IIIT Hyderabad Director Rajeev Sangal on Thursday said the current available technology in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) was meeting only 10 per cent of the citizens’ needs and the utilisation had to expand rapidly as India had the potential to play a leadership role rather than following other countries.

Speaking at the first national conference on ‘Free and Open Source Geospatial Technology, organised by OpenSourceGeo-India and IIIT Hyderabad here on Thursday, Dr. Sangal opined that open source technology should meet customer needs and it should be monitored and maintained on continuous basis.

Anoop Singh, Special Secretary for IT and Communications, said most of GIS application problems fail during implementation process forcing officials in the government sector to follow the success stories of other States rather than trying to a build a new design. He suggested the need for GIS applications to be implemented in sectors like municipality, agriculture (irrigation), law and order, healthcare, education, water and forest departments leading to good governance at the State level. He wanted IIIT-H and other private organisations to partner the government.

MP Vundavalli Arun Kumar, who was the chief guest, spoke on the importance of GIS applications and wanted the officials to help policymakers to use technology for benefit of the common man. An abstract book and live DVD proceedings of the conference were also released on the occasion.

At the conference, the prestigious ‘Sol Katz’ award was announced to Venkatesh Raghavan, Media Centre, Osaka City University, Japan for the year 2012. The award instituted in 2006, is given to an eminent researcher working in the area of OS GIS applications and this was the first time that an Asian received the award.

Dr. Sangal also launched the Open Source (Source code) repository of ‘LSI Viewer’ developed by LSI, IIIT-H on the occasion. P.S. Roy, president OSGeo-India and K.S. Rajan, Head, Lab for Spatial Informatics (LSI), IIT-H also spoke.

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