COIMBATORE: Geographical Information System (GIS) is fast becoming a specialisation in itself to provide solutions in many disciplines including social disciplines and catering to a wide range of needs of any society, said Avneesh Saxena, Senior Deputy General Manager, Larsen & Toubro Limited, e-Engineering Solutions, Chennai, here on Saturday.
Inaugurating a national conference on “Application of GIS in Civil Engineering” at the Karunya University, he said: “The topic could have been ‘Application of Civil Engineering in GIS,’ as both disciplines have lent to and benefited from each other. Having accepted inputs from various disciplines, today GIS has started contributing to those very disciplines from which it has borrowed.”
“According to an estimate, 80 per cent of information that is of use to society’s needs to be geographically referenced. New developments in GIS like mobile GIS and web-based online applications are set to expand the frontiers of GIS applications even further,” Mr. Saxena said.
“Today GIS finds application in many areas. Oil and gas and its transportation are one such area. Imagine an inter-state or inter-country gas pipeline traversing a varied terrain and vegetation cover along with varied soil and sub-stratum conditions. A project of this nature is helped immensely by GIS applications right from the feasibility studies to commissioning and thereafter during maintenance,” he said.
He said that GIS offered an attractive career to civil engineers that could successfully offset the pull of a career in Information Technology. While GIS trained civil engineers were the need of the hour, the converse was also true, that was, engineers trained in various civil engineering specialisations could help in creating GIS solutions.
Mr. Saxena said that the industry needed a lot of skilled people. As India strove to be a technology hub, specialised skills in the engineering disciplines was a must. “Real edge for civil engineers in GIS applications lies in putting their domain skills to use,” he concluded.
Paul P. Appasamy, Vice-Chancellor; Anne Mary Fernandez, Registrar; and G. Prince Arulraj, Director of School of Civil Engineering of the university, spoke.