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january 2014 VOLume 04 ISSUE 06 | ISSN 22773134

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data no manual editing necessary.

For product, sales and distribution information, please contact:

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Whether you choose to fly in rainy conditions along windy seashores, in hot deserts, or in a snowy,
mountain terrain, the Trimble UX5 is a dependable solution designed for mapping and surveying
professionals requiring the highest accuracy. Combined with intuitive Trimble Access data
collection workflows and powerful Trimble Business Center photogrammetry processing
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transforming the way the world works

2014, Trimble Navigation Limited. All rights reserved. Trimble and the Globe & Triangle logo are trademarks of Trimble Navigation Limited,
registered in the United States and in other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. PN GEO-016

January 2014 Vol 4 Issue 6

45 Doing Business in BRICS

Find out where the BRICS nations stand in World Banks Doing Business 2014 Report.

48 A framework for next-gen BRICS

Get a sneak peek into the geospatial infrastructure of BRICS nations.

52 Grounded with Growth

The BRICS have awakened to the need for effective land management;
a more proactive PPP initiative will open up new avenues. By Prof Arup Dasgupta

62 Em(powering) the Growth Engines

Despite being early adopters of g-tech in the power sector, the BRICS still have a long way
to go in developing smart grids. By Geoff Zeiss

70 Digging Deep to Development

Geospatial technology is expanding the bottom line for mining companies in the BRICS
countries. By Anusuya Datta
78 Smart Seeds for a Sustainable Future
The new agricultural powers in terms of production, exports and imports, the BRICS are
set to script new rules for tomorrows agriculture. By Mark Noort

86 BRICS Bluebook

Advisory Board

A comprehensive list of geospatial companies in the BRICS.

Aida Opoku Mensah

Bryn Fosburgh

Special Advisor, Post 2015

Development Agenda, UN
Economic Commisssion
for Africa

Sector Vice-President,
Executive Committee
Trimble Navigation

Derek Clarke
Chief Director-Survey and
Mapping & National Geospatial
Information, Rural Development
& Land Reform, South Africa

Barbara Ryan
Secretariat Director, Group
on Earth Observations
Chair-Executive Board,
Cadastre, Land Registry and
Mapping Agency (Kadaster),
The Netherlands

Geospatial Technologist,

Prof. Ian Dowman

First Vice President,

Chair, Department of
University of Salzburg,

Mark Reichardt

Vice President,
Engineering &
Infrastructure, Autodesk

President and CEO,

Open Geospatial

Mohd Al Rajhi

Ramon Pastor

Asst Deputy Minister for

Land & Surveying,
Ministry of Municipal &
Rural Affairs, Saudi Arabia

Vice-President and
General Manager, Large
Format Printing Business,

Director General and

Chief Executive,
Ordnance Survey, UK

Greg Bentley
CEO, Bentley Systems

Prof. Josef Strobl

Lisa Campbell

Vanessa Lawrence

Chief Scientist,

Ed Parsons

Chairman and CEO,

Rolta Group

Kamal K Singh

Dawn J. Wright

Dorine Burmanje

Dr. Hiroshi Murakami

Director-General of
Planning Department,
Geospatial Information
Authority of Japan

M P Narayanan

Stephen Lawler
Chief Technology Officer,
Bing Maps, Microsoft

Juergen Dold
Hexagon Geosystems

Matthew OConnell
CEO, Adhoc Holdings

Dr Swarna Subba Rao

Surveyor General of India

Sanjay Kumar

Publications Team
Managing Editor
Prof. Arup Dasgupta
Editor Building & Energy
Geoff Zeiss
Editor Agriculture
Mark Noort
Editor Geospatial World Weekly (Hon)
Dr. Hrishikesh Samant
Executive Editor
Bhanu Rekha
Deputy Executive Editor
Anusuya Datta
Product Manager
Harsha Vardhan Madiraju
Ridhima Kumar
Graphic Designer
Debjyoti Mukherjee
Circulation Manager
Amit Shahi

Geospatial World January 2014 / 5

January 2014 Vol 4 Issue 6

10 The Men Behind the Glassdoor

Find out who is the most popular CEO of geospatial
companies as per Glassdoor rating.

16 Geospatial World Readers

Survey 2013
The survey reflects how top geospatial companies are
perceived by key stakeholders across a spectrum of criteria.
96 Top Geospatial Conferences
106 Top Geospatial Media and
Communications Conferences
Technology for Tomorrow
Products that top companies are betting their money on in 2014.

20 DAT/EM Summit Evolution

32 Blue Marble Geographics Global

21 FARO Laser Scanner Focus3D X 330

.........Mapper LiDAR Module

23 HP Designjet T2500 eMFP
24 Leica Geosystems HawEye III
25 Microsoft UltraCam Osprey

35 Rolta GeoCAD
36 Esri Geotrigger Service
37 exactEarth exactAIS
39 Nokia HERE Maps

28 Topcon LN-100
29 Trimble V10 Imaging Rover
30 Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro

6 / Geospatial World January 2014

34 Pitney Bowes Spectrum Spatial

38 MDA BlueHawk

27 TomTom VIA-125

Geospatial World does not necessarily subscribe to the
views expressed in the publication. All views expressed
in this issue are those of the contributors. Geospatial
World is not responsible for any loss to anyone due to the
information provided.

33 Intergraph Geospatial 2014

40 Safe Software FME Cloud

41 Astrium WorldDEM
42 Bentley Mobile Apps

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From the Editors Desk

Prof Arup Dasgupta

Managing Editor


A fission of new
ideas and fusion
of solutions

n the beginning there were the developed countries and the

under-developed countries. But the term under-developed was
politically incorrect; so it became developing countries and
that was good. So good that in 2001, Jim ONeill of Goldman
Sachs pointed out that four of the developing countries together
represented almost 3 billion people, covering 40 million sq km of land, with
a combined nominal GDP of $16.039 trillion, and an estimated $4 trillion in
combined foreign reserves and could become an economic force by 2027.
These countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and later joined by South
Africa, became the BRICS nations and have caught the worlds attention.
Significantly, these nations are rich in natural resources, both over
and under ground. They are also rich in terms of human resources but
their potential is not fully realised. The other drawbacks include governance, which has failed to move with the times; corruption and a legacy of
exploitation through colonisation or feudalism or both. The sleeping giant
stirred in 2006 with a meeting of foreign ministers of BRIC and a formal
summit in 2009. South Africa joined in 2010. BRICS nations decided to
improve cooperation amongst themselves and get more involved in global
affairs like improving the global economic situation, reforming financial
institutions and moving to a more stable global reserve currency. They
pledged $75 billion to the IMF conditional to the implementation of certain reforms. A new development bank to rival the IMF and World Bank is
on the cards.

Geospatial World January 2014 / 7

Such bold moves have to be built on a sound economy. The BRICS nations
are engaged in precisely that activity. What is of interest to the geospatial
community is the universal acceptance of these technologies in three major
areas agriculture, mining and urban planning. This acceptance is in terms
of solutions, not pieces of hardware and software, and this is the challenge that
the geospatial companies must face. The issues are better agriculture management, environmentally benign mining, sustainable urban agglomerations, better
housing, better infrastructure, more efficient tax collection and lesser litigations over property. We have seen many piecemeal initiatives in e-governance
and g-governance sectors, innovative hardware and software, novel services,
etc. Piecemeal efforts will not provide the solutions needed nor will ready to
go shrink-wrapped packages. The need is for a holistic approach, which, in
turn, requires collaboration between geospatial companies, professionals and
domain experts in each field.
The goals have to be achieved through the PPP model. This calls for
a better understanding of the governments goals by the industry and a
better understanding by the decision makers of what the technology can
offer. Innovation and thinking out of the box are prerequisites on both
sides. Innovation cannot be restricted to products alone but in new ways
to use existing products in conjunction with other devices and technologies. It is not that such efforts have not been made.
A readers survey conducted by Geospatial World has brought out some
interesting results which are available in this issue. Leading on innovation are
Google and Esri, quite understandably. Google has created many disruptive
products and services beginning with Google Earth which have demystified
geospatial technology and made it available to the general public. Esri, as a
first adopter of the then abstruse technology of geospatial computer graphics,
has led the way in the evolution of GIS as a powerful spatial analysis and a
versatile geovisualisation toolbox.
Our second feature, a Glassdoor rating of the leading CEOs, throws up
some surprises as well. This is a view from the other side, that of the people
working in the geospatial companies. Larry Page of Google expectedly
leads the pack but Jack Dangermond comes in a distant 8th. In between are
the CEOs of companies that did not score as high as Google and Esri in the
readers survey. Perhaps the reason is the age of the workforce engaged in
cutting-edge research and development. In a fast evolving field, the workforce
has to be young, brash, risk takers who value a work environment that is fun,
transparent and creative.
So we see a promising situation here. On the one hand, we have the BRICS
nations with their plate of unique problems and on the other side, innovative
companies led by charismatic CEOs. Will the two meet and create a fission
of new ideas, products and services, and a fusion of solutions? We can look
forward to interesting times in 2014. On this hopeful note, Geospatial World
wishes you an exciting year ahead!

8 / Geospatial World January 2014

The need is
for a holistic
approach, which,
in turn, requires
professionals and
domain experts in
each field

Tourism services on Bhuvan

RISAT-1 Medium Resolution with VV polarisation


National Remote Sensing Centre, Hyderabad

Corner Office

The Men Behind the

Who is the most popular CEO? Do you
approve of the way your CEO is leading
the company? This is what employees
of leading geospatial companies had to
say about their CEOs on Glassdoor*, the
leading jobs and careers community.



*Glassdoor ratings in December 2013

The brain
Google, Page
assumed the
role of CEO in
2011. What started
off as the worlds
largest search engine,
has turned the world
of mapping on its head.
At the age of 40, Page and
Google co-founder Sergey
Brin feature in the Forbes 400
list of richest Americans.
Why employees like him: The fun
and casual working environment are
a hit with young and dynamic people.
Employees say the transparent and open
culture, actively advocated by Page and
Brin, encourages creativity. Google is also an
excellent pay master.
10 / Geospatial World January 2014

of Employees
approve of
Google CEO
Larry page


of Employees
approve of
Bentley CEO
Greg Bentley

Supporting Bentley Systems vision of building a

sustainable infrastructure, Greg Bentley joined his four
brothers at the company in 1991.
Why employees like him: The company under the aegis
of Greg Bentley provides a flexible and good working
environment. It has been rated as a good company for
beginners and there is very little internal politics. Though
the company gives creative freedom to its employees,
some feel salary standard could be a little higher.


of Employees approve
of Infotech CEO
B.V.R. Mohan Reddy

An entrepreneur and technologist, Reddy established

Infotech Enterprises in 1991. He is acknowledged as
the pioneer of CAD/CAM in India. Through Infotech
Enterprises, Reddy established the Engineered in India
brand by providing design engineering services to
reputed global companies.
Why employees like him: The management under Reddy
provides a good work-personal life balance to employees.
Geospatial World January 2014 / 11

Corner Office


of Employees
approve of
faro CEO
Jay W. Freeland

As President and CEO of FARO Technologies since

2006, Freeland has guided the company to record highs
in revenue, profitability and share price. Freeland is a
firm believer of disrupting the market place with new
Why employees like him: The company provides good
incentives and a learning environment. A great company
for young and dynamic people, Freeland has been
instrumental in promoting an open culture within FARO
which further breeds a friendly environment.


of Employees
approve of
autodesk CEO
Carl Bass

As President and CEO of Autodesk since

2006, Carl Bass has been credited with
expanding the company beyond its core
AutoCAD software through acquisitions
and new products and transitioning from
2D to 3D model-based design.
Why employees like him: The management under Bass provides a decent
work-personal life balance. Employees get
a chance to work on product development
from scratch, hence get an opportunity to
learn and grow.

12 / Geospatial World January 2014


of Employees approve
of trimble CEO
Steven W. Berglund

Berglund took over as the CEO of Trimble

in 1999 and has been instrumental in
transforming the GPS-only company to
pursue a wider range of technologies.
Under his leadership the companys
revenues have grown in leaps and bounds
reaching over $2.0 billion in 2012.
Why employees like him: The top
management under Berglund has been
ranked as approachable. Facilities like
flexible timings, work-from-home options
and numerous employee benefits promotes
a employee-friendly and positive
work culture.


of Employees
approve of esri CEO
Jack Dangermond

From an environmental research institute, Esri

evolved as a global geospatial major today under Jack
Dangermonds leadership and vision. As founder and
CEO of Esri, Dangermonds vision stimulates the
ongoing innovation of GIS technologies that enable
insightful decisions.
Why employees like him: Esri has been rated very
high in terms of job security and provides a perfect
balance between work and personal life. A strict
follower of customer-first policy, Dangermond
advocates less hierarchy within the organisation
which promotes greater creativity.

Corner Office


of Employees
approve of
rolta CEO
Kamal k. Singh

A visionary in his own right, Singh

founded Rolta in 1982. The company
pioneered CAD/ CAM/ GIS in India
under his leadership.
Why employees like him: Employees
say they are given creative freedom
and are encouraged to open up
with their seniors. However some
feel remuneration and growth
opportunities are not satisfactory.


of Employees approve
of tomtom CEO
Harold Goddijn

Goddijn co-founded TomTom in 1991 and took over as

the CEO in 2001. He has been instrumental in shifting
companys focus from hardware business to software
and content services.
Why employees like him: The company offers a
thorough professional environment and good salary
benefits to its employees. However employees also
complain of lack of vision and multi-layer middle

14 / Geospatial World January 2014


of Employees
approve of
digitalglobe CEO
Jeffery R. Tarr

President and CEO of DigitalGlobe, Tarr, aims to

build on past successes and create even more value
for shareholders and customers. It was under his
leadership that the historic merger of DigitalGlobe
and GeoEye materialised.
Why employees like him: Tarr and his management
provide a dynamic and learning environment.
Rated as a fine company for beginners, it
provides wide exposure to its employees. However,
despite competitive salary and capacity training,
older employees complain of workload and lack of


of Employees
of hexagon CEO
Ola Rolln

As President and CEO of Hexagon AB

since 2000, Rolln is responsible for re-defining the company, both organically and
through strategic acquisitions. Hexagon
has touched new heights under his aegis.
Why employees like him: A great working
environment and good compensation work
in favour of Rollen and his management.
Hexagon has a good retention rate and
the employees feel that its multiple offices
and locations ensure a good exposure for
them. However, employees feel the need
for more support and guidance from the
top management.

Geospatial World January 2014 / 15

Geospatial World

Survey 2013

Most innovative company


Google, Esri







Astrium, Autodesk,

Company with the most competitive pricing










The Readers Choice Survey reflects how top geospatial

companies are perceived by key stakeholders across a
broad spectrum of criteria. The survey aims at identifying
and understanding the strengths, weaknesses and
opportunities in the geospatial technology industry.
Respondents reflect a wide range of spectrum staffers
across a variety of geospatial players, academia, user
industries to plain geoenthusiasts.


Most customer-friendly company
















Company with the most aggressive and creative leadership

The list of geospatial

players chosen to feature
on the survey:
1. Astrium
2. Autodesk
3. Bentley Systems
4. DigitalGlobe
5. Esri
6. FARO Technologies
7. Google
8. Hexagon
9. Infotech Enterprises
10. Nokia-HERE
12. Rolta
13. TomTom
14. Topcon-Sokkia
15. Trimble

any to
st comp







work fo

12.35% 5.80%





Company with the best global coverage














Company with the best training programme























Company with best post-sales service/support

Company with the most effective business communication












Most transparent company in its business dealings


Tech for Tomorrow/ Hardware

As you plan your business moves in 2014, get updated on some of the most
promising products and services from top companies.

Digital Workstation

for processing 3D data

he Summit Evolution 3D digitisers from DAT/EM are

affordable, user-friendly, Windows-based, best-inclass digital photogrammetric systems. The tools are powerful, for viewing, analysing, manipulating, and processing
3D geodata. There are three levels of Summit Evolution:
Professional, Feature Collection and Lite. Projects may
be created from virtually any source of stereo imagery,
including aerial digital and scanned film, close range
terrestrial, digital sensors, orthophoto, synthetic aperture
radar (SAR), LiDAR, and satellite sources. Projects from
third-party systems may be imported and brought into
production as Summit projects. Projects not already registered in three dimensions may use a pre-existing DTM in
the Follow Terrain tool to direct movement of the Summit
cursor. Similarly, the Elevate Layers tool can elevate 2D
vectors to 3D. Terrain Visualizer gives real-time graphic
Project management: Summit Status Tracker and the
Summit Project Viewer are two additional tools for managing data processing projects. Coordinate Conversion
tools add capabilities for managing and transforming
project coordinates. Drag-and-drop functionality makes
building projects easy.

Summit Evolution
Radargrammetry, Close Range projects, etc. Recent developments
include tools for bathymetric correction of imagery.

Imagery: Due to the sensitivity of the production environment

to image sizes and complexity, the tool supports a wide variety
of image formats, including GeoTIFF and BigTIFF, ECW and
Image sources and orientations: In addition to manual MrSID, and other popular types. 64-bit applications virtually
and automatic interior and relative orientation support, it
eliminate file-size limitations. On-the-fly image adjustments,
offers a set of tools for control measurement and processing including epipolarisation and histogram adjustment, maximise
pipelines for absolute orientations. It supports aero-trianusability of the information contained in the imagery.
gulation results from all common orientation packages,
such as Trimble/Inphos MATCH-AT. On-the-fly epipolar
Unique features
adjustments from non-frame sensors like Leica ADS40/80
Digitises 3D vectors into AutoCAD, MicroStation, or
Airborne sensor and earth-sensing satellites using rational
ArcGIS using DAT/EMs Capture interface.
polynomial coefficients make stereo project setup straight Complete access to geospatial databases using the
forward for modern non-standard sensors. Any type of
Capture interface.
optical imagery is supported, and more are added as new
Terrain Processing Tools with a rich, detailed set of
operations for the collection and deployment of 3D
sensors come online: Visual Intelligence Iris camera, Vifeatures and objects.
sionMap A3, Microsoft UltraCam, satellites, even SAR and

20 / Geospatial World January 2014

Adding a New Dimension

to 3D laser scanning

ARO Laser Scanner Focus3D X 330 is a high-speed 3D scanner with extra-long range measurement and can scan objects
up to 330 metres away even in direct sunlight. With its integrated GPS receiver, the laser scanner is able to correlate individual
scans in post-processing, making it ideal for surveying-based
applications. With its increased range of 330m, accuracy of
2mm and scan speed of up to 976,000 points per seconds and
touchscreen, the FARO Focus3D X 330 considerably reduces
the effort involved in measuring and post-processing. These
advances in performance did not come at the expense of safety
as the model is using a Class 1 eye safe laser. It has a high
measurement speed and delivers extraordinary scan data quality
at extended range with very low noise.
The 3D scan data can easily be imported into any commonly
used software solutions for accident reconstruction, architecture,

Unique features
Integrated sensor features include
compass, altimeter and dual axis
Ultraportable design allows for
operation without external devices.
With a size of only 24 x 20 x 10cm3, it is
the smallest 3D scanner ever built.
Photorealistic 3D colour scans due to
an integrated colour camera featuring
an automatic 70 megapixels parallaxfree colour overlay.
It offers extra long-range (330 m)
integrated GPS and the possibility
to perform scanning even in bright
civil engineering and construction,
forensics, forestry, filming, gaming,
heritage, tunnel and mining, shipping,
process, power and piping and general
Data is stored on a SD card enabling
easy and secure transfer to a PC for
post processing in the FARO SCENE

Focus3D X 330

Best suited for: Focus3D X 330 is ideal

for 3D modelling of large-scale scenes
and helps facility managers generate as-built documentation of assets.
Consulting engineers can reverse engineer CAD models for process, plant,
design and maintenance while forensic
scientists can obtain accurate accident
and scene-of-crime recording. Surveyors can use it for measured building
surveys, elevations, plans and to create
3D models while building contractors can model their structures as they
evolve. The model supports architects
in preserving our cultural heritage with
3D models of historic buildings.

Geospatial World January 2014 / 21

Tech for Tomorrow/ Hardware

Adding Magic

to geospatial intelligence

eospatial intelligence relies on the timely processing of large

volumes of sensor data. For many applications, this means
that the data can be acquired, stored, collated and delivered
for processing on large workstations or even super computers
far removed from the data source. However, there is a set of
applications which require real-time (or near real-time) processing on mobile, often airborne, platforms and this implies a set
of constraints which drives the need for a low size, weight and
power (SWaP) solution based on high performance embedded
computing (HPEC) components.
The MAGIC1 Rugged Display Computer from GE Intelligent
Platforms is an example of such a low-SWaP system, combining the
latest Intel Corei7 processors and NVIDIA GPUs in a true rugged
system. Currently running with the 384-core NVIDIA EXK107
Kepler GPU, this year will see integration with the Intel 4th generation Corei7 processor, further enhancing its processing capability.
How it works: The high speed interfaces can acquire data from
multiple sensors, enabling the unit to run complex GEOINT
algorithms, combining the real-time sensor data with databases
stored in solid state memory to increase in-theatre loiter time
while streaming actionable intelligence to a range of users within
actionable time frames.

22 / Geospatial World January 2014

Unique features
CUDA-enabled compute node.
Multiple video standards.
Dual channel output.
Up to 256 GB solid state disk.
Baseplate, convection or forced air cooled.

