General Studies IIISpace



The Department of Space (DoS), under which ISRO comes, has signed an MoU with geospatial technology company CE Info Systems Pvt Ltd



  • ISRO launched the beta version of its web-based GIS tool, Bhuvan, on August 12, 2009. Bhuvan offers detailed imagery of Indian locations compared to other Virtual Globe Software, with spatial resolutions ranging up to 1 metre.
  • Bhuvan is an Indian web based utility which allows users to explore a set of map based content prepared by Indian Space Research Organisation.
  • The content which the utility serves is mostly restricted to Indian boundaries and is offered in 4 regional languages.
  • The content includes thematic maps related to disasters, agriculture, water resources, land cover and also processed satellite data of ISRO.
  •  Bhuvan is known for its association with various sections of Government of India to enable the use of Geospatial technology.
  • Bhuvan has since its inception enabled Indian government to host public geospatial data as Information layers for visualisation and public consumption.
  • Examples of the types of geospatial layers include Toll Information System for National Highways Authority of India , Islands information System for MHA, Cultural heritage sites for Ministry of culture etc.
  • The information for the platform is obtained from the government of India sources or through Crowdsourcing.
  • At present 177 cities High resolution datasets are available,[4] while the other part of the country is covered by 2.5m resolution imagery. The images available do not include any military installations in India, due to security concerns
  • The National Remote Sensing Agency played an important role in the development of this product. ISRO has used data provided by satellites including Resourcesat-1, Cartosat-1 and Cartosat-2 to get the best possible imagery of India.

Basic features of Bhuvan:

• Access, explore and visualise 2D and 3D image data along with rich thematic information on Soil, wasteland, water resources etc.
• Visualise multi-resolution, multi-sensor, multi-temporal image data
• Superpose administrative boundaries of choice on images as required
• Visualisation of AWS ( Automatic Weather Stations) data/information in a graphic view and use tabular weather data of user choice
• Fly to locations ( Flies from the current location directly to the selected location)
• Heads-Up Display ( HUD) naviation controls ( Tilt slider, north indicator, opacity, compass ring, zoom slider)
• Navigation using the 3D view Pop-up menu (Fly-in, Fly out, jump in, jump around, view point)
• 3D Fly through (3D view to fly to locations, objects in the terrain, and navigate freely using the mouse or keyboard)
• Drawing 2D objects (Text labels, polylines, polygons, rectangles, 2D arrows, circles, ellipse)
• Drawing 3D Objects (placing of expressive 3D models, 3D polygons, boxes)
• Snapshot creation (copies the 3D view to a floating window and allows to save to a external file)
• Measurement tools (Horizontal distance, aerial distance, vertical distance, measure area)
• Shadow Analysis (it sets the sun position based on the given time creating shadows and effects the lighting on the terrain)
• Urban Design Tools (to build roads, junctions and traffic lights in an urban setting)
• Contour map ( Displays a colorized terrain map and contour lines)
• Draw tools (Creates simples markers, free hand lines, urban designs)


  • Since the launch of Bhuvan, users have experienced various difficulties. One problem is that the Bhuvan site has, at various times, been either inaccessible or very slow (due to less band width and servers).
  • Users are required to register before they can use the product, and downloads of plug-ins up to 11 MB in size are needed for the application to work.
  • Furthermore, the plugin only works on Windows, and only Internet Explorer is supported. However now Bhuvan is improving and does not require Login to visualize the maps.
  • Users need to register only when they wish to download satellite data (up to 25m resolution LISS-III data) and products (like NDVI, OHC datasets, Cartosat Digital Elevation Model etc.) To overcome the Plugin restrictions and platform-dependency for 3D -visualization, Bhuvan has come with a WebGL based open-source virtual globe. It only requires WebGL enabled browsers.
  • It renders layers unevenly and sometimes images are completely blocked.
  • Bhuvan promises images from a perceived altitude of 10 metres, but technical analysts dispute the results.
  • If many locations of same name exist, Bhuvan is supposed to give multiple results so that users can choose the intended location, but Bhuvan sometimes fails to return multiple results.

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