhong Guangcun South St, Hai Dian, Beijing, 100081, China Tel: +86 10 8527 1488 Email:

Room 1107, High Technology Building, No. 229 Zhonglu, North Fourth Ring Road, 100083, Beijing, China Tel: +86 10 82884081 Email:

Silver Data Spatial-GIS

South Surveying & Mapping Instrument

2F - 4F No.16 Guanri Road Software Park Phase II, Xiamen Fujian, China Tel: +86 592 2221660 Email:

2/F, Surveying Building, NO.26, Ke Yun Road, Guangzhou 510665, China Tel: +86 20 23380888 Email:

SuperMap Software


Suzhou FOIF

Room 30301, Scitech Plaza, No.22, JianGuoMenWai Avenue, Beijing 100004 Tel: +86 10 85118988 Email:

18 Tong Yuan Road Suzhou, 215006, China Tel: +86 512 65224904 Email:

Trimble China

Twenty First Century Aerospace Technology

Wuda Geoinformatics

3/F Unit E, Building 201, No. A10, Jiuxianqiao North Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, PR China, 100015 Tel: +86 10 59896511 Email:

311 Fute (M) Road, Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone, Pudong Shanghai - 20013, China Tel: +86 21 50464200 Email-

No.26, Jiancaicheng Donglu, Xisanqi, Haidian District, Beijing, 100096, China Tel: +86 10 62929966 ext.1070 Email:

WHU S&T Park, East Lake, High-Tech Development Zone, Wuhan 430223, Hubei Province, China Tel: +86 27 8719 6368 Email:

Chinese High Resolution Satellite Image-TH-1

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BRICS Bluebook/South Africa


3D Laser Mapping



Algoa Survey Solutions


Autobuild Africa

CAD Corporation

P.O. Box 1152, Gordons Bay - 7151 South Africa Tel: +27 21 3867801 Email:

Block A - Ground Floor, 144 Katherine St, (Cnr. Grayston Drive), Sandown Sandton, South Africa Tel: +27 12 663 2209 Email:

CK Aerial Surveys


Data World

EPA Survey

Geo Data Design

Geosense Limited

1F, Nautica Building, The Water Club Beach Road, Granger Bay, Cape Town South Africa Tel: +27 21 4259833 Email:

Sunbel Building,12th Floor, 2 Old Paarl Rd Bellville - 7530, South Africa Tel: +21 9451072 Email:

Geospace International



P O BOX 1197, Wellington - 7654 South Africa Tel: +21 8730546 Email:

P O Box 14134, Hatfield - 0028 South Africa Tel: +27 87 3106400 Email:

Manor house, Dreyersdal Farm Rd, Bergvliet - 7945, Cape Town, South Africa Tel: +27 21 7138630 Email:

The Grain Building, 1st Floor 477 Witherite St, The Willows, Pretoria - 184, South Africa Tel: +27 12 8079480 Email:

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Unit 2, Oxford Office Park, 3 Bauhinia St, Highveld Techno Park, Centurion - 0046, South Africa Tel: +27 12 9400515 Email:

12 Scott Straat, Summerstrand - 6001 South Africa Tel: +27 828229977 Email:

Block D, 2nd Floor, Edenburg Terrace, 348 Rivonia Boulevard, South Africa Tel: +27 11 0244451 Email:

P O Box 652, Halfway House, Midrand 1685, South Africa Tel: +27 11 4100100 Email:

AAM, Suite 1, Silvermine House, 9 Silverwood Close, Steenberg Office Park, Tokai, Capte Town - 7945, South Africa Tel: +27 21 7028945 Email:

No 10 High Street Melrose Arch Johannesburg, South Africa Tel: +27 11 2187600 Email:

PO Box 601, Randvaal - 1873 South Africa Tel: +27 11 9498905 Email:

15 De Villiers Street, Middelburg - 1050 South Africa Tel: +27 13 2435864 Email:

PO Box 73382, Lynnwood Ridge, Pretoria - 0040, South Africa Tel: +27 12 3484586 Email:


Sunset Drive Mogale City, South Africa Tel: +27 11 6590346 Email:

Land Resources International

Map IT

PO Box 1211, Pietermaritzburg - 3200 South Africa Tel: +27 33 3928360 Email:

P O Box 972, Irene, Centurion - 0062 South Africa Tel: +27 12 3458015 Email:

