Some of these criticisms came to the fore in April when government auditors handed Parliament a scathing 57-page review of the National Remote Sensing Center (NRSC) in Hyderabad, ISRO‘s Earth-observing arm. The Comptroller’ and Auditor General of India (CAG) conducted a “performance audit” of seven remote-sensing satellites over 7 years and found that they had been built without an adequate assessment of the need. …
The CAG report says that between 2002 and 2009, India spent almost $551 million to design and launch the seven satellites it examined; in this period NRSC sold data worth about $39 million, recovering 7% of the expenditure. …
The biggest headache for companies and nonprofit researchers hoping to use satellite images may be India’s 2001 Remote Sensing Data Policy. It gives NRSC a monopoly within India to control access to images with less than 5.8-meter reolution — not just images from Indian satellites but also those from foreign sources. …
- 2001 India’s Remote Sensing Data Policy
- Performance Audit of the Activities of the National Remote Sensing Centre (India CAG)
- Guest Post – India’s Remote Sensing Data Policy – Part I (spatiallaw.blogspot.com)
- Guest Post – India’s Remote Sensing Data Policy – Part II (spatiallaw.blogspot.com)
- India to launch advanced remote sensing satellite April 20 (news.bioscholar.com)
- India launches Resourcesat-2, two other satellites (news.bioscholar.com)
Publish Date: 24 March 2011, Delhi, India:
The Delhi State Assembly approved Delhi Geo-spatial Data Infrastructure Management, Control, Administration, Security and Safety Bill, 2011. It seeks to use geospatial technology for planning and executing various development projects and utility services. With the passage of the Bill, Delhi has become the first State in India to enact such an important legislation. The Bill was passed unanimously. Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister of the State said that the Delhi State Spatial Data Infrastructure DSSDI Project was approved by the Cabinet to frame and implement policies for issues related to geo-spatial data. …
Earlier this year, a government official from Cambodia wrote a letter to Google, complaining about one of the company’s maps. The letter claimed that Google’s depiction of a stretch of border between Cambodia and Thailand was “devoid of truth and reality, and professionally irresponsible.” As editor John Gravois points out in Washington Monthly, 21st-century mapmaking can be politically thorny.
Source: On the Media, July 23, 2010, transcript to be available on July 26th: http://www.onthemedia.org/transcripts/2010/07/23/04
John Gravois, 2010. The Agnostic Cartographer: How Google’s Open Ended Maps are Embroiling the Company in some of the World’s Touchiest Geopolitical Disputes, Washington Monthly (July/Aug 2010).
Google’s New and Improved Map Borders – How do They Fare? Ogle Earth, July 21, 2010
India and China
- Arunachal Pradesh: Indian or Chinese in Google Earth? Ogle Earth, November 4, 2007.
- India, China Begin Talks on Border Disputes, Reuters, August 7, 2009.
- Google Maps’ Arunachal Pradesh place names turn Chinese, Google admits error, Ogle Earth, August 9, 2009.
- Google Placates India, China with Different Map Versions, Reuters, October 23, 2009.
Cambodia and Thailand
- Cambodia blasts Google map of disputed Thai border, Reuters, February 5, 2010.
Azerbajjan and Armenia
- From Nakhchivan to Nagorno-Karabakh: What’s in a name? Ogle Earth, January 3, 2010.
- Azerbaijan to Google: Nakhchivan is (still) ours, Ogle Earth, Ogle Earth, July 13, 2010.
An Indian Court has been called to ban Google Earth amid suggestions the online satellite imaging was used to help plan the terror attacks that killed more than 170 people in Mumbai last month.
A petition entered at the Bombay High Court alleges that the Google Earth service, “aids terrorists in plotting attacks”. Advocate Amit Karkhanis has urged the court to direct Google to blur images of sensitive areas in the country until the case is decided.
There are indications that the gunmen who stormed Mumbai on November 26, and the people trained them, were technically literate. The group appears to have used complex GPS systems to navigate their way to Mumbai by sea. They communicated by satellite phone, used mobile phones with several different SIM cards, and may have monitored events as the siege unfolded via handheld Blackberry web browsers.
Police in Mumbai have said the terrorists familiarised themselves with the streets of Mumbai’s financial capital using satellite images, according to the sole gunman to be captured alive. The commandos who stormed the Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai said the militants had made a beeline for the building’s CCTV control room. … [More]
Source: Rhys Blakely in Mumbai, TimesOnline, December 9th, 2008
On a related note:
Emboldened by its first mission to the Moon, India is to take on a target closer to Earth: Google.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), which is based in Bangalore, the Silicon Valley of the sub-continent, will roll-out a rival to Google Earth, the hugely popular online satellite imagery service, by the end of the month.
The project, dubbed Bhuvan (Sanskrit for Earth), will allow users to zoom into areas as small as 10 metres wide, compared to the 200 metre wide zoom limit on Google Earth. … [More]
Source: Rhys Blakely in Mumbai, TimesOnline, November 19th, 2008