The Intel and NVIDIA architecture scales to larger

arrays of CPU and GPU for systems that can tolerate a
larger size, weight and power envelope. The IPN251,
for example, combines the Corei7 and NVIDIA Kepler
GPU with MellanoxInfiniBand, further enhancing
the bandwidth of the external interfaces and reducing
the latency of data throughput, leveraging GPUDirect
technology to eliminate unnecessary memory copies as
data moves around the system.
Best suited for: GE Intelligent Platforms is actively
working with NVIDIA on its GeoINT programme
to ensure that customers who require the highest
levels of performance on rugged mobile platforms
can access the technology needed to succeed. Typical applications for these rugged platforms fall into
the categories of command, control, computing,
communication & information (C4I), and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR).
C4I applications include search and rescue
(SAR) both maritime and land and situational
awareness. ISR applications are often performing
similar GEOINT data fusion and analysis tasks, but
may have the added requirement to send the resulting information to a ground station or other mobile
platform via a low bandwidth data link.
Using modular open systems architectures
(MOSA) based on the best of commercial
technology, the GEOINT community can benefit
from mainstream investments while retaining all
of the SWaP and ruggedisation features needed
to deploy complex data processing algorithms in
the harshest of environments.

Large format printing

now gets faster & easier

omplex data analysis and clear communication

is at the core of any geospatial project, be it
photogrammetry, cartography, geodesy, earth observation or positioning and surveying. HPs Designjet
T2500 eMFP improves customer creativity by allowing users to manage and process this complex data. It
is a large format multi-function printer which comes
under the workgroup range of printers that cater to
the geospatial sector. It enables large scale printing
as well as processing with high speeds e.g. for GIS
companies scanning large-format colour documents
is one of the most effective ways to review and communicate changes. However, large-format scanning
is a time-consuming and complex process. This
printer brings new customer-driven design features
to a single, compact device that scans, prints and copies to help highly mobile teams work together better
and faster. The compact Web-connected HP Designjet T2500 eMultifunction printer lets one instantly
share and manage content and the integrated output
stacking tray helps eliminate output clutter. The two
rolls and scan and copy capabilities help to speed
their workflow.
Having designed together with customers from
around the world, the HP Designjet T2500 eMultifunction Printer has a 30% smaller footprint than
its predecessor. The integrated output stacking tray
delivers flat, collated prints, helping teams stay organised between multiple projects. With two-roll,
front media loading, customers can print projects
that require different paper types and sizes without
having to change the roll. Additionally, the printers Embedded Web Server (EWS) gives users add-

HP Designjet T2500 eMFP

ed control, allowing them to submit files, manage job queues,
track print jobs, accurately calculate the costs of each individual
print, as well as create multiple destination folders within their
network in order to manage scans in a secure manner. Users can
also enable nesting, which will allow jobs to be printed side
by side, thus enhancing productivity, minimising wastage and
saving costs on media.

Unique features
Help cut downtime: Print multiple jobs on a variety of media types and sizes with two rolls and smart switching.
Eliminate the output clutter: Get flat, collated prints, thanks to the integrated output stacking tray.
Speed up the workflow: Easily scan and e-mail sketches and hand annotated drawings directly to the partners.
Instantly share and manage content: Scan to network folder, FTP, USB drive, or directly to
the cloud.
Use Apple or Android smartphone or tablet to print from virtually anywhere.
Print and scan without drivers using a USB stick and directly email projects to your Designjet T2500 eMFP.

Geospatial World January 2014 / 23

Tech for Tomorrow/ Hardware

The Next Generation

of airborne bathymetry

ighly accurate hydrographic surveys are

of particular importance when it comes to
monitoring and managing data of deep sea construction work, rivers or the effects of changing
sea-levels, flooding, or coastal damage due to
natural disasters. Leica Geosystems range of
products like HawkEye III, Chiroptera and
LiDAR Survey Studio represent the new generation of state-of-the-art airborne bathymetry.
HawkEye III: It is a combined airborne
bathymetric and topographic multi sensor LiDAR
system. With its high resolution and accuracy, HawkEye is the perfect tool for mapping,
planning, maintaining and managing all national
waters and coastal regions. It can do nautical
charting of near shore and coastal zones and characterisation and mapping prior to infrastructure
and constructional work.
The HawkEye III delivers full seafloor search.
Point densities are easily configured by optimising
survey altitude and airspeed. The survey parameters are easily adapted to the requirements of the
survey and local water conditions.
CHIROPTERA: This airborne LiDAR system
meets the highest demands for near-shore and
coastal zone mapping. It is an integrated unit
delivering harmonised land and sea data. With
its high resolution and accuracy, it is the perfect
tool for mapping, planning and managing the
near-shore region. It can model sea level rise and
global warming effects over time.
The Chiroptera delivers a point density of
up to 1-2 points per square meter in the bathymetric channel and 10-30 points per square meter in
the topography channel. The survey parameters
are easily configured in the system settings and by
selecting optimal flight levels and airspeed.
It is a cost-efficient sensor system for developing harmonised land and sea geographic datasets.
In addition, combined LiDAR data can be used

24 / Geospatial World January 2014

for simulation and studies of low-level land flooding and the

effects of sea-level raise.
LiDAR Survey Studio: It is a state-of-the-art software tool
for point-cloud generation and cleaning of raw LiDAR data
acquired by the HawkEye and Chiroptera systems.
It provides an extensive software toolbox for processing
of multiple missions and simultaneous review of data from all
sensor channels. This allows review of the deep bathymetry, the
shallow and the topographic LiDAR data, which at the same
time including reviewing the image taken at the same location
as the point cloud data.
Together, HawkEye III, Chiroptera and LiDAR Survey
Studio represent the next generation of state-of-the-art airborne

HawkEye III, CHIROPTERA & LiDAR Survey Studio

A New Angle

to digital photogrammetry

he Microsoft UltraCam Osprey digital

photogrammetric camera system combines a
high performing photogrammetric nadir camera with
oblique capture capability, offering a more versatile
dataset than other oblique systems in the market
The UltraCam Osprey incorporates several new
and unique concepts with a clear emphasis on professional photogrammetry and collection productivity. First, there is the metric nadir component which
has been derived from the well-known UltraCam Lp
camera. This nadir camera constitutes the geometry backbone of the UltraCam Osprey and enables
traditional photogrammetric processing from an
oblique aerial camera system. For example, Osprey
images are compatible with the UltraMap software
supporting the full workflow from aero-triangulation to dense surface modelling and ortho image
creation. The ability to perform aerotriangulation
(AT) and dense matching allows for the creation of
high accuracy point clouds, DSM, DTM, DSMorthos and DTMorthos (traditional orthos). Secondly,
adding the six oblique camera heads makes the
pixel harvest extremely productive. The wing cones
are pointing in the four cardinal direction at 45
degree off-nadir. There are dual cones forwards and
backwards, and single cones left and right.

that integrates all components into one unit. To achieve high flight
efficiency, the UltraCam Osprey is designed so that the full swath
width of the nadir cone (11,674 pixels) can be used, and oblique
wing images overlap enough to generate oblique orthos. The 60
MP backward and forward wing images and the 32 MP left and
right wing images, combined with a 2.2 second frame rate, ensure
adequate coverage. The camera is also compatible with the UltraNav direct georeferencing and flight management system.
Unique features
Weighs less than 75 kg. Reduces fuel consumption and
allows for longer flight missions.
High-resolution lenses and state-of-the art CCD
Advanced electronics for improved frame rate and less
noise with 72 dB signal-to-noise ratio.
Third generation of UltraCam architecture, everything
integrated into a modular sensor head.
Third generation filters with curved characteristics to
flatten out vignetting.

UltraCam Osprey

Best suited for: The nadir camera collects five

bands (PAN, RGB, NIR) with sub-pixel accuracy and high dynamic range equivalent to other
UltraCam cameras. This dataset can be used for
most photogrammetric applications, such as cadastre, infrastructure planning, and DTM or DSM ortho
generation. The combined oblique and nadir imagery is appropriate for more kinds of applications
than a standard oblique camera or a stand-alone
photogrammetric camera. The resulting data is very
useful for urban mapping and 3D city modelling.
UltraCam Osprey builds on the UltraCam Eagle
technology, including advanced electronics to
achieve an exceptional signal/noise ratio; solid state
storage of 3.3TB; and a modular housing concept

Geospatial World January 2014 / 25

Tech for Tomorrow/ Hardware

A New Survey-Grade

productivity laser scanner for UAS

itisation and online waveform
processing, which enables
achieving superior measurement results even under adverse
atmospheric conditions, and the
evaluation of multiple target
echoes. The scanning mechanism is based on an extremely
fast rotating mirror, which
provides fully linear, unidirectional and parallel scan lines,
resulting in excellent regular
point pattern distribution.

Best suited for: With its

high-resolution multi-target
capability, the instrument is
perfectly suited for agricultural
and forestry applications, power
as well as surveying
he RIEGL VUX-1 is a lightweight and
of urban environments, mapping of mines, or terrain and cancompact laser scanner, meeting the challenges
yon mapping, to name just a few possible applications.
of emerging survey solutions by unmanned aerial
Measurement results acquired with this new, fully surveysystem (UAS), gyrocopters and ultra-light aircraft,
grade UAV airborne laser scanner are planned to be presented
both in measurement performance and in system
at AUVSI conference (May 12-15, Orlando, USA) and at FIG
integration. With regard to the specific restrictions
conference (June 16-21, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia). RIEGL
and flight characteristics of UAS, the RIEGL VUXwill provide insights on the employed technologies as well
1 is designed to be mounted in any orientation. It
as integration and operation of the instrument. The results
is tailored for platforms with limited weight, space,
are analysed with respect to precision, resolution, and other
and supply power for payloads. The entire dataset
application-related aspects like the provided point attributes.
of an acquisition campaign is stored onto an internal 360 GB SSD and/or provided as real-time line
scan data via the integrated LAN-TCP/IP interface.

How it works: The RIEGL VUX-1 employs echo

signal digitisation, online waveform processing, a
measurement rate of up to 500 kHz and a fast scan
speed with upto 200 scan/sec. The field of view is
300 degrees.
The RIEGL VUX-1 provides high-speed data
acquisition using a narrow infrared laser beam and
a fast line scanning mechanism. High-accuracy
laser ranging is based on RIEGLs unique echo dig-

26 / Geospatial World January 2014

Unique features
R IEGL VUX-1 is a lightweight and compact laser
scanner and can be mounted on any orientation.
Has an internal 360 GB SSD memory and provides
real-time line scan data via the integrated LAN-TCP/IP
It provides high-speed data acquisition using a narrow
infrared laser beam and a fast line scanning mechanism.

For a Congestion-free

driving experience

he influx of cars on Indian roads, improved

road infrastructure and connectivity has
enhanced the driving experience in the country. To
further boost this experience, TomTom offers the
VIA Series Portable Navigation Devices which are
loaded with features specifically catering to the
Indian driving culture. These portable navigation
devices enable a user to seamlessly navigate across
cities without having to worry about the cost.
The TomTom VIA-125 is designed & localised
for the Indian consumer, keeping in mind TomTom
global standards. With the Landmark Navigation
feature, drivers can search for the nearest landmark,
whether a monument, park or an attraction in a
simple way, and let their portable navigation device
show them the route. The Map Share technology
enables drivers to keep the TomTom map on their
device up-to-date with immediate changes in their
area. Dynamic road changes, such as changed
speed limits, new street names, blocked roads
and new traffic directions can be updated directly on the device. Drivers then have the choice
to share those road changes with TomTom and the
broader Map Share community.
Furthermore, IQ Routing feature helps one
to efficiently calculate routes. This innovative
technology is based on actual average speed data,
rather than permitted speed limits. Devices with IQ
Routes plan a route by analysing all possible routes
and then selecting the one that takes the least time

TomTom VIA-125
based on recent historical data. This results in a faster route,
and saves money by significantly reducing travel time and
fuel usage.
This intelligent routing technology is based on historical
speed data collected anonymously from millions of TomTom
users worldwide who voluntarily provide us with speed-data
from their journeys.

Special features
Hands-free calling: Now you can make and answer phone calls safely while driving, making you in control and
in touch. Access entire phone book and call log information.
Landmark navigation: TomTom maps feature all the monuments, chowks, parks or attractions one needs to
find. Wherever you need to be, search for the nearest landmark.
Map of India: One can get more detailed points of interest. It provides coverage of more than 7300 cities and
towns across India.
Spoken street names: Helps one to get turn by turn directions with instructions in navigation in over 13 local
Indian languages (apart from Indian English).
Frequent destinations: You can choose icons for your most frequent destinations (up to 99) and add your
own text. This makes your navigation experience truly your own with even easier and quicker navigation to the
places you go most often.

Geospatial World January 2014 / 27

Tech for Tomorrow/ Hardware

Simple, One-Touch

layout for building infrastructure

or 2014, Topcon has many exciting

new instruments and solutions ready
to start bridging the gap between the
infrastructure needs of tomorrow and the
abilities of today. But there is one product
that will have an immediate impact on
virtually every job site, especially as
the requirements for Building Information Modeling (BIM) increases. Its the
LN-100, the worlds first 3D positioning
system designed specifically for construction layout.
How it works:The LN-100, or Layout
Navigator, introduces seamless integration and flow of project data from
the design to the field by providing a
one-person layout solution. The unit provides straightforward operation, removing
the intimidation factor and reducing the
learning curve in performing construction
layout tasks.
The simple design and ease of operation for the LN-100 strips away the
complexity associated with advanced
surveying instruments for layout tasks.
The workflow is simplified with the
seamless integration of the LN-100 with
Topcons MAGNET suite of software
solutions. MAGNET Field Layout and
Office Layout are specifically designed
and configured to meet the needs of

Unique features
3D layout tool.
One-person operation.
Simple setup self-leveling.
Wireless operation.
Android smartphone or tablet
field controller.
Easy one-button setup.

28 / Geospatial World January 2014

construction layout and BIM applications. All thats required to begin
operation is to place the LN-100 anywhere on a project site on a tripod,
column or on the ground and press one button. The unit self-levels and
an operator just has to turn on the wireless controller and get to work.
With the wireless controller, an operator can call up simple point layout or
CAD drawings anywhere on a site.The LN-100 is the newest of Topcons
BIM solutions, which include the GLS-2000 laser scanner, and IS-310
imaging robotic station.
Best suited for: The system is ideal for construction layout tasks of all
types. It utilises Topcons time-proven laser and robotic total station technologies to provide a highly productive system that combines design and
layout operations. The Topcon family of office software and controller
solutions integrates seamlessly with a wide range of Autodesk BIM software and services. The LN-100 provides a unique and productive system
to begin to literally transfer the digital design into a finished product.

Integrated Camera System

for rapid data collection

rimbles V10 Imaging Rover is an integrated camera

system that precisely captures 360 degree digital panoramic
images for visual documentation and measurement. It enables
professionals in a broad range of industries including survey, GIS, engineering, and oil & gas to quickly capture rich,
complete data of their surrounding environment. Together with
Trimble Access field software on the Trimble Tablet Rugged PC
and Trimble Business Center office software, the Trimble V10 is
the complete geospatial solution.

Unique features

12 calibrated cameras capture 60 MP panorama

for full site visualisation.

Rapid data collection with one-button capture of
Familiar, easy-to-use workflows with Trimble
Access field software.
Seamless integration with the Trimble R10 GNSS
receiver or Trimble VISION total stations.

Rapid data collection with push of a button

The Trimble V10 featuring Trimble VISION technology allows
one to capture a 60 MP panorama image with the simple push of
a button. A total of 12 calibrated cameras seven panorama and
five downward-looking provide complete site documentation
that can be used to make photogrammetric measurements. This
metric imaging functionality is ideal to perform work at sites where
there are many features to collect, or where features are complex or
difficult to capture. Field work that has traditionally taken hours for
data collection can now be completed in just minutes.
Capture everything now, measure later
Avoid site rework and benefit from increased quality control
and data validation by capturing data now and measuring later.
From the field, the Trimble V10 Imaging Rover allows one to
visually observe and capture the entire job site now and process
in the office later. Back in the office, the enhanced photo point
measurement functionality in Trimble Business Center can be
used to measure and create points, lines, polygons and other imaging components which can be used to prepare rich deliverables
for GIS, engineering and survey applications. This system allows
for the use of existing familiar workflows to create both traditional
and new deliverables for your clients.
Seamless integration with GNSS, Total Stations
The Trimble V10 seamlessly integrates with the Trimble R10
GNSS receiver and Trimble robotic total stations, such as the
Trimble VX spatial station. One can easily associate their
collected images with positions to generate a highly accurate
geospatial dataset or capture GNSS and total station data. With
the existing data capture workflow in Trimble Access, one can add
360-degree panoramas to their dataset as needed for a complete
integrated geospatial surveying solution.

Trimble V10 Imaging Rover

Geospatial World January 2014 / 29

Tech for Tomorrow/ Software

Changing the Way

infra projects are designed

Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro

he McKinsey Global Institute estimates that an investment of $60 trillion

in infrastructure is needed to maintain global GDP growth through 2030.
This requirement is likely to be met with only $24 trillion in funding from
the worlds leading economies. To close the gap in demand for infrastructure
and available funding, a fundamentally new and better way to manage project
complexity and drive down costs is urgently required. For this, Autodesk
unveiled the Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro in August 2013.
It offers the latest 3D modelling, visualisation and cloud-based collaboration
technologies and enhances building information modelling (BIM) workflows
by providing desktop software and cloud-based capabilities that enable multidiscipline infrastructure project stakeholders in geographically dispersed offices
to publish, store, collaborate and manage large models centrally in the cloud via
desktop or mobile devices.
Best suited for: With its ability to import GIS data, satellite imagery and point
clouds, Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro helps users to rapidly create proposals
and 3D designs within the context of real site conditions.
To augment a BIM workflow for transportation civil engineers using
Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro, the company also launched Autodesk Roadway
Design for InfraWorks 360 Pro late last year. It is designed to advance BIM
for infrastructure workflows by helping design professionals working on road
and highway projects more effectively explore preliminary design options and
optimise project performance. A combination of Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro
with Autodesk Roadway Design for InfraWorks 360 Pro helps make it possible
for road and highway projects of nearly unlimited scale and complexity to be
designed and engineered in the context of the existing environment. Using the

30 / Geospatial World January 2014

data-rich model as the canvas in which

to perform engineering task improves
the design processes when working on
small, medium and even the largest,
city-scale projects. Users can reach a
bigger audience, including technical
and non-technical project stakeholders, to quickly and efficiently explore
and communicate engineered design
alternatives, all within a compelling
3D environment.
Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro is
available via a quarterly or annual
rental plan, making it ideal for firms
to test-drive or use it for short-term
project needs.
Unique features
More efficiently build large
infrastructure models from
existing 2D CAD, 3D model,
GIS, and raster data. A link
for direct access to WeoGeo.
com portal comes to acquire
free or for-purchase data.
Model infrastructure objects
more accurately in the context
of the existing environment
with easy-to-use, industryspecific features.
Create compelling simulations
and visualisations that present
design alternatives more
accurately in the context of the
existing environment.
Exploit the data behind the
visualisation to help demonstrate an unparalleled understanding of project needs.
The power of the cloud can
be used for computational
intensive aspects of
performance analysis and
simulation for complex
infrastructure projects.

An Intelligent

imaging tool

he entire Intelligence community requires the ability to rapidly

add imagery into intelligence reporting and situational awareness
products. BAE Systems Web-based ELT, GXP WebView provides a
solution that can access, annotate, measure and disseminate the full
range of GEOINT products.
GXP WebView is a server application with a browser-based interface developed using HTML5 technology. It is a component of GXP
Xplorer which empowers all-source analysts to view, annotate, and
publish products on their own, without the need for assistance from
a geospatial imagery specialist. Supporting the Microsoft Windows
platform, it utilises the open, extensible and scalable GXP Xplorer
architecture and can be virtualised across multiple machines and
administered remotely.
Satellite images today can easily approach file distribution
limits. Downloading from a remote location could take hours or fail
completely because of network interruptions. The GXP WebView
Pixel Server leverages the capabilities of SOCET GXP, sharing the
same underlying software components to stream data natively eliminating the need for full-product download or special software to start
interacting with the pixels.
SOCET GXP loads data in its native format, which supports nearly
30 imagery formats; commercial formats such as JPEG2000, GeoTiff,
NITF satellite imagery, and specialised
commercial formats like CosmoSkyMed
and SPOT imaging. The GXP legacy in
photogrammetry yields an unmatched
level of expertise in the implementation
and support for rigorous sensor models for both domestic and international
GXP WebView also offers several
methods for navigating and viewing
imagery as well as image manipulation once launched from GXP Xplorer.
Specific menu panels display based on the
type of action to perform such as zoom,
and tooltips appear on mouse hover with
menu button functions.
Traditionally, these actions are
performed in a desktop application with
dedicated processing power. However,
with the GXP WebView Pixel Server
and implementation of modern browser technology, these actions and other

exploitation functions are performed directly

in a Web browser.
Unique features
It displays geospatially referenced
imagery in a Web browser
instantaneously, allowing for rapid
visualisation, analysis, and report
It enables users to interact
with full-resolution, geospatially
referenced imagery within an intuitive
and enterprise-accessible interface.
Integrated with a catalogue, search,
and discovery product such as GXP
Xplorer, it provides capabilities to
view, annotate, and publish products
faster than order-based exploitation
It integrates the technology of photogrammetric software development
and supports commercial and
national imagery formats.