MHP Geomatics

OPTRON Geomatics


Reutech Radar Systems

Southern Mapping Company

Total Geo-Spatial Information Solutions

15 Acacia Avenue, P O Box 400 Westville - 3630 South Africa Tel: +27 31 2669316 Email:

PO Box 686, Stellenbosch - 7599 South Africa Tel: +27 21 8801150 Email:

Po Box - 7911, Centurion - 157 South Africa Tel: +27 12 6834500 Email:

39 Kingfisher Drive, Fourways, Gauteng 2055, South Africa Tel: +27 11 4672609 Email:

88 Rubida Street Lynwood, Pretoria - 0184 South Africa Tel: +27123652546 Email:

P.O. Box 74388, Lynnwood Ridge 40, South Africa Tel: +27 823865450

Mark Your Calender

Conference Calling!

Here’s a list of the best geospatial and related technology conferences for 2014, which seek to bring the best and the brightest minds together. They will help you catch with the latest trends and products, network with the right people, or simply help you become smarter in your chosen field. So what are you waiting for, mark your calendars now! JANUARY

Tenth Plenary Session of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO-X)

Date: January 15-17 Location: Geneva, Switzerland Organiser: Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Why attend?

The main objective of the Summit will be to approve a renewed mandate for GEO through 2025 and to endorse a number of high-level recommendations — in a Ministerial Declaration — that will guide the development of a detailed Implementation Plan. Panel discussions on topics, including agriculture and food security, measuring biodiversity, disaster risk reduction, early cholera warning, ocean acidification, water security etc will be held at the event. Additionally, over 30 side-events and a ministerial summit will take place.

Defense Geospatial Intelligence (DGI) Conference and Exhibition

Date: January 21-23 Location: London, United Kingdom Organiser: Worldwide Business Research Why attend?

The DGI Conference & Exhibition brings together heads of geospatial intelligence, remote sensing, GIS data and mapping, satellite imagery and analysis within the military, governmental, and intelligence sectors. Running for 10 years, DGI is considered the best international event for the geoint community, attracting 800 professionals from 45 countries. Those who attend the conference can look forward towards developing a relationship with over 800 defence and intelligence professionals, discuss successful strategies for providing geospatial intelligence, hear about the latest ideas for using Big Data and the cloud in defence intelligence and learn about the latest requirements from some of the biggest defence organisations.

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Geodesign Summit Date: January 29-30 Location: Redlands, USA Organiser: Esri

Why attend?

This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s event will explore the use of geodesign for planning of sustainable cities. The breadth and depth of sessions, the opportunities for hands-on learning, and numerous networking opportunities make this a must-attend event. Those attending the event will have the opportunity to cultivate relationships with geodesign thought leaders, researchers, regulators and government agencies, and observe geodesign in action â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the intersection between design and geographic science. Attendees will also gain tremendous knowledge about how geodesign will impact their field and how they can use it.

GeoInsurance Conference FEBRUARY

International LiDAR Mapping Forum Date: February 17-19 Location: Colorado, USA Organiser: SPARPoint group Why attend?

The conference will focus on the use of LiDAR technology to support transport, urban modelling, coastal zone mapping, utility asset management, 3D visualisation and GIS applications. The three-day conference will highlight the importance of airborne, terrestrial and bathymetric LiDAR, with a particular emphasis on mobile mapping systems. ILMF 2014 will also host a technical programme, workshop sessions and ASPRS Hot Topics sessions. An exhibition showcasing the latest and best technologies and services in the LiDAR, 3D imaging and mapping markets will also take place.

Date: February 11-12 Location: London Organiser: Corinium Global Intelligence Network Why attend?

The conference aims to provide an in-depth market and practical insight into how insurance companies across the world are leveraging GIS and location intelligence capabilities to identify, manage and mitigate risks. By attending the two days of roundtable discussions and presentations, attendees can develop the know-how and guidance on improving their existing or building a new comprehensive and realistic strategy. In addition, they will hear how market leaders have developed business cases which have been successfully presented at the board level. Attending the GeoInsurance Conference 2014 will enable one to reap benefits from the geospatial network infrastructure management solutions.

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Date: March 4-8 Location: Las Vegas, USA Organiser: The Association of Equipment Manufacturers Why attend?

The newest equipment, technology and product breakthroughs in construction industry will be unveiled at the CONEXPO-CON/AGG. Around 2,400 exhibitors will showcase new products and technologies for every major construction industry, including asphalt, aggregates, concrete, earthmoving, lifting, mining, utilities and more. Over 130,000 attendees that range from contractors, to dealers and distributors, to service providers, engineers, producers and municipalities will attend the event. A comprehensive education programme emphasising on industry issues and trends, management and applied technology will also be conducted.

