Image: Detail of a map of the Heritage Walk through the Walled City of Ahmedabad designed by NID student Sujay Swadi Sanan in the classroom. He used hand drawn facades of each building along the route showing a unique and creative expression of Geospatial Data that can be used by tourists and heritage enthusiasts.
Concluding Remarks to the 1st National Conference on GeoVisualisation held at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad on 28th to 30th November 2007. This was co-sponsored by The NRDMS (DST) Government of India, New Delhi and the NID, Ahmedbad.
M P Ranjan
Chairman, Geovisualisation Task Group
Faculty of Design, National Institute of Design
As the Chairman of the Task Group on Geovisualisation it is my task to use this occasion to make my concluding remarks that would help delineate the agenda of the task Group as well as list the areas of focus the we would need to focus on in the days ahead particularly in the context of the deliberations and recommendations that have come out of this wonderful conference. On behalf of the Task Group on Geovisualisation I would list the core areas of emphasis that would help us set priorities and directions for the work in the field of Geovisualisation in the Indian context in the days ahead.
1. The first Conference on Geovisualisation has helped us bring together a large number of expert groups at a design institute who have a great deal of cumulative experience in the subject and we are grateful to the speakers and participants for sharing their insights that have culminated in the drafting of the recommendations that would be reviewed by the NRDMS DST, Government of India to take this initiative forward.
2. We have a good list of proposed Demonstration Projects and domain specific initiatives that is an outcome of this conference as well as the ongoing activities of the Task Group in identifying and initiating these through the expert groups who can carry out the research required to deliver these demo projects and then help realize in on the ground where it is needed.
3. The proposed Centre for Geovisualisation at NID has taken a step forward with the NID team putting together the first Conference on Geovisualisation and this event has given us the opportunity to review the scope and dimensions of the field and this will help set the plans for the research and education activities of this Centre in the days ahead. The infrastructure and skill sets that would be brought to this Centre too would be informed by the ongoing discussions with the various expert groups that the NID has been able to bring together under a common platform of this Conference and in the days ahead I am sure that these small steps will be supplemented by a sustained programme of research and design action that will give a strong impetus for the field as a whole particularly since one of the key roles will be the challenges that come with the field being multi-disciplinary and therefore having many implications of the integration of a diverse set of skills and knowledge into usable and high quality offerings in the field of GeoVisualisation.
4. Promotion of the concepts of Geovisualisation and the need for the use of Geo-Spatial data bases in a effective manner with the help of Geovisualisation tools and procedures needs to be embedded in many sectors of our stakeholder groups and in this initiative it is recognized that we will need to make a sustained effort to reach out to all the stakeholders be they young students who need to understand the concepts or to decision makers who would need to use these tools and concepts for the various fields of application that have been discussed in this Conference.
5. The promotion activity would need to extend to the Policy makers at the National as well as the Regional levels and to a large number of our administrators who would be sensitized to the future possibilities and critical features of the Geovisualisation activity space. We would also be working on the area of Policy guidelines that can enhance and extend the use of this knowledge and skill through the drafting and processing of supportive policy frameworks so that much of the data that is held in the Government sector can be mobilized for development initiatives in the local Panchayati Raj Institutions across the country in a decentralized manner.
6. We need a good Communication Platform in order to achieve the reach and impact of a rapidly growing field as well as the locate India at the leadership position that it had in the field of Cartography and public data use for good governance. We propose to set up an Web Portal that uses Web 2.0 standards to empower rapid and sustained participation of a large number of players as well as support cooperation across domains and institutional boundaries in an open source framework to make the whole initiative cost effective and accessible to all sections of our society.
7. The whole area of Training, Content Generation and Demonstration through the identification and creation of suitable exemplars has assumed a major significance in the task of the Geovisualisation Task Group. The expert groups are requested to address this urgent requirement and create fertile experiments and elective based offerings in existing institutes and university departments to fast track the development of these critical resources which can then be offered through a mass contact programme as e-learning initiatives to the numerous stakeholders that would need to be reached by these training initiatives in the days ahead.
8. The Task Group on Geovisualisation would also flag the Key Policy Issues that would need the attention of Government and try and articulate the areas of priority and the desirable directions that would need to be taken in this composite field that is now called by the broad term of Geovisualisation. One of the key recommendations that have been stressed by a number of speakers is the use of Government funding and policy and legislative supports to make these inputs an Avenue for the Open Source movement to grow in India in such a manner as to ensure easy access to such resources at the grassroots level all over the country.
9. The Task Group on Geovisualisation is also determined to Expand the Base of Experts and Partners who can contribute to the Geovisualisation movement taking root in India and here in addition to technology, science and design we will need to bring on board management and administration at many levels so that a seamless transfer of research to the land can take place through the creation of useable products and strategies in all fields of application.
I compliment the NID and NRDMS-DST teams for the excellent conduct and planning of this Conference on Geovisualisation and we do look forward to a sustained programme of activities in the days ahead. I would like to thank the National Institute of Design and its Director, Dean of Gandhinagar Campus and the Anchor Faculty from NID for being excellent hosts and for the three days of stimulating discussions and presentations that have brought a good number of insights that can be taken forward by the Task Group on Geovisualisation with the active support of the NRDMS-DST Government of India.
Contact Information for Proceedings and Resources
For obtaining copies of the proceedings and any additional information the contact person is Dr Bibhu Dutta Baral, Chief Coordinator & Anchor Faculty: Geovisualisation Research Initiatives at NID