GXP WebView

Geospatial World January 2014 / 31

Tech for Tomorrow/ Software

For In-Depth

point cloud processing

Global Mapper LiDAR Module

ver the past few years, the use of LiDAR data has taken center
stage in the GIS software industry. Many software developers
have stepped forward to provide high-end, overly expensive, yet
incomplete solutions for GIS professionals who need to process this
data into a deliverable format. Blue Marble Geographics Global
Mapper LiDAR Module offers an inexpensive, powerful and easy-touse alternative.
Originally developed in partnership with the United States Geological
Survey, Global Mapper offers over 250 spatial data formats, geometry
and attribute editing as well as advanced analysis and provides just the
right level of GIS functionality to satisfy both GIS experts and mapping
novices. With a starting price just over $400, it is a must-have for anyone
who works with maps or spatial data.
How it works: Global Mappers optional LiDAR Module significantly enhances the LiDAR processing capability of the software.
Providing support for point clouds with over a billion points, it offers
a wide range of filtering, visualisation, modelling, editing, and export
functions. Unlike some other applications, Global Mapper does not
automatically filter or thin out the data for faster rendering. It gives
the user the ability to decide if and how they want to decimate the

32 / Geospatial World January 2014

point cloud data.

During the import process, the point cloud
can be optionally thinned to remove erroneous
points,for customising the resolution or geographic extent of the data. Filters can be applied to
limit the display to specific point classifications or
return types. After import, points can be manually
reclassified to correct or update any errors or
omissions in the collection operation. This procedure can be based on a manual selection process;
a more systematic query or search; or on a
cross-sectional profile view of the point cloud that
can be used to easily isolate any elevated points
that represent buildings or vegetation layers.
Point cloud visualisation may be adjusted to
reflect various aspects of LiDAR data including
return intensity, elevation, classification and
RGB values, if present. The tool even offers an
option to automatically assign the RGB from an
underlying imagery layer to each point individually. When rendered in the 3D window, this
displays a visually realistic, rotatable model of
buildings, trees, and any other extruded features.
For most users of LiDAR data, point cloud manipulation is a means to an end with the ultimate
goal being to generate a terrain or surface model.
Global Mapper excels at this procedure and provides many options for customising the parameters
of the resulting 3D raster layer. The software also
offers the opportunity to perform a wide variety
of 3D data creation and analysis functions such as
contour generation, flood analysis, terrain flattening, and volume calculation.

Unique features
Fully functional LiDAR analysis and
processing available at less price.
Incorporates a range of powerful terrain
analysis functions.
Free technical support.
Supports all versions of LAS, LAZ and
other compression formats.

A One-Stop Solution

for analytics, mobility & big data

Intergraph Geospatial 2014

usinesses require dynamic geospatial solutions for driving enhanced

decision making. A key component of bringing this vision to life is
fully integrating modern geospatial solutions that leverage the power of the
cloud through mobility, analytics and big data management tools. As such,
Intergraph Geospatial 2014 provides the most comprehensive portfolio of
industry-leading technologies that support these new technology paradigms.
How it works: Through new customised analytics capabilities, users
can leverage highly intuitive spatial modelling for creating powerful data
analysis. The enhanced spatial modeler allows users to work with point
clouds and other specialised operators. In addition, users can exchange Esri
file geodatabase data across users geospatial enterprises.
Users can see, edit, validate and update their GIS from their mobile
device in the field, in real time with Intergraph Mobile MapWorks.
Intergraph Mobile Alert provides crowdsourced incident information to
organisations such as governments and utilities.
The ERDAS ECW/JP2 SDK now supports Android, iOS and WinCE
devices, enabling third-party developers to use Intergraphs data compression technology to solve mobile problems.
Following are the products enhancements:
IMAGINE Photogrammetry (formerly LPS): The functionality of
LPS and its optional modules have been repackaged into three new
ERDAS IMAGINE add-on modules: IMAGINE Photogrammetry,
IMAGINE AutoDTM and IMAGINE Terrain Editor. This simplifies
purchasing decisions reducing choices from six to three products
while maintaining configuration flexibility.

ImageStation: It enables digital

photogrammetry workflows. New
features include enhanced capabilities to
exploit data stores, big data management
and ribbonising the interfaces of the
GeoMedia add-on products.
ERDAS IMAGINE: It helps organisations perform advanced remote sensing
analysis and spatial modelling. Key new
features are expanded sensor model and
datum support, enhanced data display,
improvements to the spatial modeler and
new radiometric capabilities.
GeoMedia: This GIS management
package enables users to realise the
maximum value of their geospatial
resources. New 2014 features include
enhanced GeoMedia Smart Client and
ERDAS APOLLO integration, EsriFGDB support, management of extensive
data stores and ribbon customisation.
GeoMedia WebMap: This fully scalable server solution allows organisations
to create high-performance web applications. Key new features are the ability
to access and share Esri data across the
geospatial enterprise and the in-depth
exploration of data in 3D.
ERDAS APOLLO: This enables
companies to catalogue, search, discover,
process and disseminate massive volumes
of data. New features are one catalogue
for all data, enhanced cloud security,
speed improvements to the OGC WMS,
WMTS, ECWP and JPIP protocols, and
the ability to create beautiful styles for
imagery, point cloud and vector data.
Geospatial SDI: The interoperable and
scalable spatial data infrastructure is designed for data providers. New enhancements include viewing data in 3D.
Geospatial Portal: Key new features
are the discovery of ERDAS APOLLO
vector and business data.

Geospatial World January 2014 / 33

Tech for Tomorrow/ Software

Achieving and Delivering

more through location awareness

here are a number of trends

that impact our customers and
partners. One of the most significant is that consumers through their
utilisation of services from Google,
Bing, Apple and others, have incorporated location services into many
aspects of their everyday lives. This
has greatly contributed to a trend
referred to as the consumerisation of
GIS, which because of its pervasiveness increasingly requires non-GIS
experts to build and support location-based applications and services.
Consider the ever growing
sources of spatial datafor example,
cellphones, tablets, laptops, location
enabled devices, censor/trace data the amount of location-enabled data
has grown exponentially in terms of
volume, variety, and velocity, which
requires more flexibility and higher
performing technologies. These
trends and others increase the value
of technologies like Pitney Bowes
Spectrum Spatial. At Pitney Bowes,
we have focused our product roadmap to better enable us to address
the growing needs of national and
multinational organisations that must
rapidly build and centrally manage
location-based services to fulfill the
growing needs of their customers,
citizens, and employees.
Spectrum Spatial is an enterprise location intelligence platform
designed to provide organisations
with a suite of broadly applicable location capabilities spatial analysis,
geoprocessing, routing, geocoding,
and mapping.These capabilities can
be combined with a wide range of
Spectrums data management capa-

34 / Geospatial World January 2014

Provide a well-defined set of location functionality proven to solve
real business problems.
Using open standards to ensure seamless integration within existing
IT and amongst numerous applications.
Enabling the rapid delivery of location capabilities to any application
using standards-based web services.
Delivering its capabilities on premise or a proportion of the
functionality OnDemand or in a hybrid mode.
bilities and our extensive data catalogue to solve a diverse variety of business
It provides organisations with a way to centrally manage and deliver a
powerful array of the most frequently requested location services, and apply
those services across departments and applications. Using standards-based or
OGC certified web services technologies, Spectrum Spatial delivers precise
and reusable functionality in a scalable, high-performance package that does
not require GIS expertise.
It enables organisations to deploy location services for Web or mobile
applications to support business users and consumers. It supplies location
services to multiple, disparate applications from a centrally managed platform
and deploys one or more location-enriched applications across multiple geographies. It also integrates location capabilities across multiple departments or
into multiple existing business applications.

Spectrum Spatial

Effective and Efficient

emergency response management

capability through various communication methods. This service
provides timely treatment to the patient at the incident site and ensures
efficient data sharing to hospitals for
necessary arrangement.
Product components
Rolta GeoCAD Desktop: It provides
advanced call taking, dispatching and
supervision capabilities for emergency response management.

Rolta GeoCAD

olta GeoCAD is an advanced CAD based public safety solution for

police, fire, and other emergency response agencies to provide better
emergency services. This solution provides seamless integration with GIS
maps allowing emergency response agencies to record, locate and respond to
distress calls from within a geospatially-enabled environment. This solution
empowers responding agencies by providing mission critical information
and situational awareness through an intuitive common operating picture. It
leverages the strengths and capabilities of desktop, Web and mobile technologies to seamlessly integrate the command centre with the necessary response
It significantly improves quality and response time for emergency events.
The solution has resulted in improved emergency recovery by analysing
events in spatial environment. It has also enabled automated call taking
and recording and supports automatic number identification and automatic
location identification of the caller. The Hot Call feature ensures effective
handling of critical calls and reduces the response time.
The solution is also available for emergency medical services (EMS).
GeoCAD EMS is a command & control center application utilising automated
vehicle location and CAD technologies with additional communications support to address the emergency and non-emergency requirements. It provides a
real-time situation awareness picture on a geospatial platform with call taking

Rolta GeoCAD Web: It enables the

users to view the complete event
information and response vehicles in
their current geographical position
over the Web. It also provides dashboards and enhanced management
reporting software suite.
Rolta GeoCAD Mobile: This
software is deployed on Mobile
Data Terminals (MDTs) handheld
devices associated with the responding units and personnel. It provides
access to detailed information
regarding the assigned events to the
responding units including shortest
path computation. The responders
can also update the control centre
about the progress of the event as
well as send live photographs from
the event location thereby enabling
better coordination between the responding units and control centre.
Rolta GeoCAD Resource Manager:
It allows the administrative features/
configuration of vehicles, operators,
shift details, vehicle resources, vehicles equipment, event types, event
priorities, modems etc.

Geospatial World January 2014 / 35

Tech for Tomorrow/ Services

Location-Aware Apps

for iPhone and Android

Geotrigger Service

ow, developers can easily create location-aware apps for iPhone and
Android without compromising battery life with the help of Esris
Geotrigger Service. The cloud-hosted geofencing platform sends push
notifications to a remote server when a device enters or exits an area.
Developers working on location-based apps can now receive real-time
location tracking, geofencing, and messaging tools. At present only beta
version of the service is available. The beta Geotrigger Service is available
at no cost and feedback from developers will be used to shape the official
release in 2014.
The Geotrigger Service allows apps built on the Esri location platform
to quickly gather business intelligence such as where people are and when
the app is used. Developers can also design apps that send messages to
users when they arrive at or leave areas defined by a geofence.
How it works: An invisible area drawn on a map is set to have an action
or message associated with it. When your mobile device crosses into the
trigger zone the Geotrigger Service sends a location-based message to
that device, or even notifies your server for custom events.
The Geotrigger Service runs in the cloud. That means one has to just
add the Geotrigger SDK to their application, set up push notifications, and
associate their client ID with the service. Finally, define their geofences,

36 / Geospatial World January 2014

push notifications into the service,

and begin testing their location-aware
The Geotrigger Service provides a new level of functionality
to apps. The apps can now easily
send messages to users when they
arrive at or leave areas you define
with a geofence. And, quickly gather
business intelligence such as where
people are and what time it is when
the app is used.
The service can send messages to
devices or notify the server so that
one can implement custom actions
when triggers are fired. One can use
the Geotrigger API to programmatically create a collection of triggers
based on existing data sets, or allow
users to create their own triggers.

Who can use Geotrigger?

Retail & Loyalty: Engage
customers with personalised
content and deals the moment
they enter a store.
Real Estate: Send messages
to prospective home buyers
when their search criterion
matches a home nearby.
Energy Management: Use
your location to automatically
manage power consumption.
Tourism: Bring public
attractions to life by informing
tourists of interesting locations
as they explore your city.
Public Alerts: Notify citizens
about events such as road
closures or civic emergencies
based on past locations.

Transforming Marine

intelligence with exactAIS

he worlds water network is getting busier

by the day. Knowing the exact location of
ships travelling in water at any given time and
where they are headed to is one of the most
challenging questions to answer with certainty. This critical situational awareness the
who, where and when on the water is what
exactEarths exactAIS information provides. An
information anchor for the marine environment,
it receives and delivers near-real time global
AIS messages to customers via a secure internet
link, providing an unparalleled, global view of
the recognised maritime picture at any given
time, for any given area of ocean.
To transform Satellite AIS data into an
integral and actionable beacon of marine
intelligence, exactEarth created exactAIS Geospatial Web Services (GWS), a customisable,
on-demand data distribution model that allows
users to easily access and integrate near-real
time (NRT) ship information into existing OGC
compliant geospatial platforms such as Esri and
Google Earth.
How it works: GWS synthesises and transforms
text-based AIS messages into spatial-ready,
ship-centric information. Functioning like a
vessel information drive-through, users can
access the GWS through their existing geospatial platform, choose specific datasets on offer,
Unique features
OGC-certified delivery of maritime vessel information, derived from the latest
AIS messages.
Ability to seamlessly integrate exactAIS
with existing geospatial platforms with
little to no time or effort.
Provides the ability to create custom
data views using filters.
On-demand data, which means get
what you want, when you want it, and
only pay for what you get.

such as the latest vessel information, historical track information,
or ship density maps, and the service then delivers the files for
immediate consumption.
While Satellite AIS (S-AIS) data provides ship details like position, course and speed, GWS stands out in its ability to combine
the near-real time, individual messages received for a vessel and
automatically convert them into a geospatial, vessel-centric model
of individual ship movements over time. Those visual and temporal tracks can then be viewed on a map or retrieved on demand.
With GWS, the maritime picture becomes even brighter as it
allows customers to access data on-demand, enabling them to
pull out the information they want, when they want it. GWS give
users the chance to experience exactAIS data on their own terms
they pilot the vessel data and eliminate the need to understand
or deal with the complexities of S-AIS messages because they
transform them into easy-to-digest, vessel-centric data.
Customers need only their own geospatial platform to access
and retrieve data through the GWS exactEarth hosts the data
on its own dedicated server.

Geospatial World January 2014 / 37

Tech for Tomorrow/ Services

For Global Maritime

domain awareness

MDA BlueHawk

ith water covering about 70% of the planet, maritime domain

awareness is one of the most important activities undertaken by
national and international agencies. Traditionally, maritime security agencies relied on surveillance aircraft, ships following patrol patterns and
coastal radar to search for suspicious vessels and activities. Oflate a myriad of additional data is available, creating additional big data challenges.
Maritime environment is vast and complex, and with the massive amount
of legal maritime traffic finding a threat is very difficult.
To help address these challenges, MDA has developed MDA
BlueHawk, a multi-sensor, unclassified maritime domain awareness and
threat detection solution that provides navies, coast guards, customs, law
enforcement, and fisheries with immediate access to broad-area maritime
surveillance across their Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and global
areas of interest. Fusing space-based radar, automatic identification system (AIS)data, vessel registries, and other maritime information, MDA
BlueHawk delivers the information and tools to help customers detect
potential threats. It provides for the detection of non-reporting dark
vessels, validation of reporting vessels, and identification of oil slicks,
weather, and other events. It provides ocean and coastal coverage
through the fusion of data from multi-sensor, space-based satellite
synthetic aperture radar (SAR), satellite and terrestrial AIS, vessel
registry data and other contextual data.

38 / Geospatial World January 2014

Benefits: It offers national and international

maritime agencies an efficient, cost-effective way
to improve overall maritime domain awareness. It
better utilises existing assets with queued dispatch,
leverages all-weather broad-area maritime surveillance, identifies potential threats close or far from
the shore and allows one to share information with
other team members, agencies, or governments.
It can be delivered as an online hosted solution,
a customer-managed implementation or a data
feed into an existing end-user system. Through
MDA BlueHawkOnline, MDA is supporting a
national Navy with their maritime domain awareness activities. In one case, the Area of Interest for
the programme was initially confined to an area
of 1 million km2 over the Pacific Ocean, and
then was expanded to cover the countrys entire
EEZ. The customer is exploring a second phase
of the programme, and is looking to develop
a business case to acquire a maritime-optimised
RADARSAT-2 ground station to improve the
timeliness of their response.

Unique features
Unclassified maritime domain awareness
Web portal.
Detection of non-reporting dark
vessels, including observed vessel size
and heading.
Identification of self-reporting vessels
with verification by satellite radar.
Coastal and open water coverage
(coastal and satellite sensors).
Automatically generated alerts based on
suspicious behaviour.
Historical and predicted vessel tracks.
Vessel registry data (e.g. IHS Fairplay).
Oil slick detection.
Maritime weather information.
Available as an online service, system, or
direct datafeed into customer systems.

Enjoy a Smooth Ride

with real-time updates

ocation-based services are becoming integral for travellers

today. People from Web enterprises as well as the car and
mobile industry are constantly developing complementary location-based services and other offerings to make the journey smooth.
Nokia is helping people not only to effectively navigate their
worlds, but also to discover new adventures along the way with
the help of its set of location-based apps like HERE Maps, HERE
Drive+, HERE Transit, HERE Traffic, HERE Venue Maps etc.
Smoother navigation
While planning a journey, its always a good idea to check the
traffic and road conditions. HERE not only shows the route, it
can also highlight any traffic, planned road closures or incident problems. The real-time traffic updates delivers detailed
information about traffic speeds on motorways, main and secondary roads to enable more accurate estimated arrival times.
HEREs real-time traffic service is available free of cost to
any smartphone that has Symbian and Microsofts Windows
OS. Users just need to pay the data services charges to telecom
service providers.
A new update for the HERE Drive+ navigation suite was
introduced recently. It adds real-time traffic information, a
route overview list with turn-by-turn directions and more. The


Unique features
Traffic Patterns: Provides average speeds
by time of day and day of week.
Real-Time Traffic: Provides real-time
speeds for traffic enabled roads.

new version of Drive+ brings lots of new traffic

features. One can get real-time traffic info, which
provides very precise arrival times. One can also
check the entire traffic overview on a map.
Another new feature is the list of turn-byturn directions for a particular route. This way,
one can explore the route they are about to take
and get familiar with it. HERE products provide
more than just a map: they help one in driving
from point A to point B. It gives the driver a new
generation of location products to help them make
sense of the world around them.
Driver safety is also a big concern in todays
world. By delivering the correct and freshest map
at the right time, HERE traffic minimises distractions. HERE has distinguished
itself as the clear leader in this
space; it powers four out of five
cars with in-dash location content
that can be extended to include
dynamic services such as weather,
traffic and local search.
Easing traffic globally
Globally, HERE traffic covers 34
countries with real time traffic and
71 countries with Traffic Patterns.
It covers top 30 cities in India, out
of which there is 100% coverage in
top 5 cities. Additionally, it has an
All-India Highway coverage. These
patterns are built using billions of
probe points collected over last
few years, which are updated
twice a year.

Geospatial World January 2014 / 39

Tech for Tomorrow/ Services

The Worlds First

location-aware iPaaS

loud computing is said to be the way of the future. With the

beta release of the worlds only location-aware iPaaS (integration Platform as a Service), FME Cloud, organisations can now
leverage the cloud for application integration.
GIS, IT, data and business analysts alike will appreciate FME
Clouds application connections for integrating information from
300-plus systems, including cloud data, Web services, SaaS,
on-premise systems, databases, social, mobile and spatial data.
Regardless of where information is created, managed, or stored, it
can be made available to those who need it, using FME Cloud.

Best suited for: FME Cloud ensures organisations leverage the

power of location alongside their existing data. It provides intelligence to decision makers based on solid business logic that answers
the question where. It enables users to perform location-based
analytics, create location outputs for use in other applications, or
combine location information with other data and Web services.
As an integration platform, FME Cloud moves data where it
is needed so that answers can be discovered in the systems that
make sense for each end user. The results can also be moved to
and displayed in any mapping tool or service, presenting the facts
to decision makers in a way thats easy to read and understand.
FME Cloud users do not rely on developers to transform infor-

FME Cloud

40 / Geospatial World January 2014

Unique features
FME Cloud ensures that organisations can
leverage the power of location alongside
their existing data.
It enables users to perform location-based
analytics, create location outputs for use
in other applications, or combine location
information with other data and Web
FME Cloud offers pay-as-you-go option
and scalability.

mation. They control everything themselves using

FMEs simple, graphical user interface. Tools for
integration, scheduling, automation, and notifications
provide true set-it-and-forget-it peace of mind. It
does not just move information from point A to point
B but enables users to control how the information is
moved between systems, adding value along the way.
FME Cloud provides its integration technology
in a cutting-edge deployment model iPaaS (integration Platform as a Service). By providing FME
technology through a cloud service,
organisations can start their operations in less than 10 minutes, with
no hardware or server infrastructure
to buy and manage, or external
departments to coordinate with.
Based on Amazon Web Services (AWS), FME Cloud provides
infrastructure that businesses can
rely on with automated backups,
high availability, dedicated tenancy,
and enterprise-ready security.
A true cloud solution, FME
Cloud offers pay-as-you-go option
and scalability to ensure that
organisations can access the capacity they need, when they need
it, making everything from the
smallest prototype to the
largest enterprise project

Tech for Tomorrow/ Data

Global Coverage

of unprecedented quality

he WorldDEM is a global elevation

dataset of unprecedented quality,
accuracy, and coverage and will be
launched this year for the Earths entire
land surface - pole to pole. The accuracy
of the WorldDEM provided by Astrium Services will surpass that of any
satellite-based global elevation model
available today.
The worldwide homogeneous acquisition guarantees a global DEM with
no break lines at regional or national
borders and no heterogeneities caused by
differing measurement procedures or data
collection campaigns staggered in time.
The high-resolution radar satellites
TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X started the
synchronous data acquisition in December 2010 and completed the first coverage
of the Earths entire landmass within 13
months. Following the first part of the
acquisition campaign, the two satellites
are continuing with the second coverage,
which again requires approximately one
year for completion.
More complex terrain areas are
covered with a third and fourth acquisition campaign to ensure the quality and
accuracy of the final product.
Astrium Services will refine the raw
DEM in additional processing steps
according to customer requirements,
e.g. editing of water surfaces. In case of
additional customer requests, individual
solutions can be designed by the company, tailored to the respective application.
Best suited for: It is suitable for customers from both private and public industries. Applications are manifold, ranging
from improved base data for orthorectification processes and national mapping,
through a more targeted preparation of

defence and security related missions all the way to improved management
of oil and gas fields, aviation and infrastructure applications. Initially three
core WorldDEM products will be available:
DSM Basic: The basic Digital Surface Model includes the heights of all
natural and man-made objects. It is an ideal elevation foundation for supporting a wide range of geospatial applications and services.
DSM Hydro: This hydro-enforced Digital Surface Model includes water
body features derived from radar imagery. It provides a solution for a broad
range of applications, like water body identification and flood modelling.
DTM: The Digital Terrain Model represents bare earth elevation with all
vegetation and man-made objects removed. It provides detailed terrain
information for even the most remote and difficult areas.