Asia Mining Congress

Date: March 17-20 Location: Singapore Organiser: Terrapinn (Singapore) Why attend?

The event aims to bring together numerous investors and commodities buyers and sellers that are involved in the mining industry. Attendees will be able to forge new business partnerships over the course of the conference. The heads of the mining and metals industry will offer valuable insights at the event. Investors from small firms to massive corporations will be in attendance, as well as mining experts working closely with the actual mines. In its 10th year, the conference attracts 1,000-plus participants and will continue to offer the most authoritative agenda and targeted networking to do business with the mining investment and innovation communities in Asia.

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World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty Dates: March 24-27 Location: World Bank HQ, Washington DC Organiser: World Bank Why attend?

Every year, the conference brings together representatives from governments, development community, civil society, academia, and the private sector to discuss issues of concern to communities, land practitioners and policymakers worldwide. The event aims to foster dialogue and sharing of good practices around the diversity of reforms, approaches and experiences that are being implemented in the land sector around the world. Under the theme ‘Land Governance in the Post2015 Agenda: Harnessing Synergies for Implementation and Monitoring Impact’, this year’s event will focus on building a shared understanding of best practices in land governance.


Interexpo GEO-Siberia-2014

Date: April 16-18 Location: Novosibirsk, Russia Organisers: Siberian State Academy of Geodesy and LLC Interexpo GEO-Siberia Why attend?

Interexpo GEO-Siberia 2014 is a traditional platform to know about tomorrow’s technologies. The exhibitors will introduce the newest equipment to be used for engineering surveys, facilities for geodetic monitoring of structural health and natural objects, technologies for geospatial data acquisition, GIS technologies for environmental management, early warning and disaster management and sustainable territorial development, etc. The three-day conference is based on the theme ‘Advanced Geospatial and Surveying Technologies for Environmental Management and Sustainable Territorial Development’. The diversity of topics and wide geography of participants make this a must-attend event.

European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2014 Date: April 27–May 02 Location: Vienna, Austria Organiser: EGU Why attend?

The EGU General Assembly will bring together geoscientists from all over the world to one platform covering all disciplines of the earth, planetary and space sciences. The EGU aims to provide a forum where scientists, especially early career researchers, can present their work and brainstorm with experts in all fields of geosciences. This year’s theme, ‘The Face of the Earth — Process and Form’, intends to celebrate the diversity of geoscience processes and the great variety of associated forms, across all scales and from the core of the earth to interplanetary space. This diversity is reflected in the five subtopics of the 2014 meeting: Rocks of the Earth, Waters of the Earth, Life of the Earth, Atmosphere of the Earth, and Space and the Earth.

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Date: May 15-17 Location: Malta Organiser: EUROGEO Why attend?

With the theme â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Power of Geography and the Role of Spatial Informationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, the conference will highlight an increasingly important and rapidly growing field affecting all aspects of society in Europe and beyond. Key output of the conference will be to establish a series of interdisciplinary research groups around the key challenges to be addressed by the forthcoming Horizon 2020 EU programme for research and innovation. Horizon 2020 aims to tackle societal challenges by helping to bridge the gap between research and the market by, for example, helping innovative enterprises to develop their technological breakthroughs into viable products with real commercial potential. Geographers will have, without doubt, a very important role to play in this debate as spatial information is increasingly produced, used and shared by citizens in a wide variety of applications.

Geo Business 2014

Date: May 28-29 Location: Business Design Centre, London, UK Organisers: Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Survey Association and Diversified Communications, UK Why attend?

The two-day conference will see key industry professionals and experts presenting the latest advances in geospatial technologies and solutions. The event will ensure delegates are one step ahead with knowledge of up-to-the-minute research and commercial developments. It will serve as a platform for technology manufacturers and service providers to meet face-to-face with their users. They will also get an opportunity to demonstrate the latest technological advances in equipment, explore solutions and capabilities, collaborate on design issues and options for future developments and requirements. All exhibiting companies will be provided with an opportunity to give a demo of their equipment and promote their services.

100 / Geospatial World January 2014

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HxGN LIVE 2014 Date: June 2-5 Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA Organiser: Hexagon Why attend?

