An ambitious drone-based digital mapping project is under way to create a more accurate and realistic view of every nook and corner of the country.
Work began in Karnataka, Haryana, Maharashtra and the Ganga basin a few months ago. The project is being undertaken by Survey of India, with the support of department of science and technology (DST) and inputs from several government agencies like Archaeological Survey of India and Forest Survey of India.
Higher resolution than Google Maps
According to DST secretary Ashutosh Sharma, the map will have a higher resolution than Google Maps. A project on such a large scale is being executed for the first time after almost two centuries — it was back in 1767 when British surveyors Colonel Sir George Everest and his predecessor William Lambton first scientifically mapped the country.
"Digital mapping has never been done. This comprehensive map will show the exact state, district and country boundaries," Sharma told media at the Indian Institute of Science on Monday.
Cost of the project
He said that five years ago, the gargantuan project would have cost the government Rs 10,000 crore but is now expected to be completed at Rs 1,000 crore and with deployment of far more advanced technology. “We have picked states based on their enthusiasm for the project. For instance, Haryana will fund it completely, and for the Ganga basin the Namami Gange agency will share the cost,” Sharma said.
Benefits to citizens
The map will be available in a public forum with features highlighting hospitals, canals, and other details. Survey of India has set reference points called Continuously Operated Reference Stations (CORS) networks at intervals of 20km across India, which increase accuracy by 10 times as well as provide instant online 3D positioning, he said.
"Citizens will be able to make informed choices while buying properties. The map will help them understand… its accessibility among other details," Sharma explained. He said the map should be out by 2024.