Unique features
Vertical accuracy of 2m (relative)/10m (absolute).
12m x 12m raster.
Global homogeneity.
High geometric precision of the sensors make ground control
information redundant.

Geospatial World January 2014 / 41

Tech for Tomorrow/Apps

Increasing Productivity

via mobile apps

hen working in the field, it is

important that personnel are
able to view and analyse the most
current infrastructure data. Bentleys
mobile apps bring that information to
field crews fingertips, whether they
leverage that data in construction,
maintenance, surveying, inspection, or
emergency response processes.
Bentley Map Mobile: First released
in July 2013, it enables publishing
of Bentley Map models on tablets. It
increases information mobility between
departments working from the office
and in the field. It also empowers nonGIS specialists, such as installation
and maintenance, construction and
engineering field technicians, and field
inspectors, to have continuous access to
the up-to-date geospatial information.
While the first release supported
Android-based tablets, Bentley is
about to release a new version which
will have iOS support. A new and
improved version of this mobile app
will also be released during the first
half of 2014, including the ability
for field personnel to mark up the
infrastructure information in the field.
Navigator Mobile: Released in March
2013, it enables workers in the field to
navigate 3D architecture, engineering
and construction models using i-models, as well as to view relevant object
information to identify and resolve conflicts. In 2014, the app will have markup functionality, so that closed-loop
mark up workflows from the field are
synchronised back to the data source
and available for immediate action. Already available for iOS-based devices,
it will also offer Android support.

42 / Geospatial World January 2014

InspecTech Collector Mobile:

Introduced in March 2013, it works
with Bentleys InspectTech softwareas-a-service offering. The latter helps
asset owners streamline the process of
planning inspections, collecting and
managing inspection data, and complying with government reporting requirements reducing inspection times by
up to 25%. It empowers inspectors of
transportation and infrastructure assets
from bridges and culverts to signs,
light poles, antenna towers, stormwater
networks, and more to quickly and
effectively collect a range of inspection information, including photos and
audio, in the field on their iPads.
Field Supervisor: It extends the reach
of information securely managed by
Bentleys ProjectWise and eB, as well
as data stored in other user repositories,
including SharePoint, to construction
workers in the field providing both
online and offline access. The app

uniquely provides true federated data

access, and a software development kit
allows users to connect to other data
sources such as Documentum, Oracle,
SAP, Dropbox, Aconex,, SkyDrive, Google Drive, and FileNet.New
and upcoming capabilities include a geospatial interface providing a one-click
option to access project information.
Unique features
Provides accurate and up-todate asset information which
enables field workers to make
better decisions.
Increases worker safety by
providing information on adjacent utilities that might have
an impact on the work they are
Increases the return on investment by making this valuable
data available to an entirely
new group of users.

Bentley Mobile Apps


How do the
BRICS rank on a
global scale

Regulation is a reality businesses face every day.

According to the Doing Business 2014 report by the
World Bank, the global average of starting a business
takes 7 procedures, 25 days and costs 32% of income
per capita in fees. However, this is not as rosy as
it should be for the BRICS economies. This data is
equally critical for the geospatial industry.


Where do BRICS stand in the Doing Business Rankings


Starting a business
in Brazil needs
13 procedures to
be followed and
takes up to three
and half months to
complete the process.

Change in rank
from 2013

City covered: Sao Paulo

BRICS countries share of

global GDP


DB* Rank 2014

Procedures to be followed

Time taken (days)

Construction permits




Getting electricity



Registering property





BRICS share of world


*Doing Business


Russia ranks 3rd in the

list of top 10 economies
improving across
three or more areas,
especially in starting a
business, dealing with
construction permits
and getting electricity.
City covered: Moscow


DB Rank 2014

Procedures to be followed

Change in rank
from 2013

BRICS share in global

land area

Time taken (days)

Construction permits




Getting electricity



Registering property



Geospatial World January 2014 / 45

Doing Business in BRICS


DB Rank 2014

Construction permits






Registering property




DB Rank 2014

China has introduced

some reforms but
still finds challenges
in areas such as
turnaround time for
construction permits &
power connections.

Time taken (days)

Construction permits




Getting electricity



Registering property




South Africa is way

ahead of its BRICS
However, the greatest
challenge for the
businesses here
remains electricity.


DB Rank 2014

City covered: Johannesburg

Procedures to be followed

Change in rank
from 2013

Time taken (days)

Construction permits




Getting electricity



Registering property



46 / Geospatial World January 2014

Change in rank
from 2013

City covered: Shanghai

Procedures to be followed

BRICS nations offer

promising markets for
geospatial industry
with governments
investing heavily in
development projects.
While data secrecy
and sharing remain a
challenge, the BRICS
have realised the
value of geospatial
data and technology,
and ongoing changes
in laws and policies
are opening up new

Time taken (days)

Getting electricity


Change in rank
from 2013

City covered: Mumbai

Procedures to be followed


Source: World Bank/IFC Doing Buisness


India is one of those

countries where
there are differences
in regulations or in
the implementation of
national laws across

Doing Business in BRICS


Geospatial technologies encompass all fields of economic activities in
Brazil, and are the key in the promotion of sustainable development.
However, the industry focuses only on the public sector, and there is
limited services provided to the private industry.
Data availability: All satellite images received by INPE are freely available on
the Web. From 2004 to 2009, over 1 million images were distributed by INPE.
Industry organisation: Brazil has launched Institute of Brazilian Companies
on Geomatics and Geospatial Solutions, a non-profit organisation promoting
the development of geospatial sector in the country.

Russia is seen as a potential market with the use of geospatial data

and technologies taking off in various industries.
GNSS/ GLONASS: Russia is the one of the major spender in GNSS
space. It wants to build a network of GPS ground stations in the US
to improve the accuracy of its GLONASS system and also expand in
Asia. It will also be used extensively in the future to control spacecraft,
satellite tracking and fix satellite glitches.
Policy challenges: Russia is planning to reduce secrecy of geographic
data. A new law in the field of remote sensing is also in the works.

GIS market is growing aggressively in China and touched $42 billion by 2013 end. The total annual output is likely to reach $81 billion by 2015 and $163
billion by 2020. While Chinas GIS industry involves more than 23,000 organisations and 400,000 employees, it has no impact globally. However, it remains a
strong customer for global geospatial majors. Even for companies like Hexagon, China contributes to 14% of the net sales.
Geographic census: China is set to launch its first national census of geographic conditions between 2013 and 2015, which will collect information on land,
vegetation, waters, deserts, and bare areas, as well as transport grids, residential areas etc.
Satellite imagery: China used to import over 90% of its remote-sensing data but is now moving towards self sufficiency. It plans to build a remote sensing
mapping satellite system in the next 10 to 15 years.
Boost for 3D: From 3D smart cities to 3D cadastres, there is extensive work going on in this area. BIM has been now mandated as China continues to work
towards smart cities.
GNSS: Chinas satellite navigation and location service industries is likely to exceed $36.6 billion in 2015. Beidou will cover the entire globe by 2020.

With huge infrastructure projects in the pipeline, India offers a huge
opportunity to the geospatial community.
Ambiguous policies: Ambiguous policies are the main hindrance in India.
For instance, it is restricted to import a GPS device with Bluetooth,
WiFi and smartphone functions but importing a smartphone with a
GPS, Bluetooth and WiFi is allowed. The import duty on GPS and GNSS
(including TotalStations) is 27%.
Satellite imagery highly restricted: Anyone can download a sub-metre
resolution satellite image on his computer but a company needs approval
from the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) for processing 1m
resolution satellite image.
Time taking processes: Processes in government offices take long. For
instance, it is very difficult to get a licence for using GPS/GNSS receivers
with UHF radio. project implementation is affected by poor conceptualisation,
and slow take-offs and deliveries.

A progressive country technologically, areas driving use of geospatial
technology are local government bodies, mining, water resources,
environment and infrastructure projects. The Spatial Planning and Land
Use Management Bill introduced in 2013 makes municipalities the
prime regulators in land-use planning.
Satellite Imagery: There is on-demand request for sub-metre resolution
imagery. For government and other public entities in South Africa,
SANSA is allowed to distribute the SPOT 5 data for free.
Challenges: There are currently no standards for addresses in South
Africa and there are a number of variations and inconsistencies when
address details are involved. The geospatial market is dominated
by few product companies. There is shortage of skilled manpower
especially in application of geospatial technology. Financial crisis is
placing a toll on implementing newer technologies; eg, UAVs have been
put on the backburner.
Geospatial World January 2014 / 47

Geospatial Infrastructure

A framework for next-gen BRICS

Home to some of the oldest civilisations of the world, the BRICS
nations were early adopters of technology as well. Post World
War-II, BRICS have been building their geospatial infrastructure
progressively be it space based earth observation satellites,
navigation systems or augmenting national mapping capabilities.
Towards the end of 20th century and early 21st century, these
emerging nations have stepped up their geospatial investments
by launching path-breaking initiatives and creating forward
looking policies to take their economies to the next level. Heres
a peek into the geospatial infrastructure of BRICS nations.




Earth Observation


Resolution (m)





PAN doublet
















Resolution (m)











CCD/Infrared multispectral




Spatial Resolution (m)





With German Collaboration. Scheduled to be launched in 2015


Indigenous EO satellite. Scheduled to be launched in 2014




Resolution (m)







Resurs-DK No.1



No.1 World January
/ Geospatial


Satellite Based
Augmentation System

India is developing GPS Aided GEO

Augmented Navigation (GAGAN)
Objectives: To provide
satellite-based navigation services
with accuracy and integrity
required for civilian and aviation
applications over Indian Air Space;
better air traffic management over
Indian Airspace, APV 1 capability
over the entire Indian land mass;
RNP 0.1 capability over the entire
Indian FIR.

Doing Business in BRICS

Satellite Navigation




Total satellites/
functional satellites
in orbit

Expected year of




~2.5 m





Regional (up to











No indigenous system. Brazil hosts first overseas GLONASS ground station for differential correction & monitoring

South Africa


No indigenous system.


System: Everest Ellipsoid

Organisation: Survey of
Coverage: Regional
Description: Named
after Sir George Everest,
the system was derived in
1830 and since then it has
been used as basis for all
types of control surveys. It is
inconsistent and inadequate
for present needs. Accuracy
of the network is only of the
1st order or less

System: National Reference

Systems of the Russian
Federation (PZ-90.11)
Organisation: Ministry
of Defence of Russian
Coverage: Global (consistent
with ITRF)
Description: Established
in 2012, PZ-90.11 is an
improvised version of earlier
systems PZ-90.02 and
PZ-90. It provides a relative
positional accuracy of 0.05m
and angular accuracy of
0.001 angular seconds.


System: China Geodetic
Coordinate System 2000
(CGCS 2000)
Organisation: National
Bureau of Surveying and
Geo-information (NASG)
Coverage: Global
(consistent with ITRF)
Description: China
Geodetic Coordinate System
2000 (CGCS 2000) is an
earth-centered, earth-fixed
terrestrial reference system
and geodetic datum. CGCS
2000 is the standard Chinese
geodetic reference system
for geospatia information
and BeiDou/COMPASS. The
reference frame of CGCS
2000 is CTRF 2000, which
is maintained by 28 CORS
stations and more than 2,500
GPS stations.

South Africa
System: Trignet
Organisation: Chief
Directorate: Surveys and
Mapping (CDSM) of the
Department of Land Affairs
Coverage: Regional
Description: TrigNet is
a network of permanent
continuously operating GNSS
base stations distributed
throughout South Africa at
approximately 100km to
300km spacing. All stations
record 1 second epoch data
on both GPS frequencies (L1
and L2) via geodetic standard
choke ring antennas. TrigNet
provides DGPS coverage
over the entire country; RTK
positioning in much of the
country; and an RTK network
in two principal urban
areas based on NTRIP for the
delivery of data.


System: SIRGAS:2000
Organisation:Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE)
Coverage: Americas (consistent with ITRF)
Description: The Geocentric Reference System for the Americas (SIRGAS) is the new geodetic reference system for the Brazilian Geodetic System (GBS) and
the activities of the Brazilian Cartography. Brazil hosts 21 of the 200 SIRGAS continuously operating network stations. Through a resolution, Brazil facilitated a
transitional period not exceeding ten years, where SIRGAS2000 can be used in parallel with SAD 69 for the Brazilian Geodetic System (SGB) and the SAD 69
and Stream Alegre for the National Cartographic System (SCN).
Geospatial World January 2014 / 49

National Mapping & SDI


The Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography,

Rostreestr, was established in 2009 as a result of reorganisation and merging
of the Federal Registration Service, the Federal Agency for Real Estate
Cadastre and the Federal Agency for Cartography.
Currently, Rostreestr makes maps available at 1:100,000 and 1:50,000 for the
whole country. Large scale maps are available at 1:10,000 scale for 400 towns.
It carries out resurvey and produces digital maps once in three years.
The geoportal hosts more than 500,000 open-for-all maps. Rostreestr is
currently undertaking the country-wide cadastral mapping project, bringing together all the 5000 different databases containing spatial data and
semantic data, developing new systems for the entire Russian Federation, and
centralising business processes.
Russian Spatial Data Infrastructure
Russia has big plans for NSDI development. The government will adopt
a new law this year to establish a framework and guidelines for the
establishment of NSDI.
The NSDI geoportal is ready with the base layer by the Federal Service
and other layers including transportation, land use, land resources, regional
development etc by local and regional governments. Ahead of the formulation
of NSDI, government organisations have already started using the data and
creating applications with the same.


The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) is responsible for statistical,
geographic, cartographic, geodetic and environmental information. It undertakes various
national censuses including population census and agricultural census every 10 years.
IBGE provides a series of general, continuous, homogeneous and connected maps in the
standard scales of 1:1,000,000, 1:250,000, 1:100,000, 1:50,000 and 1:25,000.
IBGEs cartographic products include index map; cartographic bases at several scales;
cartographic planning and preparation for printing of various maps. It provides several
thematic maps including land use maps, geology, geomorphology, pedology, vegetation,
hydrogeological and hydrochemical maps, all released in a supporting cartographic base
for the whole country at a level of detail compatible with 1:250,000 scale.
Brazilian Spatial Data Infrastructure (INDE)
Legally established by presidential decree in November 27, 2008; launched in April 2010.
Implemented under the supervision of CONCAR, the Brazilian National Committee of
Cartography. IBGE is the execution institution.
The SIG Brasil geoportal provides access to geospatial data, metadata and services
110 members, representing 26 organisations in Brazil; 22-federal, 3-state secretariats,
Data is free to any registered user.
50 / Geospatial World January 2014

Doing Business in BRICS


The National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation (NASG) is the central authority responsible for surveying, mapping and
geoinformation in China. NASG has completed 1:4,000,000 topographic database; 1:1,000,000 topographic database and DEM database; 1:250,000
topographic database, DEM database and geographic name database; 1:10,000 DEM database and ortho-image database of 7 major river valleys;
1:50,000 digital raster graphic database, DEM database, geographic name database, land cover database and TM satellite image database. Each
province is establishing 1:10,000 topographic database, DEM database, ortho-image database, digital raster graphic database. By the end of 2011,
1:50,000 topographic maps have covered the entire land territory of China and 80% have been updated.
China National Spatial Data Infrastructure
National Geospatial Information Coordinating Council coordinates NSDI development and coordinates with the 21 ministerial departments.
The National Fundamental Geographic Information System stores and manages basic geographic data at multiple scales and themes.
Geospatial framework for digital city projects is part of NSDI and so far it has been implemented in more than 270 prefecture-level cities and
more than 40 county-level cities.
Map World ( is the public geoinformation service platform. Over 1000 public or commercial applications have been developed
on the basis of the Map World website.


South Africa

The National Geospatial Information (NGI) is mandated to regulate

all land survey activities, provide the necessary control infrastructure
and to maintain the SDI. It is mandated to provide data at 1:50,000
scale or equivalent for all topographical information, elevation data,
hydrography, transportation, urban centres, etc. NGI is responsible for
aerial photography and since 2008, NGI is using digital cameras for
flying one third of the country every year, with a three-year refresh
cycle. NGI has been producing orthophoto maps at 1:10,000 scale.
As user requirement for orthophoto maps has been replaced by
orthimagery, all aerial photos are now rectified to orthoimagery.

Established in 1767, Survey of India (SoI) is the oldest

scientific establishment of the Government of India.
It is responsible for all topographic control, surveys
and mapping in India. SoI makes maps available at
1:250,000; 1:50,000 and 1:25,000 scales. Currently,
Survey of India is working on producing maps at
1:10,000 scale for the whole country. It is spearheading
the ambitious $0.7-bn National GIS project, which
envisages a GIS-based decision support system on a
well-founded GIS-ready data that is maintained and
seamlessly available for the whole nation.
National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI)
Idea mooted in 2000, NSDI strategy adopted in 2001.
17 nodal agencies, who are major contributors, are
affiliated to NSDI.
India geoportal launched in December 2008. With
this launch, NSDI has become the first government
agency to host OGC compliant metadata on the Web.
NSDI also guiding the development of SDIs in
various states.

South African Spatial Data Infrastructure

NSDI came into being with the Spatial Data Infrastructure Act 2003.
SDI Act provides for data sharing, data discovery, avoiding duplication of data collection, reporting of quality issues, safeguarding of
geospatial information, data custodians (with responsibilities)
Currently, detail policies being formulated.
Developing strategy and strategic objectives in lieu of a NSDI
national policy framework.
Geoportal hosts electronic metadata catalogue. Revised geoportal
to be operational early 2014
Geospatial World January 2014 / 51

Breaking New Grounds

Land and growth are interrelated. Land is the key asset in a country and is pivotal to all its developmental
plans. A good land administration system aims at equitable distribution of wealth and sustainable growth.
So how do the BRICS countries stack up in this?





South Africa

GDP (in $ bn)






GDP growth (2012]






Population (mn)











Population density

Area (sq km)

8,511,965 17,075,200 3,287,590 9,596,960 1,219,912

Arable Land











Cropped area per person (ha)

Grounded with
While the BRICS have awakened to the need for effective land management to
further development, the push for evolving, changing, and modernising has to
move from top-down in a clear, systematic and strong fashion; else chances of
delays and failures are high.
By Prof Arup Dasgupta, Managing Editor
52 / Geospatial World January 2014

BRICS: The Breakout Nations / Land

and is a limited resource

on which there are huge
populations require more
food and more area for
habitation and infrastructure. This conflict has different dimensions in different BRICS nations. In India, more than
half the land is under cultivation while
in the other countries, it varies from
16% in China to a low 7.2% in Russia.
Yet, a simple calculation shows that
Russia has the highest acreage under
cultivation per person and India and
China the lowest. What do these numbers indicate and what impact do these
statistics have on the land management
in each of these countries?