At HxGN LIVE, participants can preview must-see technologies from the Hexagon group, attend exclusive presentations by industry experts, participate in targeted tracks, breakout sessions and hands-on training, hear inspiring keynotes from today’s thought leaders and network with peers from around the world. Themed ‘Great Stories Start Here’, HxGN LIVE speaks to the very nature of Hexagon’s business of empowering its customers to do great things with a far-reaching and global impact. HxGN LIVE highlights the latest trends in design, measurement and visualisation technologies, and fosters discussion, ideas and solutions towards creating a better and smarter world.

XXV International Federation of Surveyors Congress 2014

Date: June 16-21 Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Organiser: FIG Why attend?

The conference brings together surveyors and land professionals from all over the world to one platform.Together with the exhibition and a combination of side events and social functions, the event aims to attract more than 2,000 people from all over the world. The participants will be from different cultural backgrounds, diverse surveying traditions, varying professional experiences and multi-professional disciplines. FIG Congress 2014 will gather international practitioners and academics from all disciplines within the surveying, geospatial, natural and built environment professions (land surveying, land administration and management, land and real property appraisals, spatial sciences, spatial planning and development, positioning and measurement, engineering surveying, hydrography, environmental and green building, construction and project management).

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The 8th INSPIRE Conference

Dates: June 16-20 Location: Denmark Organiser: INSPIRE, European Commission Why attend?

Each year, the European INSPIRE conference is held to provide a platform for European stakeholders from government, academia and industry to discuss about the latest developments of the INSPIRE Directive. This conference provides an excellent opportunity to present Europe’s INSPIRE Directive to the community and hear about the developments in National SDIs. A series of plenary sessions addressing common policy issues, and parallel sessions and workshops focusing in particular on applications and implementations of SDIs, research issues and new and evolving technologies and applications will be held.


GI_Forum 2014

Date: July 1-4 Location: Salzburg, Austria Organiser: Department of Geoinformatics, University of Salzburg Why attend?

The GI_Forum 2014 provides a platform for dialogue among technologists, GIS scientists and educationalists in an ongoing effort to support the creation of an informed GIS society. The presentations and workshops will focus on innovations in technologies, science and education in the spatial domain and their possible contribution to a more just, ethical and sustainable society. Prominent keynote speakers will highlight new developments, offer insights into trends and visions. A separate session titled ‘Young Researchers Corner’, will be held for young researchers. The GI_Forum will also present research papers on innovations in the field of geospatial technologies across a range of scientific and technological domains.

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Esri User Conference Date: July 14-18 Location: San Diego Organiser: Esri Why attend?

The Esri UC brings together social, economic, business, and environmental leaders covering the spectrum of geospatial applications. Dubbed as one of the biggest GIS event, the conference provides an effective platform to learn about the real applications of the technology, test new products, improve technical development skills and gain new mapping techniques. Several workshops, user sessions, product demos, lightning talks, and hands-on learning labs will also be held. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s event promises to be more informative and dynamic as presenters will concentrate on mobile devices, cloud-based computing, GIS workflows, data management, and new features to improve the efficiency of solutions.


Trimble Dimensions

Date: November 3-5 Location: Las Vegas, US Organiser: Trimble Why attend?

The conference is the premier event for positioning professionals wishing to stay on top of the most current information regarding their chosen field. This educational, networking and hands-on training conference provides an insight into how technology can transform the way professionals in fields such as heavy civil construction, building construction, survey, cadastral, geospatial, mapping and GIS, transportation and logistics, field service management, energy, infrastructure, utilities and natural resources work to achieve success.

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Mark Your Calender

Geospatial Media and Middle East Geospatial Forum Date: February 2-4 Location: Dubai, UAE Why attend?

Revolving around the theme ‘GeoSmart Government’, the forum will seek to address the ways in which geospatial technology can offer a unique advantage to decision makers to tackle challenges faced by the society. With various sessions focusing on smart application of geospatial technology in different verticals, the event seeks to create awareness about the importance of Geo Smart Governance. Several technical and user sessions will be held to bring together domain experts and geospatial technology specialists on a common platform.

India Geospatial Forum

Date: February 5-7 Location: Hyderabad, India Why attend?

Highlighting the significant economic growth in India aided by cutting-edge technological advancements, the India Geospatial Forum 2014 will put in to perspective the country’s continued march towards a sustainable economic development. The forum will bring the spectrum of visionaries of geospatial community along with technology providers, array of users, policymakers and academicians to a single platform to promote discussion and deliberation on the optimal utilisation of this technology. Based on the theme ‘Converging Geospatial Trade and Practices’, the conference and exhibition serves a well-rounded technical agenda encompassing plenary sessions, symposium, seminars, workshops and discussions focusing on varied domains that are influencing nation’s growth.

