THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As the first step towards erecting a web-enabled infrastructure to use spatial information science for technical, socio-economic and administrative requirements, the Centre for Geo-Information Science and Technology has launched a pilot scale web service on Monday. The web site http://cgist.ac.in was launched at the University offices by Vice-Chancellor M.K. Ramachandran Nair.
A joint venture of the University of Kerala, the Kerala State Council for Science Technology and Environment and the Department of Science and Technology, the CGIST is mandated to improve access to spatial data and information and to promote the creation, use and exchange of spatial information resources.
This requires the development of web-enabled models and services — including models of databases — so that the spatial data maps can be accessed by end-users. These maps can either be static images or interactive ones containing data pertaining to, say, road networks, land use patterns, drainage network, soil types, geological formations/features and administrative boundaries. A user, depending on the level of access granted to him by the Centre can prepare a map for his use by combining two or more of the above mentioned features.
Director of the centre V. Prasannakumar points out that a user does not need Geographical Information System (GIS) software installed in his computer to access these maps. “When a visitor browses the site the server connects to the application server and the data server and the user gets his map,” he explained.
The DST wants the centre to become a national-level centre of excellence to create a talent pool in spatial information science in addition to generating technical infrastructure in this field. The CGIST—inaugurated on March 17, 2008 by Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan—has already conducted a workshop for participants from different parts of the country.The University Grants Commission has recently approved the starting of a PG diploma programme in Geo-Information Science and Technology at the Centre. The course would be offered soon.