Brazil: Towards an
Integrated System
Brazils problem is in urban planning
and management. Between 1900 and
2010, its population jumped from 3
million to 181 million but its urban
population percentage jumped from
6% to 84%. These settlements are informal like slums, former slums, informal subdivisions, housing projects and
combinations of the above and a large
percentage are on federal lands. The
families living here do not have their
land rights formally registered with
the notary publics. The federal government is addressing the consolidation of
these settlements and the regularisation
of the land rights of their inhabitants.
In Brazil, land administration is
based on the land registry, which includes legal information and the cadastres. The rural cadastre is federally
administered, while the municipalities
structure and administer the cadastres
of urban areas. The urban cadastres are

not standardised though a 1980s model

recommends modernisation of municipal administration.
In 2009, the Portaria n.511 of the
Ministry of Cities was published, establishing guidelines for the creation, institution and update of the multipurpose
cadastre in Brazilian municipalities.
The multipurpose cadastre is based on
the surveys of the boundaries of each
parcel, which is given a unique numerical ID. The Portaria 511/2009 deals with
questions such as land unit to be registered, cadastral mapping, multipurpose
use of the cadastre, management and financing of the cadastre, and land evaluation; and includes the legal framework
in which these guidelines are supported.
Brazil has enacted laws for addressing the illegal occupation of federal
lands. The law states that the description of the parcel in the registry should
be represented by its characteristics,
location and denomination, if rural, and
by a number if urban. Rural parcels are
described through the coordinates of its
boundaries referred to the Brazilian
Geodetic System. Apart from georeferencing of rural parcels, the law deals
with the exchange for information with
the land registry, essential in environmental and regularisation actions, and
the creation of the National Cadastre of
Rural Properties (Cadastro Nacional de
Imveis Rurais CNIR), a singular cadastre of information about rural parcels
in the country, which includes sharing of
information with other cadastres: environmental, indigenous lands and public
federal lands each with its own base of
descriptive and graphic information.
The rural cadastre is a federal responsibility, administered by the INCRA (National Institute of Agrarian

Colonization and Reform). One of

our biggest challenges is the size of
Brazil, says Carlos Guedes, President,
INCRA. Besides, Brazil has at least
five completely different biomes, and
each regional reality and environment
must be properly observed, he adds.
Brazil is planning to expand the
mapping information of its textual records, but also integrate land registry
information with others such as environmental records. Brazil recently approved a new Forestry General Law
which is expected to create a rural environmental registry. These two will be
connected with the real estate registry,
which will be done under the supervision of the judiciary. The real challenge
then is to integrate these three different
cadastres with the taxation department.
Brazil seeks to automate the entire
land certification process. The first
step in this direction was the developm e n t of a land management system,
which will host the

All BRICS countries are

spread over large areas; hence
administering land is a challenge.
They have baggage of legacy issues
and hence a resistance to change.
Corruption in land dealings are
also common here.

Geospatial World January 2014 / 53

INCRA shows the way

The National Institute of Agrarian Colonization and Reform (INCRA) in Brazil has a long-standing partnership with the Brazilian
Army, which has helped in land certification. The certification process is a basic requirement for any owner to make any kind of
movement in the dominion of property registries and INCRA
can greatly speed up this service through partnership with
the Brazilian Army.
INCRA is beginning to forge partnerships with the Ministry
of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, which has developed a
management platform that works with agricultural elements
such as bovine traceability and animal quality conditions,
and this is being connected with land information. Further, it
will be possible to join the elements of agricultural management platform with the issue of land ownership information.
Also, partnership with the Ministry of Environment will help
in the development of the Rural Environmental Registry.
The idea is to give environmental regulation work access to
INCRAs National Rural Registration so that the procedure
is simplified and brings quality information to environment
agencies. INCRA is strictly following the guidelines of the
National Spatial Data Infrastructure (INDE) developed by the
Brazilian government to speed up the integration effort of
base information.
INCRA website gives access to all the legally valid properties in Brazil.

survey measurements online. Already

the INCRA webpage gives access to all
the legally valid properties. Next, there
will be more innovations as which will
also allow provision of services to
farmers, generate knowledge about the
Brazilian agrarian sector, and ultimately direct public policies.
In Brazil, the Ministry of Agrarian
Development is responsible for rural
land planning, and the Ministry of Cities for urban land planning. The goal
is to integrate these two efforts. Bra-

zil has evolved from a perspective in

which the municipal master plans and
the zoning of all projects have been
incorporating different dimensions of
development social, economic, environmental and these cadastres will
help in improving the implementation
of public policies. By combining the
rural and urban outlook, INCRA hopes
to offer an integrated foundation to municipalities and states that can then be
a one-stop address for these different

How BRICS Fare in Legal & Political Environment















South Africa



Source: International Property Rights Index 2013

54 / Geospatial World January 2014

(Of 131 countries surveyed)

Russia: On the Fast Track

In Russia, the Federal Service was
established in 2009 as a result of the
reorganisation in late 2008. The Federal Registration Service, the Federal
Agency for Real Estate Cadastre and
the Federal Agency for Cartography
formed a single agency -- the Federal
Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography, Rostreestr. It was
the greatest merger in the government
sector in Russia with respect to data,
organisational processes, and human
resources processes involving 100,000
employees which now work as a single
organisation with approximately 6,000
offices working on a single database.
Russia undertook a major project
to bring together all the 5,000 different
databases containing spatial data and
semantic data, develop new systems
for the entire Russian Federation, and
centralise business processes. Now
there are 83 centralised unique business processes for all the regions of the

BRICS: The Breakout Nations / Land

decreased the cost and time of transactions. Secondly, increase in staff productivity has contributed to an increased
number of transactions. In days to come,
transactions are expected to be much easier. For example, mortgages can be done
electronically in just one day.

India: Locked in Legacy

Land-related challenges have dealt a
major blow to the Indias growth story in the recent years, exposing its unpreparedness in developing efficient
land management system. Land and
its management is a state subject under
the Indian Constitution; so all states are
responsible for their own mapping. At
present, multiple agencies are involved
with the management of land. While
the revenue department maintains the
land records; registration department is
involved in the sale purchase of property; gram (village) panchayats are responsible for mutations; consolidation
department consolidates and redistributes land holdings; municipal committees, municipal panchayats, maintain
land records of towns and cities; and
the survey and settlements department
conducts land surveys.
In India cadastral mapping is done
between the scales of 1:1500-1:2000,
depending on each states requirement.
Some states like Maharashtra have also
done mapping at 1:500 scale.
Cadastral maps show the boundaries of the parcel and coordinates of
the corners. Depending on the agency,
features like vegetation and soil type
are updated on these maps. The main
agenda of the National Land Records
Modernisation Programme (NLRMP)
is to resurvey and digitise the cadastral maps of the entire country, so that
a GIS can be created with the data.
Different states are at different level of
progress in this aspect.
NLRMP has recommended three
technologies for the resurvey -- high
resolution satellite imagery with
ground truth using advanced total sta-

Taking the PPP Route

There is a new law for NSDI in Russia
which will make a PPP network
necessary. Every network needs to
be registered with the government,
so that a virtual network could be
built. It is modelled on the lines of
the telecom network, which also
uses PPP model. The Federal Service
will operate the NSDI geoportal for
all government data while delivery
part will be with industry. Data is not
yet open to the public but is being
used by cadastral engineers and
professionals in the domain. Territorial information is shared with local
governments free of charge. Digital
data is fed to other government
and private sector organisations
like banks and insurance agencies,
but as the latter are still working
on paper-based systems, this poses
a problem for citizens, who get a
digital copy of their maps with digital
signature and the banks do not
know how to handle these.
The Rosreestr webpage gives
descriptive information, including
land types for the entire country

Geospatial World January 2014 / 55

Courtesy: Esri

country and one single database. The

whole of Russia is now being covered
under the cadastre mapping project and
data is updated once every three days.
Land surveying techniques are being
used for cadastral procedures. About
half the work has been completed. Updating this information into the cadastre, however, is taking a longer time.
Registration procedures have been
simplified and the number of steps involved reduced. The system now has
data for over 60 million land parcels,
approximately 72 million buildings
and part of buildings, flats, separate
rooms, etc, all part of the cadastre.
Currently, there are separate databases
for cadastre and registration but a common process. The government is in the
process of adopting a law about single
object for property details. Cadastre
database will be completed in the next
three years. In the next two years, a
huge task of determining the specific rights associated with a building or
land parcel and joining this to the cadastre awaits the Federal Service.
The driving force behind these efforts has been the new government
taxation policies, which are to be implemented from 2014, which consider
buildings and land parcels as single objects. Tax will be used locally to fund
regional development. To this end, a
new road map for the development
of Federal Service has been adopted
and should be in place by 2018. The
goals are to make 70% of transactions
electronic and decrease the number of
days required for registration from 20
days to 7 days in three years. Business processes ought to be totally public oriented and need to achieve 85%
public satisfaction. The system aims at
eliminating the use of paper, especially
within the government sector.
These actions are expected to make
procedures simple and increase the guarantees for investors, thus increasing investment potential. It is difficult to assign
specific numbers yet, but it has certainly

Banking on Urban Infrastructure

In India, the share of the urban population may increase to about 40% of total
population by the year 2021 and it is estimated that by the year 2011, urban areas
would contribute about 65% of GDP. However, this higher productivity is contingent
upon the availability and quality of infrastructure services. While NLRMP focuses
on land-related issues for rural development, urban development in India is being
addressed by the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM),
which covers 67 cities and towns. The project seeks meet the demands of urban infrastructure in view of the growing urbanisation. Specific geospatial tasks identified
in the mission are introduction of a system of e-governance using IT applications,
such GIS and MIS for various services provided by urban local bodies and parastatal
agencies, reform of property tax with GIS as this is a major source of revenue for
urban local bodies, and arrangements for its effective implementation so that collection efficiency reaches at least 85% within the next seven years. The Ministry of
Urban Development, which is managing the JNNURM, also has another project on
National Urban Information System (NUIS) which seeks to create GIS databases for
152 urban agglomerations. Interestingly, there has been some criticism regarding
the lack of coordination between the two schemes under the same ministry.
Karnatakas Urban Property Records System provides all information about a
registered property at the click of a mouse

tions (ATS) and GPS; aerial photography with ground truthing; and only
ground survey techniques using ATS
and GPS. While the National Remote
Sensing Center (NRSC) supplies the
satellite data directly or through private
industry, private industry does aerial
photography. Aerial photography over
sensitive regions, however, requires
prior permission of the Ministry of
Defence. Industry is working hand in
hand with the government in PPP mode
for cadastral mapping purposes.

56 / Geospatial World January 2014

Since cadastral mapping is a state

subject, the repository of this database is
with the states. Users from any government or private agency need to approach
the nodal agency in each state for the cadastral maps. While all states agree that
a single nodal agency is needed, their
approaches however vary. For instance
in Gujarat, Bhaskaracharya Institute for
Space Applications and Geoinformatics
(BISAG) has been given the mandate to
maintain and keep all cadastral data for
the state so that any changes are reflect-

ed in the main database.

Some states have the data online
while others are working towards it.
Different states have different models
and rules for access and pricing. Some
give free access to citizens to view,
but not download, as they charge for
downloading data.
In terms of land registration, India
applies the principle of Eminent Domain, which states that the government
can take ownership of land any time
from private individuals for developmental or security reasons. India does
not have a titling system; instead it follows a deed and document registration
system as per the Registration Act of
1908. The system is very complicated
and it is not possible to estimate the
area under registration because of various reasons. First, the title is not registered, only deed or document is. There
are many families and households that
do not have any documents for their
property, as it has not been registered
originally or it has not been bought and
sold in 80-100 years.
These deeds and documents are being digitised in many states. The main
goal of NLRMP programme is to ensure the digitised deed registrations
are integrated with the cadastral maps,
whether in textual or other format by
end of the 12th Five Year Plan (2017).
Depending on the level of computerisation and integration, there is significant speed up, for example in Delhi the
turn-around time for deed registration
is 30 minutes. States are taking special
interest in developing this aspect, as it
allows them direct revenue gains.
The main problem with this system
is that it recognises only the documents
related to the transfer of property, and
therefore does not recognise any rights
of ownership. When a sale deed is registered, the person who is the custodian
of land records database issues a notice
and if no objections are received, then
an order is passed for mutation to take
place. As a result, the civil courts are

clogged with property disputes. NLRMP aims to usher in a conclusive titling system in the country. However,
this requires real time land records reflecting ground reality at all time. Only
when this is in place, can the titling
system be implemented.
Another problem is land encroachment. In the absence of good technology
tools, the concerned officer takes notice
only when someone approaches with a
complaint of encroachment. However,
using satellite imagery overlay on previous years maps, tracking these encroachments becomes easy and quick.
For example, Gujarat maintains a register of encroachments which has details
of all properties, including government
properties that have been encroached.

China: Grounded with

the Government
In China, all land is owned by the state
and there are no individual ownership
rights. Urban land is state-owned while
rural land is owned by rural collectives.
Instead, there are land use rights and

ownership can be accorded to what is

on the land, say a building.
On March 10, 1998, the 9th National Peoples Congress passed the Reform Plan of the Ministries of the State
Council. According to the Plan, the
Ministry of Geology and Mining, State
Administration of National Land, State
Administration of National Oceans, and
State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping
merged to form the Ministry of Land
and Resources. The State Administration of National Oceans and the State
Bureau of Surveying and Mapping have
remained unchanged but have become
departments under the jurisdiction of
the newly formed ministry. There are
the corresponding organisations for land
administration and management of surveying and mapping in every province,
city and county.
Some cities combine the Department of Land Administration with the
Department of Urban Planning, and
other cities with the Department of
Housing. These institutions take the
daily work of cadastral

survey and land registration. There are

about 6,000 state-owned surveying and
mapping institutions registered with
local administrative offices for survey and mapping. However, there are
hardly any privately owned enterprises. Surveying is a licensed activity and
licenses are given only to organisations
and not individuals.
China follows a multipurpose cadastre and land information system but it is
mainly used by the government agencies for land administration. There are
two types of cadastres, one only for the
land and the other for land and buildings. The cadastres are established for
the city areas but not for the rural areas.
These are large scale cadastral databases, at the scales of 1:500, 1:1,000 and
1:2,000, and georeferenced in a GIS.
Lack of trained manpower and enough
funds for cadastral mapping are the
challenges. Data sharing is only within
the government and there is no provision for public access due to the absence
of a policy on wider access.

3D for Development
Shenzhen, located in the south-eastern coastal region of China, has experienced rapid economic growth and urbanisation in recent years. This has increased the demand for urban space and has put more pressure on maintenance of land and property rights. In order to deal with this complex land-use
issue, current 2D cadastral maps are proving to be inefficient, giving rise to the
need for 3D cadastre. The typical land space use in Shenzhen includes underground parking lots and commercial streets and over-ground arching buildings
where their surface parcels have a different ownership or are used by other
parties. The practice of a 3D cadastre in Shenzhen is a good example of effectively managing limited urban land resource. 3D cadastre was effectively used
in Tanglangshan where an underground subway station was constructed below
Visualisation of 3D spatial extent of constructions
a group of commercial residential mansions. It was also used at Wanxiangcheng a plaza for international brands consisting of several buildings separated
by a municipal road but connected by an arch structure over the road. This arch and the underground lot are owned by the same owner as
the other main buildings, but the land space used for the arch actually belongs to the municipality. This example breaks the homogeneity
of spatial extent within a parcel in parcel-based cadastres. Understandably, it is complex to manage 3D urban landscape presently as of
date all legal objects are defined in 2D. Further, no single commercial 3D software system seems to be able to fulfil a complete functionality
of a 3D cadastre. However, with some push from the administrative and political level, innovation and integration of 3D technologies and
training of on-ground personnel in these systems will yield very favourable results in administering and managing urban 3D land space.

58 / Geospatial World January 2014

BRICS: The Breakout Nations / Land

South Africa: Burdens of
a Dual System
South Africa has about 7.5 million land
parcels (urban and rural) in its cadastral dataset, of which 70% of land parcels in urban areas and 80% in rural areas are legally registered and surveyed;
another 5% of parcels in urban areas
and 15% in rural areas are legally occupied but not registered or surveyed;
and 20% of parcels in urban and 5%
in rural areas are informally occupied
without legal title. Certain land tenure rights are formally recognised and
registered under a deeds registry system. However, the law does not guarantee title to land and other real rights
but only informally recognised rights
which include customary systems.
The South African land policy is
part of the national policy promoting
objectives, including sustainable agriculture and sustainable human settlement. Dealing effectively with the
legacies of colonial and apartheid eras,
providing access to land and land-related opportunities are major challenges for the land policymakers in
contemporary South Africa. Land-related activities of government include
regulating the land tenure (rights on
land), controlling the land use and land
development. Land tenure in South Africa has a dual system of land rights:
one is based on the western system of
landholding originating from colonial
systems of Dutch and British landholding and the other is based on customary
law. The land valuation system is not
spatially-enabled. Cadastral surveying
is undertaken exclusively by or under
the control of registered professional
land surveyors and conveyancers who
work closely to record land ownership
and/or rights in a public register kept
by the Registrar of Deeds.
South Africa faces some unique
problems as it moves away from the
old systems to a new one which is
more user-friendly. The old procedures
are lengthy, time consuming and cost-

ly. There are vast differences in the ordinances of various provinces, which
results in different survey procedures
that are applied throughout the different Surveyor Generals offices. This
results in confusion for the land surveyors, conveyancers and general public. These problems are sought to be
resolved by bringing together different
offices. For example the Office of the
Surveyor General and NGI are in the
same department. The Deeds Registry
is also close to the Surveyor Generals
office. In most places, they are in the
same building. Though they have developed their systems separately, there
is a project to integrate them into the
same system, which would also provide for the electronic lodgement of
both the cadastral and deeds records.

NGI Caught in a Web

The National Geospatial Information
(NGI), a unit of the Department of
Rural Development and Land Reform,
is mandated to regulate all land survey
activities and provide the necessary
control infrastructure and to maintain the
Spatial Data Infrastructure. All NGI data
is supplied only at the cost of the paper
on which the map is printed. This can be
accessed through the Web as well through
a geoportal based on OGC Web services,
but it is rarely used for data downloads

BRICS at a Precarious
Almost all BRICS countries are very
large and hence administering land is
a challenge. They have the baggage
of legacies; hence the resistance to
change is more intense. Corruption in
land dealings is common to all these
countries. While all the five countries
have awakened to the need for effective land management to further development, the push for evolving, changing, and modernising has to move from
top-down in a clear, systematic and
strong fashion; else chances of delays
and failure are high.
There are high expectations from
all these economies however, as already acknowledged well established,
well maintained and well-run land administration lies at the core for further
development. The BRICS nations are
now at a precarious point where giving attention to and taking right political and administrative decisions with
respect to mapping and land management can make or mar their progress to
a large extent.
Once a Land Information System is
established, these countries can look at

NGI has the largest and most extensive

archive of aerial photography and imagery
dating back to 1926

because of bandwidth problems. Therefore, a Web cartography service is under

the works, where the users will not have
to download the data itself, but can just
see the information online.

making that as the core information set

for integrating other data and metadata
sets in order to develop federal or regional SDIs, which can further boost
urban and rural planning, help in disas-

Geospatial World January 2014 / 59

An example
of good land
administration is the Tata
Nano case in India. When Tatas
moved out of West Bengal to Gujarat
over land acquisition issues, the latter
handed over land in 72 hrs. This
was possible since Gujarat has
computerised land

ter management, boost agriculture and

infrastructure sectors and many more.
One of the common issues which
arise from the study of these countries
is the attempt being made to bring a
level of standardisation in land information and reduction in ambiguity of
duplication by having a single definitive source of data and by instituting
a mechanism for the sharing of data
within government departments by
either bringing together or providing
a coordinating mechanism for the different departments and organisations
involved in different aspects of land

management. While Russia and China have created new institutions by

merging old agencies, India, Brazil and
South Africa have chosen a less disruptive route by promoting coordination
among the different departments.
One surprise is the relatively lower
stress on mapping for addressing issues
like food security, environmental protection, and disaster management. These
are expected to be addressed through
SDIs. All the countries except India have
indicated this approach though most of
them have stressed the major drawbacks
in terms of reluctance to share data. In
India neither of the two major projects,
JNNURM and NLRMP mention SDI
though there are ongoing initiatives like
NSDI and National GIS project.
Another interesting feature is the
rural-urban divide. In India, the major
stress is on the modernisation of cadastral maps of rural areas, while the
urban areas are being addressed from
the points of e-governance and improving the tax regime rather than long term
urban planning. On the other hand, all
the other countries are concentrating
on the urban mapping for better property registration and taxation while
rural mapping seems to have a lower
priority. Both Brazil and South Africa
are grappling with issues related to
informal settlements and their formalisation to address unambiguous ownership and removal of encroachments on
federal lands.
A good news for the geospatial
community is that the use of these

How BRICS Fare in Physical Property Rights















South Africa



Source: International Property Rights Index 2013

60 / Geospatial World January 2014

(Of 131 countries surveyed)

technologies for land management in

these countries is a given. One common feature is the creation of a national reference grid for all maps using
GNSS satellites. There is also a very
realistic approach towards the use of
high resolution satellite data. China and Russia have clearly said these
cannot be used for urban mapping
at scales of 1:2,000 and larger. South
Africa depends on digital aerial imaging. However for mapping at coarser
scales of 1:5000 and smaller, HRSI
data is being used.
It is interesting to note that all countries express a desire for providing the
data to the public. However, that is
easier said than done. The World Bank
Doing Business study throws up some
interesting numbers for property registration in the BRICS countries. Clearly, data access to parties other than the
government is work in progress for
all the countries. A more proactive PPP
initiative is required and opportunity is
immense, especially for the geospatial
sector. However, in that sphere too the
political mechanism needs to allow for
and accept private engagement in land
management sector.
Prof Arup Dasgupta,
(This story has been compiled from interviews and
secondary sources. We wish to thank Charanjit
Singh, Director, Department of Land Resources,
Ministry of Rural Development, Government of
India; Derek Clarke, Chief Director: Surveys and
Mapping and NGI, Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, South Africa; Sunday
Ogunronbi, Executive Manager Spatial Planning
& Information, Department of Rural Development
and Land Reform, South Africa; Fanie Minnie,
Professional GIS practioner, Department of Rural
Development and Land Reform, South Africa;
Rajesh Makan, Director: Spatial Planning Facilitation, Department of Rural Development and
Land Reform, South Africa; Natalia N Antipina,
(Former) Head, Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography (Rosreestr),
Russia. The author would also like to thank
colleagues, Megha Datta, Anusuya Datta and
Bhanu Rekha for their inputs and suggestions.)