106 / Geospatial World January 2014

Communications Conferences GeoIntelligence 2014 Geospatial World Forum

Date: May 5-9 Location: Geneva, Switzerland Why attend?

The global conference aims at enriching the geospatial ecosystem with market intelligence, technology trends, success stories and capacity building. It is a confluence of a variety of activities in the form of plenary session, technology showcase, symposia, workshops, panel discussions, dialogue and exchange forums — covering the vast gamut of technology, application, policy, use cases from across the world. The theme ‘geoSMART Planet: Resources + Infrastructure & YOU!’ will address the ways geospatial technologies extend the ability to smartly harness spatial data that gives our leaders their competitive advantage in the era of ‘SMART’ to overcome the complexity of the challenges the world is facing. The conference and exhibition will showcase innovative and integrative systems supported by geospatial technologies for enabling better, efficient use of resources, organised development of infrastructure and last but not least, enabling the common man to live a smart and easy life.

Date: June 12-13 Location: New Delhi, India Why attend?

Geospatial Intelligence 2014 provides an ideal opportunity to review the advances of the geospatial industry and to evaluate the multitude of ways in which the geospatial technologies can be utilised by security agencies and military organisations. The conference will be a powerful enabler for anyone looking to advance their use of GIS and Geospatial Intelligence. Experts will discuss about the recent developments in defence GIS and related technologies. There will be focus on the incredible increase in cloud-empowered applications, the challenges and opportunities of Big Data, the importance of social media and the availability of improved applications.

GeoSMART 2014

Date: June 16-17 Location: Hong Kong Why attend?

With a focus on geodesign as the core philosophy for creating ‘GeoSmart’ innovations, the scope of the conference will be to enhance the use and application of geospatial technologies worldwide and focus on ‘smart innovations for urban development’. Through its keynote sessions and technology tracks, the event seeks to bring in the expertise and best practices from around the world. Around 500 top professionals are expected to participate in the event.

Geospatial World January 2014 / 107

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Africa Geospatial Forum Date: August 19-21 Location: Lagos, Nigeria Why attend?

The forum is an ideal platform for experts from the global geospatial community to chart a future course for the growth of geospatial technology in Africa. With the theme ‘Transforming Geospatial knowledge into actions’, the conference will present the vision and plans of various implementing agencies and the industries while showcasing the success and growth which they have accomplished by effective implementation of geospatial technologies.

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Latin America Geospatial Forum Date: September 22-25 Location: Mexico Why attend?

The annual Latin American conference and exhibition on geospatial information, technology and applications will highlight the need for firmly placing ‘geospatial knowledge’ at the heart of economic and development agenda of the region. The forum will also throw light on the usage of geospatial technology in processes, organisation and design, system regulation, and continuous learning approaches in complex organisational and multi-organisational systems that enable simultaneous focus on and advancing of economic, social, and ecological outcomes. The technical agenda of the conference will include a host of other activities from panel discussions, symposiums, seminars, workshops, and technical sessions to cover the various aspects of geospatial technology and its usage.

Asia Geospatial Forum Date: November Why attend?

The annual conference brings out the relevance and importance of geospatial technologies in various industries in Asia Pacific region, apart from providing a platform to stakeholders of geospatial industry to network, interact and learn from each other. Already in its 13th edition, the conference envisages participation of about 800 plus delegates from 40 plus countries across the globe, featuring 100 plus presentations by experts from geospatial domain and related end-user industries. The dates and venue are yet to be announced. So stay tuned!

The Leading Geospatial Services Provider Bayanat for Mapping and Surveying Services is a national leader for providing complete end-to-end geospatial services. Through more than 37 years, Bayanat accumulated extensive expertise in aerial and hydrographic surveying that enabled us to provide unmatched geospatial support to our clients deploying best data acquisition technologies. For more information about Bayanatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s geospatial support and added value services, please visit our website at Visit us at Booth #26 at Middle East Geospatial Forum 2014

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Profile for Geospatial Media

January 2014 Edition  

Welcome to the 2014 Annual edition of Geospatial World. In keeping with the global economy trends, we focus on the emerging powerhouses – th...

January 2014 Edition  

Welcome to the 2014 Annual edition of Geospatial World. In keeping with the global economy trends, we focus on the emerging powerhouses – th...