India unveils software for satellite image analysis

By SiliconIndia   |   Wednesday, 29 July 2009, 11:16 Hrs   |    25 Comments
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Bangalore: India has got its first Integrated GIS and Image Processing Software (IGiS) developed by Scanpoint Geomatics, a software development firm in partnership with Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). Though, India has launched a number of satellites that transmit images from space, there was no software developed within the country to analyze these images. "The development of this software can result in tremendous cost savings," said Madhavan Nair, Chairman, ISRO and Secretary of Department of Space.

Scientists and researchers have been depending on software developed in other countries to interpret the images sent by the satellites, which is expensive. Ramesh Sojitra, Managing Director of Scanpoint said, "By using the IGiS, a cost saving of up to 40 percent can be achieved." According to Sojitra, the price of the software would be 12 lakh.

According to Nair, demand for data from satellites have multiplied manifold over the years. IGiS is a completely indigenous seamless geomatics application, which includes geographical information system (GIS), image processing and its integration with the real time information, using the global positioning system (GPS).

Elaborating the challenges faced during the development of the software, Nair said, "Developing a software is not an easy job especially for a niche segment like space." The software is a result of more than seven years of extensive research and rigorous testing, by Scanpoint and ISRO. IGiS has been tested by scientists and experts at more than 12 centers of ISRO.

According to Nair, images from not only Indian satellites but also from foreign satellites can be analyzed by using IGiS. Sectors like defense, telecommunication, urban planning, disaster management and resource exploration can be benefited from this software. "Earth observation was never thought to become as popular as it is today," Nair says, "This is a good segment for entrepreneurs to cash in on the potential."

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