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Global power generation is likely to increase at an annual rate of 2.2% between 2010 and 2040. As the BRICS
economies grow, their energy demand will rise. By 2025, the traditional four BRIC nations will account for nearly
38% of global primary energy demand, up from 27% in 2005
Global power generation trends

Installed capacity





























(in KWh)





208.093 GW
Installed capacity in 2010


375.504 GW

Installed capacity target

by 2030


229.112 GW


987.935 GW
Installed capacity in 2010

Installed capacity in 2010

2006.633 GW

298.608 GW

Installed capacity target

by 2030

Installed capacity target

by 2030

South Africa


44.535 GW

Installed capacity in 2010


113.73 GW

Installed capacity target

by 2030

Installed capacity in 2010

191.019 GW

Installed capacity target

by 2030


Natural gas






Source: International Energy Outlook, 2013. Figures for South Africa: Department of Energy, Republic of South Africa

(Em)powering the
Growth Engines
BRICS countries have been employing geospatial technology in various capacities in
planning, generating, transmitting and distributing electric power, but have a long
way to go in developing smart grids with well-integrated, spatially aware enterprise
architecture. By Geoff Zeiss, Editor-Building & Energy
62 / Geospatial World January 2014

BRICS: The Breakout Nations / Energy

he BRICS countries
(Brazil, Russia, India,
China, and South Africa) are geographically,
culturally and economically diverse, but have one common
point on their agenda the rapid development of the energy industry as a
national priority. This is owing to the
fact that the primary contribution to
the projected increase in world energy
consumption (the International Energy
Outlook 2013 projects 56% growth between 2010 and 2040) comes from the
BRICS. The energy use in non-OECD
countries is projected to increase by 90%
as compared to an increase of 17% in
OECD countries. The BRICS countries
represent 36% of total global renewable power capacity and almost 27% of
non-hydro renewable capacity in 2012
The BRICS nations have a vastly
varying degree of utility infrastructure
sophistication, capacities and technology adoption. From a renewable energy
perspective, they range from Brazil,
whose electric power generation capacity is about 70% renewable, to Russia,
which has just started looking at renewables as a way of diversifying a heavily fossil fuel-based economy. From an
electrification perspective, they range
from Russia, which achieved universal electrification in the 1930s, to India, where 300 million people are still
without access to power. Most of these
countries have an objective of reducing energy intensity. China is the most
aggressive given the rapid expansion
of energy production, primarily coal,
that has occurred over the past decade.
Reducing different forms of energy
losses is also a priority in all these countries with energy conservation in the

form of energy efficient buildings is

getting attention.
BRICS countries have been employing geospatial technology in various capacities in planning, generating,
transmitting and distributing electric
power. Here is a snapshot of the application of geospatial technology in
these emerging countries.

Accurate geolocation of
The Brazilian electric power regulator,
ANEEL, has defined a set of guidelines to achieve three major objectives
for which smart meters will be necessary. The guidelines require utilities to
supply precise geographic information
about the location of cables, transformers and customer metering points. This
is set to improve asset management in
a number of ways, one of which is to
reduce the duration of outages by being
able to locate and repair/replace failed
equipment faster.
This effort to improve the quality of
geolocation information about electric
power facilities has been underway in
Brazil since 2008. At that time, ANEEL
promulgated guidelines that required
power utilities to achieve 95% accuracy
in geolocating their facilities by 2010.
In Brazil, this has been a compelling
event that motivated power utilities to
invest in technology to optimise business processes. This regulation put
Brazil in a position to have one of the
most reliable digital models of its network infrastructure in the world which
is seen by ANEEL as a prerequisite for
the Brazilian smart grid.
In South Africa, Eskom, the State
power utility, has accurately mapped
all of its transmission lines (532, 400,

Spatially aware
applications can save up to
10% of annual operations
and maintenance costs for electric
holding companies, estimated at
$500-750 mn for a large
utility, finds an analysis by
Accenture in the US

275, and 220 kV) and substations. Eskom embarked on this exercise about
two decades ago and today has all its
assets up to the last mile mapped.
The Indian governments ambition
to bring in power sector reforms in the
country, saw the launch of Restructured Accelerated Power Development
& Reforms Programme (R-APDRP) in
2008, which envisaged asset mapping
of the entire distribution network at
and below the 11-kV transformers and
include the distribution transformers
and feeders, LT lines, poles and other
distribution network equipment. As of
now, this has progressed quite well in
many states but is yet to be completed
owing to delays in state procurement
policies and procedures.

Generation and T&D

Utilities in BRICS countries are
often quite advanced in their use of
geospatial technology for planning
and operations. South Africa is a
fine example. Eskom, which generates 95% of the power supplied in
the country, employs about 200 GIS

Geospatial World January 2014 / 63

professionals and uses geospatial

technology in all the phases of power
sector, including generation, transmission and distribution.
Some of Eskoms power plants are
as old as 50 years; most are about 20
years old. GIS is used to help prevent
unplanned shutdowns of older power
plants in particular. 3D models have
been developed for some power stations,
in particular the Koeberg nuclear power
station, to improve safety, operational
efficiency and reduce costs. Laser scanning has been used to produce highly accurate models of power plants. For some
very new plants, BIM has been used to
design buildings and other structures.
As part of its preventative
maintenance programme, Eskom is
using geospatial technology, including LiDAR, in detecting building
foundation shifting to identifying
problems potentially leading to outages before they occur, according
to Mfundi E Sango (Pr.Eng), Senior
Manager (Planning COE & GIS),

Eskom. GIS is used to map seismic

faults, direction of prevailing winds,
and geological structures all of which
can impact the structural soundness of
generation facilities. Other areas of
generation where geospatial technology is used by Eskom are air and water
pollution analysis, ore body modelling
and environmental assessment. Eskom builds about 800-900 km of new
transmission lines each year. Digital
terrain models, aerial photography
and classified vegetation maps are
used to identify potential routes for
transmission lines.
At the distribution level, a major
area of focus is rural electrification.
Eskom has been working on mapping
the distribution network for the past
two decades to support universal access to electric power. GIS is a critical component along with economic
impact modelling in determining the
optimal plan for rural electrification.
Eskom partners with municipalities
to map electric power usage down to

Smart building market is supported by

Rapid speed of urbanisation
Government direction in smart cities
User demand in low carbon buildings
investors look for a higher asset value

Smart building market in Asia


China is building 36
smart cites
Green building = Intelligent building + Smart building


$427bn $1,036bn
Data courtesy: BSRIA

64 / Geospatial World January 2014

BRICS countries
represent 36% of
total global renewable
power capacity and almost
27% of non-hydro
renewable capacity
in 2012
the individual house. It has also developed programmes to help municipalities develop the requisite GIS skills.
Eskom develops maps showing the
kW load per household, which are also
used for routing crew for routine and
emergency maintenance work. These
help to reduce the duration of outages
by routing crews to failed equipment.
In its GIS-enabled asset database,
Eskom records the cost of equipment
and labour required for each type of
construction activity. As part of the
pre-engineering design process, this
allows the utility to provide accurate
estimates of the expected cost of new
The R-APDRP project in India
also talks about the adoption of IT
applications for meter reading, billing
and collection; energy accounting and
auditing; MIS; redressal of consumer grievances; and establishment of
IT enabled consumer service centres
by the state-run electricity boards.
Though this seems a distant dream as
of now, the private electric utilities are
much ahead in technology adoption.
For instance, the Kolkata-based CESC
Ltd, the first power utility in India to
implement GIS way back in 1990,
is currently working on a consumer
indexing project. GIS-based servic-

BRICS: The Breakout Nations / Energy

Brazil: Diversifying Energy Mix

The IEA projects that Brazils energy demand will increase by 80% through 2035, driven by the national objectives such as universal
access to electricity. About 72% of Brazils electric energy capacity (74GW) is hydroelectric generation. However, the threat of prolonged drought has motivated Brazil to diversify its energy mix. Also, the proposed 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympics to be
held in Brazil are demanding the reliability of the electric power system. The IEA projects
that Brazil will increase significantly the deployment of onshore wind power, natural gas
and electricity generated from bioenergy (bagasse primarily). Universal electrification and
non-technical losses are major problems in Brazil. It is estimated that up to 30-40% of
Brazils electric power consumption is non-revenue generating. The National Agency for
Electric Energy estimates that electricity worth $4 billion is stolen each year. Other challenges include rapidly increasing demand, grid reliability and increasing energy efficiency.
The Itaipu Hydrolelectic Dam generates 20% of Brazils electric power

es were launched in January 2013 in

three of CESCs 10 LT network operational districts, while the remaining
seven are nearing completion. Delhi-based BSES Yamuna Power Ltd
has also seen improved operational
efficiency following integration of

Electrification Planning
A GIS-based model is used in several
BRICS countries to facilitate electrification planning. For example, a South African planning model uses demographic and other data from GIS datasets
together with a score sheet to quantify
the assumed benefits of electrification of all non-electrified settlements in
a target region. The costs of different
electrification options (grid, mini-grid
and solar home systems) are then
derived for each settlement using experience based look-up tables. The system
prioritises projects and technologies,
based on the ratio of assumed benefit
points and cost. The model operates
as a first pass tool facilitating longrange strategic level planning for entire
regions (including 50 to 2000 settlements). It can be used to assist detailed
engineering planning. The GIS model
is linked to a macro-level financial and
economic analysis, which provides regional and national level forecasting of

the economic impacts of the micro-level

technology and prioritisation decisions.
Together, the two systems comprise
a powerful information and scenario
analysis tool to assist policymakers and
electrification implementation agencies
in the process of electrification technology, budgeting and prioritisation decision-making.
In South Africa, where the impact
of the electrification programme has
been very extensive, planning decisions have been of crucial importance
to communities, as they make the difference between getting no benefits
from the programme and receiving an
effective per household subsidy on the
order of R3000 to R5000 ($280.50 to
$467.50) per household.

can be used. They need to define technology strategies for spatially aware
big data and develop a vision for how
analytics will supply real-time information to help achieve their business
Smart grid is still in its infancy in
the BRICS, but Brazil and China are
investing significantly in this area.
Brazil has taken a major stride forward (and ahead of many developed
countries) in mandating that all utilities compile and maintain accurate
geolocation data of their network infrastructure. Total smart grid investments in Brazil will increase to $36.6
billion by 2022, according to a study
by the Northeast Group. In 2009, the
electric power regulator ANEEL set a

Smart Power
A recent report from Navigant Research estimates that the market for
smart grid technologies will reach
$73 billion in annual revenue by 2020.
The benefits of geospatial technology
are clear to many in utility operations
and maintenance. But with the rise of
the smart grid, the benefits will become
increasingly evident to planners, managers and C-level executives throughout utility organisations. Utility leaders
need to start thinking differently about
how and where geospatial information

The Brazilian
Soccer Federation
is planning to make
the 2014 World Cup the
worlds First Green
World Cup.

Geospatial World January 2014 / 65

Courtesy: Bentley

electric holding companies

that serve more than 3 million
customers indicates that spaRussia: Tapping
tially aware applications are
Renewable Resources
enabling improved planning
Russia achieved national electrification by the
and management of utilities
1930s. At present, its installed capacity totals
billion-dollar assets. This can
230 GW, of which 68.7% is thermal, 20.7%
redirect or save up to 10% of
hydro and 10.6% nuclear. Russia is the worlds
their annual operations and
fourth top emitter of CO2 in 2009, contributing
maintenance costs, estimated
5.2% of the global total. It plans to reduce its
at $500 million to $750 milGHG emissions by 15-25% by 2020 compared
lion for a large utility.
to 1990 levels. The 2009 national energy plan
But with the rapid deploycalls for the expansion of renewable energy
ment of smart grid technolgeneration, which was practically zero until that
ogies, GIS is now evolving
time. The countrys distribution infrastructure
from a tactical support tool
loses 12-14% of transmitted energy worth
to playing a foundational
about $10 billion every year.
role in the utility sector. The
Smart grid technologies are already being and
combination of geospatial
will be increasingly deployed in Russia. Drivtechnology and big data from
en by the 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2018
intelligent electronic devices
World Cup, investments are projected to grow
such as smart meters create
in the Russian smart grid market from $5.5 bilopportunities for a new era
lion in 2012 to $15.7 billion in 2017. The green
of decision making. This
building movement has only just begun to take
integration enables utilities
root in Russia. Russia is the last major developed
to forecast requirements
economy to organise a green building council.
and expenditures needed to
optimally maintain the grid.
South Africa is rapidly
increasing its renewable
energy capacities, especially to bring electric power
to the remaining 15% of
the population. Linking
this to the grid will require
smart grid technology. In
addition, reducing technical and non-technical
3D model of booster compressor station and
losses is becoming a top
digital terrian model for the Yurkharovskoye Oil
Field, Russia
priority and one that is
expected to provide an
payback. Smart grid
non-binding target of replacing all 63
million existing electromechanical me- is also expected to help with reducing
the frequency and duration of outages.
ters with smart meters by 2021.
The original geospatial tool, GIS, At Eskom, GIS is a key technology to
has today evolved from being mere- enabling planning and implementing
ly a software for drawing maps to an Eskoms smart grid roll-out.
Also with increasing demands on the
effective location-aware decision support system. An Accenture Research work force, utilities are using geospatial
analysis of US Federal Energy Regu- data to help bridge the knowledge gap
latory Commission (FERC) data for between experienced electrical workers

66 / Geospatial World January 2014

and the new skill requirements of the

smart grid. Visualisation of network
infrastructure based on location is becoming an essential tool in designing
sub-stations and transmission lines by
enabling stakeholders, including the
public to experience these additions to
the grid before they are constructed.

Powering the BRICS

The priorities that have been identified
above for utilities in BRICS countries
make it possible to forecast the types
of applications that utilities will be increasingly deploying in the future.
Spatial analytics to drive utility performance: One of the primary drivers
for implementing smart meters and
AMI in Brazil and India is reducing
non-technical losses (AT&C), a priority even in many advanced economies.
Oracles survey of 151 North American senior-level electric utility executives with smart meter programmes
highlighted the greatest benefits from
the application of predictive analytics.
The top benefit identified by the respondents was improving revenue protection (70%), also known as reducing
non-technical losses. Other benefits
identified include reducing asset maintenance costs (61%), reducing asset
replacement costs (57%) and reducing
infrastructure costs (54%).
Bradley Williams of Oracle Utilities
has made a convincing case that spatial analytics drive utility performance
because utilities biggest issues have a
spatial component customers, assets,
and employees. There are a number of
areas, which have a spatial dimension,
where significant benefits from applying spatial analytics to smart grid data
can be expected. These include:
Reducing non-technical losses:
Identify illegal tampering automatically. This has been one of the first areas where analytics has been applied
by many utilities. The payback is
typically significant and immediate.

BRICS: The Breakout Nations / Energy

50% of new
commercial buildings in
Rio de Janeiro, So Paulo and
Curitiba in the next two years will
be green buildings. Brazil ranks
4th in global ranking of LEED
registrations & certification
Targeting demand response: Prioritise customers for conservation and
demand response programmes using
geospatial techniques such as energy
density mapping.
Distribution operations planning:
Target customers with very high
peak load to help them cut down
peaks by staggering powering

on ventilation, heating/cooling
and lighting.
Transformer load management:
Identify transformers that are overloaded or underutilised. Mapping
transformers in near real-time allows
the network to be reconfigured to
rebalance transformer loading.
QA/QC data quality: Improve the
quality of connectivity information, specifically, for the secondary
network by linking transformers,
conductors, and other equipment.
Voltage correlation: Analytics to link
meters to transformers.
Energy modelling: Analyse usage
patterns including unmetered usage
from street lights and other devices.
Voltage deviation: Identify transformers with voltages deviating from
rated voltage by 2-3% or more.
Geospatial outage frequency analysis: Analyse all outage patterns
geographically to identify patterns.
Predictive analytics for electric
vehicle adoption: Identify PEV
owners and predict demand pat-

terns to ensure adequate transformer

capacity is in place.
Situational intelligence: As more
intelligent devices are added to the
smart grid, the need for situational
intelligence becomes more critical.
Advanced analytics and visualisation
in space and time based on network
topology provide holistic insights into
power grid dynamics that have not
been possible before. Both South Africas Eskom and China Power and
Light have invested in technology that
is helping them improve their oversight
of their power grid.
Integration of geospatial and other
enterprise systems: The Electric Power Research Institute has made a strong
case that the first step in achieving an
integrated smart grid IT system is integrating advanced metering infrastructure with GIS in order to reliably link
customers physical addresses to the
utilitys service points and geolocation. This enables a wide range of other
systems to be integrated with the AMI
and GIS, including outage manage-

India: Stepping up Generation

Geospatial World January 2014 / 67

Courtesy: BSES Yamuna Power Ltd

India has an installed capacity of about 229 GW, of which 87% is thermal (mostly coal) and 13% renewables. The country currently
suffers from a major shortage of electricity generation capacity. At the end of 2011, over 300 million citizens had no access to
electricity while only 9 of 22 states were recognised as completely electrified. Electrification is a national priority and about 15%
of federal funds are allocated to the power sector. Reliability is a major challenge much of India is subject to frequent power outages. To meet these
challenges, the IEA estimates that India will require 600-1,200 GW of new
capacity by 2050 or about $135 billion in investment. In India, average power
losses, referred to as aggregate technical and commercial losses (AT&C), have
been officially reported as 23% of the electricity generated. The government
has made reducing AT&C losses a priority and has set a target of reducing
them to 17.1% by 2017 and 14.1% by 2022. As of December 2011, India had
an installed capacity of about 28 GW of renewable electricity. Investments in
renewables reached $10.3 billion in 2011, up 52% over 2010. Indias goal
is to double renewable capacity by 2017. The India Smart Grid Task Force, set
up in May 2010, aims at addressing the three top pain-points reduction of
technical and non-revenue losses; peak load management; and integration Using GIS for total network visualisation
of renewable energy into the grid. The government has also proposed a new
national energy conservation building code for designing of new commercial buildings. Currently, green buildings make up less
than 5% of the Indian building market, but it is projected that once the National Building Code is amended, 50% of new buildings
could be built green by 2025.

China: Focusing on Smart Grid Agenda

The total electric power generation capacity of China reached 989 GW in 2010, only
slightly behind the United States. About 67% of this is coal, 20% hydro, 3% gas, and
5% onshore wind. Chinas power industry is projected to grow 6.6-7.0% annually
for the next 10 years. About 30 million rural citizens currently lack access to power.
A rural electrification programme currently underway relies on off-grid technology, a
mixture of small hydro, photovoltaics and wind power. China is already the worlds
biggest carbon emitter and its emissions continue to increase. In January 2012,
China established goals of reducing carbon intensity by 17% by 2015, compared
with 2010 levels. It also plans to meet 11.4% of its primary energy requirements
from non-fossil sources (renewable energy sources and from nuclear power)
by 2015. Chinas five-year energy plan
for 2011 through 2015 includes smart
grid technology as a key industry focus.
It is estimated that China is spending
a total of $590 billion in implementing
its smart grid agenda over the period
2011 to 2020. The government has
recently announced that green buildings will account for 30% of new construction projects by 2020.
3D rendering of the Tuoba power station in China, which has redefined its water
and power management policy with large dams

ment system, data analytics and workforce management system.

Real-time big data: The development
of scalable, geospatially enabled solutions built on an open, service-oriented
Web architecture and big data technology such as GeoHadoop and incorporating spatial analytics will enable
real-time monitoring of grid status and
automated decision-making.
Aerial imagery for solar energy
deployment: Oblique imagery and
other forms of inexpensive nearly
3D imagery can be used with a GIS
to enable solar contractors to quickly, easily and accurately calculate
solar exposure, panel placement,
sizing, roof pitch and square footage information that is essential
for positioning panels for maximum
sun exposure and energy output.
Energy efficiency of new buildings:
Energy performance, natural lighting,
solar radiation and other analyses will
soon be used by architects and engi-

68 / Geospatial World January 2014

neers to optimise energy and water usage and reduce emissions for new buildings. Combining a BIM model of the
building containing the key elements of
the structure with the geographical lo-

in Russian smart
grid market projected to
grow from $5.5 bn in
2012 to $15.7 bn in
2017 driven by the 2014
Winter Olympics and the
2018 World Cup

cation of the building, surrounding geographic features and the local environmental conditions, thermal, lighting and
airflow simulations can be performed to
estimate how much energy the building
consumes in a year.
Almost half of the new commercial buildings that will be launched in
Rio de Janeiro, So Paulo and Curitiba in the next two years will be green
buildings. In the worldwide ranking of
LEED registrations and certification
processes, Brazil ranks fourth. The
Brazilian Soccer Federation (CBF) is
planning to make the 2014 World Cup
the worlds First Green World Cup.
Energy density modelling: Conservation and demand management (CDM)
is increasingly becoming a priority for
utilities in BRICS countries. Energy
density mapping using a GIS helps take
the guesswork out of targeting customers for (CDM) programmes. Detailed
building and property information such
as building age, sun exposure, heating
type, air conditioning, and parcel data,
standard metrics for different building
types, and lifestyle profiles and demographic data, can be brought together
and managed in a GIS.
Real-time disaster management:
Smart meters provide invaluable information during typhoons, earthquakes,
and other natural disasters. When integrated with a GIS, the smart meter information provides an accurate visualisation of the impact of the disaster on the
utilitys infrastructure. It can map areas
in detail down to the building level in
near real time where power has been
lost, all without making a telephone call.
3D transmission line siting, design
and visualisation: All BRICS countries
are rapidly expanding their transmission
networks. This requires accurate digital
terrain models, integrating data from
total stations, airborne lasers and photogrammetry. Terrain models, 3D engineering models, sag tension and structural analysis, spotting, and drafting can
be integrated into a single environment

BRICS: The Breakout Nations / Energy

to streamline siting and design process.
3D visualisation has become a critical
component of transmission line siting,
especially in urban areas. Gaming technology has been integrated with engineering design tools to enable photo-realistic modelling of transmission lines and
sub-stations before they are constructed
to make the stakeholders, including land
owners, government officials and regulators, understand how exactly transmission lines look after construction and also
offer design alternatives.
Bringing the field into the office:
There is a worldwide shortage of engineers and skilled labour in the electric power sector. Utilities in BRICS
countries are competing for trained
resources with other industry segments
in a rapidly expanding economy. Utilities are finding that tasks that used to
require sending staff into the field can
now be done much more efficiently in
the office using high resolution orthophotos, oblique imagery and LiDAR.
In 2014, low cost, high resolution, near
real-time satellite imagery will start to

be available, which can be effectively

used for this purpose.
Automated vegetation management
for transmission lines: LiDAR, imagery and GIS mapping are used in planning
vegetation management for transmission
lines. Transmission lines are typically
scanned utilising a fixed-wing or helicopter-based platform. Feature extraction to create models of conductors and
pylons and algorithms to classify vegetation into multiple priority categories
based on the risk of causing an outage
are increasingly being automated.
Geolocating underground facilities:
Accurately geolocating underground
resources is a worldwide challenge. According to national statistics, in the United States an underground utility line is
hit every 60 seconds on an average. In
the Lombardy region of Northern Italy,
which includes Milan, a pilot project to
map all underground infrastructure estimated a return on investment of about
16 for every euro invested in improving geolocation information of underground infrastructure.

Courtesy: GTI Geoterraimage

South Africa: Towards Universal Electrification

Electrification is a priority in South Africa, owing to the fact that about 15% of households
are still without access to power. South Africas abundant renewable energy resources,
primarily wind and sun were largely unharnessed for power generation until last year,
when the government began encouraging private investors to produce clean electricity
for the national grid to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Roughly $5.5 billion has since
been invested into the countrys renewable energy sector. Non-technical losses are
another cause for concern. During 2011-12, state utility Eskom reported a total energy
loss of about 14,000 GWh within its distribution networks, of which between 25-40%
can be attributed to non-technical losses. The South African Smart Grid Initiative was
launched in 2012. Smart grid is seen as an opportunity to introduce grid modernisation
while addressing a $32-million maintenance, refurbishment and strengthening backlog and the challenge of technical and
non-technical power losses. The Green
Building Council is leading the transformation of the South African property
industry to ensure that buildings are
designed, built and operated in an environmentally sustainable way.
Using GIS and demographics to
qualify and quantify electric power
demand in South Africa

In BRICS countries, the problem

is exacerbated by rapid expansion
of the utility infrastructure. Brazils
electric power regulator has already
recognised the benefits of knowing
accurately where utility infrastructure
is located and it is expected that as in
Brazil, ensuring accurate geolocation
of above ground and underground
infrastructure will become a priority
for regulators and governments in all
BRICS countries.

Powered Up
Utilities in BRICS countries are uniquely positioned as they have been using
GIS as an operational tool for some time
and are familiar with its capabilities. At
the same time, they are not encumbered
to the same extent by old, legacy IT
systems based on operational silos that
remain a challenge for utilities in developed economies. Their work forces are
younger, more internet savvy, and more
willing to adopt new technologies.
However, the BRICS also face a
wide range of challenges, the critical
ones being the universal electrification, especially in rural areas; rapidly
increasing demand; the need to decrease energy intensity by deploying
more renewable energy sources; reducing the high rate of energy losses,
especially non-technical; and improving energy efficiency.
The development of a smart grid
with a well-integrated, spatially aware
enterprise architecture can improve asset management and better opex and
capex planning of utilities. The dawn
of this data-driven, geospatially aware
era promises new opportunities to deliver improved availability, efficiency
and affordability. If utility leaders in the
BRICS understand the vision and seize
the opportunity, they could propel these
countries into a leadership position in
the electric power utility sector.
Geoff Zeiss

Geospatial World January 2014 / 69

The mining and metals industry supplies the feedstock for

a large part of everyday lifefrom coal for power, to iron
ore for steel girders, to the minerals and metals that are
processed into our everyday necessities.
16% Share of mining sector in national GDP
25% Share of mining in national exports
$5bn Mining production value in 2012
$67.2bn Expected production value by 2016
4.8% Expected growth rate during 2012-16
20% Share of M&M industries in industrial output
15% Share of minerals in national exports
$158.7bn Mining production value in 2011
$173bn Estimated production value by 2017
3% Expected growth rate from 2012 levels

Coking coal


Global Mining

$340bn Value of mining production in 2012

$432bn Estimated production value by 2017
5.6% Expected growth rate from 2013
50% Share of China in global supply and demand
of coal
6% Share of mining sector in national GDP
18% Share of mining in total industrial output
60% Share of mining sector in exports
$32.4bn Size of mining industry in 2013
$34.0bn Estimated production value by 2017



Iron ore
2.2- 2.5% Share of mining industry in GDP
10-11% Share in total industrial output
700,000 Jobs provided by mining industry
$41.79bn Production value in 2011
$51.9bn Expected production value by 2017

Thermal coal





$1.5 trn
Size of the global
mining & metals


Of total mining
is coal

Source: ICMM, Business Monitor International , PwC,

IBRAM, E&MJ, Infomine, ThomasWhite

Digging Deep
to Development
Geospatial technology is expanding the bottom line for mining companies in the BRICS
countries and could go a long way addressing the sectors current confidence crisis.
By Anusuya Datta, Deputy Executive Editor

BRICS: The Breakout Nations / Mining

n the midst of the worst

recession ever to hit the world
in 2008, the mining industry
surprisingly experienced a
commodity boom. The surge,
largely fuelled by economic growth and
development in the BRICS, particularly
in China, created an unprecedented demand for coal and mineral resources.
In the years to follow, the BRICS
nations emerged as the new global powerhouses in more ways than one. Along
with their increasing political influence
on global issues, these rapidly growing
economies are building up an industrial base fast closing the gap with the
developed nations in some cases,
like China, even surpassing them.
No other sector illustrates this global trend better than mining, which had
the immediate job of constantly fuelling the chugging growth engines. The
coal production figures highlight this
aspect the best. As World Coal Association Chief Executive Milton Catelin
puts it, the BRICS demand for coal by
2035 is set to rise by around 1,350 million tonnes of oil equivalent, which is
about three-fourths of Chinas demand
for coal today. Much of this demand
will be from India and China.
In many ways, the story of mining
and metals (M&M) sector is that of
Chinas. Valued at $1.5 trillion currently, the sector grew more or less in sync
with the global GDP for years. Turn of
the millennium saw the sector outsmart
global growth, even during and after
2008 crisis. The main reason for this
can be attributed to the takeoff in the
Chinese economy. At present, 40- 60%
of any mineral extracted anywhere in
the world ends up in China.

But for over a year now, the mining industry is facing confidence crisis.
Mining scrips have stopped outperforming the broader equity markets.
Low confidence in cost controls, return
on capital and volatile commodity prices are giving sleepless nights to industry leaders, reveals a PwC report.
So what changed the storyline?
The current slowdown in the Chinese economy and not-so-encouraging
trends in other BRICS partners hold
the key to this riddle. In trying to rebuild the markets confidence, miners
are moving towards maximising returns from existing operations from
improved productivity and efficiencies,
underlines PwC.
In such a situation, the geospatial
industry sees the mining challenges
in the BRICS as similar to the global
challenges improving operational
efficiency, managing capital budgets,
mine valuation strategies, miner safety,
environmental and regulatory compliance, and developing a skilled workforce, says Nathan Pugh, Business
Area Director for Mining, Trimble.
Remote sensing and GIS have long
played a key role in the mining sector
but evolving geospatial technologies and
integration of the geo-element in mainstream IT are bringing up new solutions.
Geo applications are widely adopted in
larger mining operations, including mine
planning and productivity management
systems, while emerging areas are mine
valuation and safety. Mining companies
buying or selling properties can also
use geoinformation more effectively to
evaluate mineral resources, assets, and
infrastructure of a property in the scope
of their entire portfolio.

Mining Management Systems

(MMS) are today widespread for
optimised resource management, ie, exploration, reserve estimation, production optimisation and environmental
remediation. As in GIS, a combination
of vector- and grid-based modelling
and a relational database management
system comprises the core of current
MMS, explains Robert Marschallinger,
a geoinformatic expert.

Maximising production,
minimising costs
Mining practices and application of
geospatial technology varies across
regions and mine operators. However,
they all share a common requirement
that this technology should help
increase efficiency of operations, improve safety and optimise productivity, points out Matt Desmond, General
Manager, Product Management and
Marketing, Leica Geosystems.
Several years ago, a study by Brazil-based Vale found that the use of the
advanced technologies reduces cost and
increases productivity manifold. The
worlds second largest mining company
uses the most advanced technology in all

World GDP and mineral production


World GDP (PPP, current prices)

Total value of metal & mineral production


2000 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10
Source: Raw Materials Group; World Bank

Geospatial World January 2014 / 71

Brazil: All is
not Vale
Brazil, a mining powerhouse
in the world, has been ranked top among the
BRICS nations in its use of most advanced technologies. Besides Vale,
most other mining majors like Kinross Gold, Votorantim and Petrobras
use modern technologies, says Juarez Milmann, Executive Secretary,
Brazilian Association of Mineral Research Companies. Even government departments like those under the Geological Survey of Brazil
are increasingly taking the help of such technologies for their work.
According to Diogo Martins of Topcon Positioning, mining companies
were the first ones to start using RTK systems in Brazil. The use of such
advanced technologies is not common in many others industries in
Brazil; but the mining sector is leading in terms of investments. GPS
systems, robotic total stations and laser scanners, as well as satellite
imaging, can be easily found in this market. Most of these companies
use specialised applications some developed specifically for mining

its mines, and reviews of survey jobs, for

example, have shown that productivity
has increased 10 times in 10 years. The
immediate RoI timeframe is very short.
This is why progressive companies continue investing in emergent products.
This investment in solutions is easily justified when costs can be dramatically reduced and profit increased, says Diogo
Martins, Regional Survey Sales Manager
(Latin America), Topcon Positioning.
Like in developed countries, remote
sensing and GIS are
extensively used in
the BRICS during
the exploration and
development phases.

Vale has set

up an advanced
decision making
centre which uses spatial
data and high degree of
immersion and interaction
with geoinformation to
create virtual reality
environments for
better planning.

72 / Geospatial World January 2014

seeking the integration of geological, geophysical and geochemical

data, and data from surveys, remote sensing and laser scanners, using
a GIS to integrate information shared between different company
departments, says Srgio Augusto Dmaso de Sousa, General Director
of DNPM. The newest technologies also guarantee compliance with
environmental regulations and shorten times to complete projects,
adds Martins. The mining sector in Brazil is currently mired in a new
controversial mining Bill, which seeks to increase taxes but also aims
to make the licensing process more transparent. Whatever the outcome, the undefined direction of the rules that will regulate the sector
is hurting it at the moment as companies stall investments into new
technology. Besides, with only about 30% of its territory systematically explored using geological mapping, there is a clear need for better
control of land property and environmental indicators, which again
demand growing investment on high-end technologies. The problems
of mining are also attached to issues of infrastructure: roads, railways,
ports and energy as well as environmental issues, especially in the
Amazon region.

these early stages, GIS is probably the

most utilised of all technical software in
the industry, points out says Dan Haigh,
Natural Resources Industry Manager,
Pitney Bowes. As a company progresses into the construction and production
phases, use of GIS reduces (but does not
disappear) and a 3D resource modelling
package becomes primary.
We also have geospatial technology, including satellite imagery, digital
photos, geophysics, surface geology,
cross-section borehole data the socalled big data playing a key role,
adds Louis Morasse, Industry Solutions
Manager, Autodesk. The more information you can gather and provide, and
combine, the more it will help for site
development and infrastructure site selection, waste dump, tailing ponds etc.
Construction is a critical phase and
technologies for engineering design,
3D modelling and information management have taken off well with
BRICS mining majors, says John
Sanins, Solutions Executive, Bentley
Systems. The use of geospatial software tools, coupled with advanced 3D
design and modelling systems, permits
rapid development of mine infrastructure. This can be validated to take into

account the local environment and communities. Adoption of Building Information Modelling (BIM) is picking up too
and is seen as crucial in data recovery,
or reuse for new projects or expanding
existing ones. BIM also facilitates 3D
visualisation to communicate design intent and environmental impact for technical and non-technical stakeholders;
and helps coordinate with engineering,
procurement and construction firms.
Another technology fast picking up
is laser scanning, which allows for very
precise measurements for speedy and
accurate decisions. Some companies
are using laser scans of open pit mines
to calculate the volume of material removed each day. Others are using such
scans to measure ground movement in
order to pre-empt landslides or other
disasters at mine sites. Also, with different modules of a mining facility being
designed and built across the world,
construction crews can take 3D laser
scans of sites, which can then be compared to a module being built in another part of the world to ensure exact fit,
explains David Canady, Global Director
(Metals & Mining), Intergraph Process,
Power & Marine (PP&M).
Mining is an asset-intrinsic sector.

BRICS: The Breakout Nations / Mining

And knowing the position of assets, be they people, equipment
or ore bodies, is fundamental to the mining process, underlines
Jason Nitz, a fleet automation expert from Australia. More importantly, knowing the exact location of these increases their
value, and in the current times we are experiencing this value is
amplified, adds Nitz, who works with US gold mining major
Newmont Mining.
Vale indeed showed the way in using innovative technologies in Brazil. It invested $8 billion for a GPS-enabled truckless system of conveyor belts by automating part of the worlds
largest iron ore mine in the Amazon. The solution also enables
automation of the recovery and piling through satellite positioning and 3D scanning. This process takes about 100 trucks off the
site, reducing diesel consumption by 77%. In 2011, Vales production was 109.8 million metric tonne (mmt), which is likely
to more than double following full automation in 2016.
Another interesting example is Coal India Ltd (CIL). Among
its many technological innovations is its plan to introduce GPSbased vehicle tracking systems by March 2014 after an internal
study showed that any of its 170-tonne capacity trucks remaining idle for half an hour translates to losses worth $84. This
would double if the truck was of 240-tonne capacity.
The geospatial industry has seen significant investments
from big mining companies in the past 10 years. Anthony
Fraser, Sales Manager (Asia-Pacific), Leica Geosystems, says
such advanced technologies were unaffordable for many in the
BRICS region as recent as five years ago. Since then, development push has been upping their usage.

Environment & Sustainability

The mining industry is increasingly under pressure to consider environmental concerns while evaluating economic viability of a project. In addition, communicating and engaging
with local governments and community stakeholders are also
becoming imperative. As it is in India, every major mining
project in the past few years has faced opposition from local
communities or environment activists. A companys licence
to explore or mine can be severely compromised without first
gaining a social licence to operate. Geospatial technology
can assist in pulling together baseline studies on the chosen
community. Also, by leveraging the power of Web mapping,
companies can engage with and communicate with communities, investors or authorities, explains Haigh.
Again, Brazil shows the way in using geotechnology for
clean mining. Since many of its new mines are located in or
near the Amazon, the government has spelt out environmental responsibilities.The environmental impacts of mining are
tracked using multispectral satellite images with high spatial resolution, says Antonio Machado e Siva, President, AMSKepler,
a local geospatial player. Spatial analysis allows observation of
the consequences of mineral exploration in areas of permanent

preservation and environmental preservation, among others. GIS even allows simulation scenarios, thus mitigating
environmental accidents before they occur.
The Russian mining industry is notorious for environmental pollution. The Arctic in particular has suffered due
to waste discharges during offshore oil and gas activity,
and smelting of ore deposits. Recently, the Russian government began using satellite remote sensing to monitor
mining activities in the Far East region. Outlining the advantages of remote sensing over traditional checks due to
continuity and objectivity, Sergey Donskoy, the Russian
Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology, had said: It
(remote sensing) can detect previously unregistered land
and eliminate the damage caused by illegal activities.
China too faces environmental issues due to use of
outdated technologies and equipment by smaller firms.
Now, there is an emphasis on environment protection partly because of the unprecedented haze around the country,

Russia: Battling the Soviet Ghost

With its coal and iron ore deposits believed to represent around
20% of the total global reserves, Russia is currently a global leader
in several minerals. However, since the dissolution of the Soviet
Union, the Russian mineral industry has been struggling. Many
of the primary minerals are now located in other CIS states. The
reciprocal also applies, as Russia was the main producer of oil and
gas to the CIS. This places a huge strain on trade and import/
export agreements, and resulting in almost 50% fall in production
for most commodities, explains Arthur Poliakov, Managing Director
and Chairman of MINEX Russia Mining and Exploration Forum.
Although Russia accounts for about 14% of global mining, apart
from a few large steel companies and oil & gas giants, most large
Russian mining firms are unknown. A challenge for the sector
will be to upgrade its ageing equipment and increase productivity,
which currently lags 72% behind the average for OECD countries,
according to the
World Economic Forum. A PwC report
says one of the
most frequently
quoted risks for
the Russian
mining industry
is the use
of outdated,
and unsafe
techniques in
and operating mines.

Geospatial World January 2014 / 73

Arctic hosts
Russias massive raw
materials base, with
reserves estimated at
approximately 20 years for
iron ore and 10-30 years for
other non-ferrous metals.
The Arctic holds 15%
of the worlds oil &
gas reserves.
points out Singer Chang of the China
Mining Association. This could be reduced by closing smaller mines and
shifting smelting plants.
Even in South Africa, sustainability
concerns provide a potential for geospatial industry through assessment and
remediation projects, says Stephane
Chevrel, a senior scientist with the
French geological survey authority
(BRGM), who, however, sees a lack of
coordinated action in this area.

Safe & Secure

Mining operations are generally risky
business. There is a huge risk since
you dont know whats underneath.

With mine-planning software, you can

minimise that risk and the RoI will be
immediate, says Dinakar Devireddy,
Senior Project Manager, Infotech Enterprises, an Indian geospatial solutions
provider. Visualisation of complex designs that make up a large mining facility enhances better design and allows
mining companies to easily factor safety into the designs. The use of UAVs
keeps surveyors out of hazardous areas
and the positioning technology used in
proximity detection for mobile mining
equipment vulnerable to blind spots
can prevent accidents.
Knowing accurately where a person is located is vital to keeping them
safe. Think of the incident in Chile
a few years ago when miners were
trapped underground and geospatial
technology helped the rescue team find
and extract the miners. They brought a
camera down one of the bore holes and
located the miners underground with
exact coordinates, points out Morasse.
This level of visibility is what many
companies are now offering as part
of the proximity awareness systems.
Some of these use GPS to position people in and around the equipment.
For instance in China, because most
coal deposits are located deeper, it has

India: Caught in Regulatory Maze

India hosts a wide range of globally significant mineral
resources, ranking among the worlds top five nations for its

74 / Geospatial World January 2014

to be mined underground, which results

in a high number of casualties. This has
been coming down in the recent times
with the takeoff in technology adoption. In South Africa, 3D laser scanning
is a huge hit in open cast mining for
slope stability monitoring and survey
of dangerous and inaccessible areas due
to safety risks. Canady adds that 3D
modelling of mining facilities greatly
enhances visualisation, which allows
mining companies to plan for safe evacuations or maintenance procedures.

Utility & Maturity

The mining industry has traditionally
been behind other engineering industries in adopting technology, but that is
changing and the sector in developing
nations is anxious to learn new techniques, maintains Canady.
Mining powerhouses Brazil and
South Africa, for instance, are on a par
with developed nations in terms of technology adoption. While the use of an
emerging technology like geospatial is
not common in many others industries
in Brazil, mining is leading in terms
of investments, says Martins, who also
points out that private mining companies were the first ones to start using
RTK systems in Brazil. Besides Vale,

core competency commodity reserves of coal and iron ore. India

has a number of giant, mostly state-owned mines that have an
outsized impact on total output, in addition to the existence of
a large number of small and inefficient mines operating illegally.
A total of 5% of operating mines in India produce about 50% of
the countrys mineral output. However, only 10% of the countrys
landmass has been explored, primarily due to significant regulatory and bureaucratic hurdles. Despite the potential passage of
a new mining Bill on the horizon, which seeks to improve transparency and introduce better legislative environment, analysts
are wary of calling for a sea change. And they have reasons to.
Environmental concerns and land acquisition hurdles have dealt
a major blow to the once-booming sector in India, with almost
all activities coming to a halt in recent years. Coupled with
that, corruption and vital regulatory and bureaucratic obstacles
remain major obstacles. There is lack of transparency starting
from tenement lease to excavation details.

BRICS: The Breakout Nations / Mining

most other mining majors like Kinross
Gold, Votorantim and Petrobas use
modern technologies. Now, even government departments like those under
the Geological Survey of Brazil are increasingly adopting such technologies.
In South Africa, most large and
medium mining companies today use
GIS for integration of exploration
datasets while applying for mining leases or even financial assistance, says Dr
Siva Subramanian, Head (Agriculture
& Natural Resources), RMSI, an India-based geospatial player which operates in that country. While the annual
planned production and pit head costs
for mining are also linked to geospatial
technology, the country has also picked
up on the global trend of mapping large
area mineral potential and corridors.
The initiatives though are said to be too
dispersed and needs to be harmonised.
Further, managing resources in
the remote parts of Africa remains a
challenge, and this makes geotechnologies well worth investing in to keep
a handle on resources and optimise
revenues, points out Francois Stroh of
HORTS Geo-Solutions, a local distribution partner of Riegl.
For Russia, one bright spot is the
high competency and potential of
geological survey agencies/companies
engaged in exploring. Even though
surveying technologies, long-range
laser scanners, satellite imagery and
GPS-GLONASS integrated solutions
are also coming up, it is mostly limited
to gas and oil majors. There are some
M&M companies like Phosagro, Uralkali, but the rate of uptake is very slow,
says Mikhail Zimin, Head of Geodesy
and Cartography, ScanEx.
But the major problem in Russia is
extraction. Vast uninhabited territories
in a harsh climate and an undeveloped
transport infrastructure combine to make
the Russian Far East and Arctic even
more remote. Additional investment
required for basic assets due to climate
and permafrost, higher labour, transpor-

tation, energy costs and costs for many

supplies and commodities present other
obstacles, underlines Arthur Poliakov,
Managing Director and Chairman of
MINEX Russia Mining and Exploration
Forum. Because of Russias difficult
terrains, almost 70% of the massive explored reserves are not exploitable using
existing Soviet-era technologies.
Technology adoption greatly varies
across China, from very low-level to
use of some of the world-class equipment because of lack of awareness on
sustainable development and inadequate
supervision, says Singer. Most mining
majors have their own teams for acquisition of geospatial data and now a
majority of them use GNSS for daily
surveying, says Sam Chen of Red China
Geosystems, a local distribution partner
of Riegl. Further, more and more miners
are using multi-sensor land slide monitoring system with GNSS, laser scanning
and ground-base InSAR technology. A
few of the more-established ones are
using CAD, automation and monitoring
software. Another encouraging trend
is the recent focus on the combination
of geology and integrated applications,
such as ground, underground, 2D or 3D
integrated analysis of spatial visualisation, geological modelling of volume
stereo profile, says Zhuo Wei Jie, Director, SuperMap, a local GIS player.
Interestingly, the Indian mining
industry, widely regarded as a laggard
among its BRICS counterparts, has seen
great strides being taken by its stateowned miners led by CIL. Some claim
the level of penetration of geospatial
technology in coal mining at least is on
a par with the developed world. Former
CIL Chairman M.P. Narayanan points
out that remote sensing was used as far
back as 1985 to delineate the fire areas
in Jharia Coalfields. Today the worlds
largest coal miner is using this technology for pre-mining, surveying, exploration, and compiling baseline data of
environmental and land-use patterns; as
also real-time trip counting at opencast

China: Nailing
the Dragon
China is the leading producer of
around half of the over 70 minerals
contained in the World Minerals
Statistics database. It is also the
leader in Rare Earth minerals. But
coal remains the overriding focus in
a sector dominated by large stateowned enterprises. Mining is facing
pressure both from the falling prices
of commodities and energy, as well as
environment and sustainability issues.
Chinas growth rate is slowing down,
leading to a slump in commodities
Industry experts like Singer Chang of
the China Mining Association is of the
view that much of the issues are related to the fact that the government
takes the mining sector merely as a
tool for supporting infrastructure rather than a growth pole of the economy.
Many laws and statutes are incomplete and there is a serious lack in
terms of long-term mining strategies.

mines, vehicle monitoring etc. CIL is

also updating topographical maps of all
coalfields and has also initiated satellite
surveillance of all the 162 open coal
mines for assessing land reclamation
status on an annual basis, a first of its
kind in the world.
CMPDI, a CIL subsidiary and a consultant in mine planning and design,
uses a wide range of remote sensing
technology for exploration, infrastructure development, land-use mapping,

Geospatial World January 2014/ 75

environmental management plan; thermal infrared for mine fire mapping; DInSAR for subsidence monitoring; LiDAR
for excavation measurement etc. It has
also started surveying of mine lease areas
using DGPS. Meanwhile, the rest of the
sector, especially private miners, is lagging behind, largely owing to high costs
and lack of awareness. Sanins, however,
sees a huge opportunity in this void.

Bridging the Talent Gap

The advanced level of geospatial technologies is pretty new to mining. As
Devireddy explains, what happens inside
the earth is basically in the domain of
geologists and the knowledge they have
is in 2D environment. People trained
with geospatial technology do not know
how to mine and do not understand the
structural aspects of a mine. So you need
to have the best of both worlds.
In South Africa, for instance, mining companies earlier had GIS experts
supporting them with management of
datasets. But now there is an increased
focus on having GIS experts who combine their domain expertise with hybrid
technologies for advanced modelling
and analysis outputs, says Subramanian.
Operating mining management
systems involves a range of skills a
thorough knowledge of the geological
processes that lead to the resource to
be modelled, an in-depth knowledge of
the used modelling and simulation al-

gorithms and their pitfalls, the production process and the social context of
a mine location, underlines Marschallinger, who sees trained resources as
not being a problem for big companies.
The key to implementing technology
found in other industries within the mining industry is to have an understanding
of how and where the technology has a
role to play, says Nitz, who has a background in IT, combined with practical
mining experience with some of the leading global miners, and then again backed
up with postgraduate engineering studies. A resource like Nitz is unusual but
not impossible in the developed countries, but in BRICS mining engineering
courses are yet to marry this kind of technology with basics of the subject.
While such a culture is almost
non-existent in India, trained labour is a
big problem even in Brazil and Russia.
This deficiency is very high in Brazil
because even big miners do not have a
post of Surveyor Engineer or Cartographer, points out Neves. In China,
though there are enough number of geographic information technology graduates, they still require specialised training in mining. In South Africa, however,
there is a growing trend among large
mining conglomerates to undertake local capacity development and training,
which stems from the government mandate to develop mining skills of local resources, explains Subramanian.

In such a situation, both mining and

geospatial organisations are learning
fast and customising solutions to make
it easier. Leica, for instance, is moving
from optimising the flow of trucks and
shovels to optimising the knowledge
worker by providing access to geospatial
tools and analysis. Bentley supports and
encourages proactive local education
advancement through a series of structured learning programmes Bentley
Learning Paths as part of the Bentley
LEARN program, an on-demand programme tailored to meet the education
demands of those involved in M&M engineering and design.

Awareness and
Regulatory Hurdles
There is a feeling that today that mining companies in the BRICS are more
progressive than the governments
about the significance of geospatial
technology. Companies typically go
faster than governments because they
are motivated by a need to have RoI as
quickly as possible, says Morasse.
Major miners and regulators, particularly in developing nations, have
an eye on the best practices across the
globe. There is often a reluctance to implement these demands across the entire
industry due the nature of pre-existing
small-scale operations, but major miners do not solely rely on legislations to

South Africa: A Land of Hidden Treasures

South Africas total reserves, estimated to be worth $2.5-trillion, is the worlds
fifth-largest mining sector in terms of GDP value. It is the worlds leading producer of platinum, as well as a major player in the production of gold, diamonds,
base metals and coal. The potential for further discoveries in huge yet-to-be
explored regions means that mining could contribute even more to national GDP
than the current 8.8%. Given its history and mineral wealth, it is no surprise
that the countrys mining companies are key players in the global industry.
Its strengths include a high level of technical and production expertise, and
comprehensive R&D activities. South African mining companies are under severe pressure in their local operations from labour unions
on the one side and investors on the other. A few have refocused on operations in the rest of Africa as South Africa remains the gateway
into the rest of Africa. The labour unrest throughout 2013, uncertainties over the regulatory climate as local authorities dispute over
jurisdictions over mining sites, and increasing resource nationalism are considered big hurdles.

76 / Geospatial World January 2014

BRICS: The Breakout Nations / Mining

ensure best practices, adds Desmond.
In Brazil, for instance, there is no
awareness on the part of lawmakers of
the importance of systematic mapping,
given that today Brazil does not have all
its territory mapped even at 1:100,000
scale, points out Roger Neves, Director
with CPE Equipamentos Topograficos,
Riegls local distributor. But that didnt
stop Vale. As for mapping, the task has
now been taken up by the private sector
but in such cases the information generated is not shared with other companies,
resulting in duplication of efforts.
Brazil has an active and progressive regulatory system in place, but it
is a long way from being implemented
throughout the entire country. While
big mining companies adhere to regulations, there are innumerable small,
clandestine operations in remote areas,
which are impossible to inspect, says
Martins, pointing out satellite imaging
solutions are a big help towards this.
In China, mining companies have
been asking for information transparency and open data, and the government too is clear that geospatial
technology should be widely used in
this sector, says Ma Wei Feng, General Manager, InfoEarth, a local player.
Various government departments have
for long used spatial information for
exploration, macro-industry management, production, safety et al and the
first national geographic census being
conducted includes mineral resources.
Digital mining is currently a hot topic
in China and the government has made
it one of the State 863 projects (a programme intended to stimulate technological development in a wide range of
fields), but the situation regarding mining data is still not satisfactory since
issues such as transition to information
security controls act as barriers.
Also, Chinas political and business environment is difficult and costly to navigate and multinational technology providers are cautious to enter
China due to these reasons as well as

the lack of IP protection there, says

Pugh. Similarly, he finds the political
and business environment in Russia
to be complex, challenging and thus
prohibitively expensive for leading
foreign geospatial players.
Even though the level
or through a
China has
of understanding is high
web mapping
the potential
among the governportal
to become a global
ment and mining
innovator in clean coal
companies in South
technologies. It recognises adoption
Africa, local authorof GIS in
underground coal
ities and regulatory
gasification as important
bodies need further
initiaand has dedicated
awareness and traintives.
government support
ing. For instance, the
N i t z
to develop own
rigid rules for surveying
laid down under the existmote sensing
ing laws could be the single
and visualisation
biggest challenge for the acceptance
is where the future is
of laser scanning technology. To make headed to. Many mining companies are
changes to the law could take years and moving towards remote operations centhe fact that mine surveyors are legal tres where all types of mining data are
appointments further complicates the displayed, often thousands of kilometres
issue, points out Stroh. Labour unrest away from the mine sites. Radar interthroughout 2013, uncertainties over ferometry has been widely recognised
the regulatory climate, and increasing in monitoring mining-induced subsidresource nationalism are other hurdles. ence. Hyperspectral imagery is a provIn such a situation, geospatial mapping en remote sensing technique to monitor
software will be crucial to create an environmental impacts of mining as it
overall view of the complex interrela- enables mapping minerals responsible
tionships in areas where high natural for pollution and their extension around
resources are found, underlines Sanins. mining sites, points out Chevrel.
For now, the biggest challenge is in
convincing people about the cost and
What Lies Ahead
The industry thinks the future is in RoI that these technologies offer. Hisautonomous mines. And accurate geo- torically, technology has not been in
spatial information is the key to this. the must-have list for mining but this
Technology today is evolving so fast, is slowly changing. Economic credit
and being used in areas that nobody crunches dont help with this, but we
thought it would be used for eg, will see a return to technology uptake
driverless trucks, says Morasse. Oth- once the situation improves, says Nitz.
For years mining has been seen as
er areas are reality capture for ground
control and stockpile verification; la- dirty, dangerous and environmentally
ser scanning (which has already made contentious. But emerging markets,
good inroads) is a great tool for height innovative technologies and a dynamic
analysis and blasting taking advantage workforce are steering the modern minof point cloud terrain mapping and er to become smarter.
modelling safety; tailing dam control
etc. Haigh also recommends making Anusuya Datta
government data available via WMS

Geospatial World January 2014 / 77

Share of agriculture in GDP


The new agricultural powers in terms of production, exports and imports, the
BRICS are set to script new rules for tomorrows agriculture. In terms of food
security too, the BRICS will be key players in the worlds fight against hunger
because of their demographic and social characteristics.



Agriculture production

514,086.2 564,086.3 28,799.46





565,489.9 566,542.7 29,761.87



552,401.9 565,859.2 30,581.12




South Africa

Average annual growth rate in agriculture (%)



South Africa


Source: OECD/FAO


Agricultural Land

Arable Land













South Africa



Smart Seeds for a

Sustainable Future
BRICS nations must embrace cutting-edge geospatial technology and put in place
well-thought-out policies to raise agricultural productivity to feed its burgeoning
population and play a key role as a global economic force.
By Mark Noort, Editor-Agriculture

78 / Geospatial World January 2014

Source : World Bank

Source: OECD/FAO


BRICS: The Breakout Nations / Agriculture

Area Cultivated (million hectarees)

farming resources. Furthermore, they also keep farmers abreast

of crop management and production through digital workflows
created from geo-enabled data. The information can be collected and analysed, and action can be taken to optimise the processes, thereby improving crop yields while saving costs.
However, in the agricultural development plans of the
BRICS countries, geospatial technology is hardly mentioned, or not at all. And whatever little is happening on the
ground needs much harmonisation.
All BRICS face common problems, but also have competing interests. Production capacity will struggle to keep up
with food needs while sustainability is a key challenge. The
international food policy research institute (IFPRI) states that
the availability of location-specific data to document changes
in these variables [weather, soil, markets, prices] over time
is [currently] extremely limited. A World Bank study on
smart agriculture notes that many countries have not invested
enough in the public good of weather and climate information. This includes a lack of integration of meteorological and
hydrological information services, easy and timely access of
which is extremely important for agriculture.

Area of cultivated land (Fig 1)


production (million tons)

he growth of BRICS in particular China, India and Brazil is the story of our
times. With the global power-base shifting to the rapidly evolving economies,
agriculture is proving to be a predominant
cultural and economic force in BRICS,
home to 45% of the world population. On a global scale, the
need to feed 8 billion people by 2025 requires production to
rise from the current 3 tonne per hectare to 4 tonne per hectare.
And BRICS are expected to play a significant role in this.
Agriculture is important for all these countries. It is
therefore no coincidence that they adopted a cooperation
plan earlier this year at the 3rd BRICS Ministers of Agriculture and Agrarian Development meeting to adopt tangible
measures for boosting domestic agricultural productivity
and dealing with global food crisis, promote global economic recovery as well as play a crucial role in global initiatives for food security.
Even not taking biofuel into account, increased urbanisation and rising living standards will lead to an increased demand for agricultural products. This is a global trend, but applies to the BRICS in particular. For most of these countries,
extension of arable land is not an option anymore (with Russia and South Africa perhaps as exceptions). The focus should
therefore be on increasing productivity and a more efficient
use of resources. A parallel goal is to make the sector more
resilient, to deal better with food price volatility and other disruptions, including those caused by climate change.
The key word in agriculture is productivity. However,
there are a number of critical factors that affect production
including availability of land, accessibility of water and sustainability, says Claudio Simo, President Hexagon Solutions (South America & Asia Pacific). On the other hand, he
points out that only 11% of the planets land is fit for growing crops. Increased occurrences of natural disasters such as
droughts and floods have had a catastrophic impact on the
availability of usable land. Further complicating the problem is soil degradation, including erosion and nutrient loss,
which causes an estimated 20% decline in food production
in the worlds most fertile areas every year.
Investments in technology can help BRICS increase productivity. Software solutions can not only optimise the utilisation of land and water, but fertilisers, pesticides, seeds and other



Production of cereals (Fig 2)





South Africa

Source: BRICS Joint Statistical Publication 2013

Geospatial World January 2014 / 79

Canasat to map cultivation

The Canasat project uses satellite images to identify and map the area under cultivation
with sugar cane in South-Central Brazil. The project is carried out by the National Institute
for Space Research (INPE), the Industry Sugarcane Association (UNICA) and others. Since
2003, thematic maps are produced every year, including ones with the spatial distribution
of sugarcane. The maps are accessible through the Web. People can find where the areas
with sugarcane are, how the crop is developing and what the trends have been over the Sugarcane expansion in Sao Paulo
years (by municipality and by state). The information is used by the agribusiness sector, but state, Brazil
also by environmental organisations: harvests are predicted and planned, and environmental laws and regulations are monitored.

On the positive side, the sector has

grown considerably in the BRICS over
the past decade. According to FAO, agriculture output has grown 39% since
2000 in the BRICS, while the figure is
14% for OECD countries over the same
time span. However, the BRICS are not
producing to their optimum capacity and
there is also a big difference between performances when compared to each other.
A comparative analysis of the total area
of cultivated land and production of cereals in each of the BRICS nations (Figure
1 & 2) show that total cultivated land in
India, China and Russia is twice as much
as Brazils, and all four dwarf South Africas total area. China is the biggest cereal
and meat producer, but Brazils cereal
production is of the magnitude as Russias and its meat production although
not even a third of
Chinas is almost
three times Russias.

ARAquGeo tool
allows estimates of
water contamination,
which are incorporated
into geostatistical
programmes to generate
maps to show the risk
to evaluated area.

80 / Geospatial World January 2014

Brazil: High on Tech

Brazil is an exception among the
emerging nations in its use of hi-tech
technology for agriculture. High R&D
spending has been very effective, raising production by over 70% in the
last decade. Led by the agricultural
research institute Embrapa, Brazil
proved the conviction wrong that high
yields are only possible in temperate
climates, and is, therefore, an example
for other tropical countries. The results
obtained in the Brazilian North-East,
the Cerrado, are especially impressive.
The support for agricultural research
is accompanied by financial credit and
rural extension policies. Agricultural
policy tries to cater to both large enterprise-like as well as small family farms,
and combine the goals of expanding
production while supporting eco-friendly agricultural measures. Still, the level
of government support to agriculture
is relatively low (6%, compared with
OECD average of 26%). Policies focus
on enabling sustainable private sector investments and supporting measures that
increase the value of natural capital, as
R&D investments show. Besides, loans
for agricultural development are tied to
environmental protection measures. In
terms of improved land management,
Brazil serves as an example for others.
Geospatial technology plays a supporting role in soil and water management, the use of no-tillage systems and
land-use management in general. It
is also being used for rural planning,

infrastructure and logistics issues, environmental impacts, crop forecast,

expansion and intensification of agricultural systems, and cattle tracing.
Systems such as Canasat are used for
monitoring sugarcane and its effect on the
environment. The size and scale of operations lends itself to the use of satellite
solutions. Embrapas SOMABRASIL
(system for agriculture observation and
monitoring) is another example. The
project organises, integrates and makes
geospatial databases available on the
Web, thus contributing to the understanding of land use and land cover changes. It
uses data from different sources: Google
(hybrid, satellite, physical and street);
Virtual Earth (hybrid, aerial, and roads),
and Yahoo (hybrid, satellite, and street),
says Mateus Batistella, Director, Embrapa Satellite Monitoring.
However, Brazil needs to shift uisfocus from science to applications At
the local level, there are opportunities
for precision agriculture applications,
but also for more general issues, such
as the use of geospatial technology for
the development of disaster prevention
and mitigation plans. Embrapa has also
developed a system, ARAquGeo, for
environmental assessment of pesticides,
based on geospatial technology.
CONAB (translated as the national
supply company of Brazil) underlines the
importance of geospatial technology for
crop yields forecasts, such as for coffee.
Currently, the crop forecast in Brazil
is done by means of questionnaires to

BRICS: The Breakout Nations / Agriculture

Russia: A Land of
Russia has a vast potential to increase
agriculture output and productivity. With
modernisation and vertical integration,
the last decade has seen significant government investment in this field. What
distinguishes Russia from the other
BRICS partners is that only half of the
arable land (60%) is used for agricultural production. Productivity lags behind
the European Union and the US, which
is partly due to unfavourable climatic
conditions. But this also provides an
opportunity for improvement, in terms
of application of modern technology,
equipment and machinery, fertilisers
and better soil and water management. A
government project is worth mentioning
here the System of State Land Monitoring. The project consists of two subsystems the Agricultural Lands Atlas
and the Remote Sensing Monitoring
System of Agricultural Lands.
Crop development and yield forecasting, fertiliser application, and soil and
water management are other areas where
geospatial technology can make a difference. At all levels, land-use planning and
timely weather and climate information
will become important to increase resilience with respect to climate change and
meteorological phenomena.
Russian farmers are mostly interested in such information services as inventory and mapping of agricultural lands,
registration of field boundaries, assessment of crop conditions during different stages of vegetation, recommendations for differentiated application of
fertilisers, yields forecasting and soil
mapping etc, explains Michael Bolsu-

novsky, First Deputy Director General,

Sovzond Company, which works with
satellite imagery partners like RapidEye
and DigitalGlobe to develop this market.
Sovzond is investing in pilot projects for
customers at minimum financing.
Smart technologies like precision
farming have also taken off well in some
parts of Russia since the technique provides each field lot with differentiated
fertiliser and herbicide treatment, different seeding volume, and strict abidance
by culture practices in soil treatment.
The GLONASS/GPS navigation hardware installed on modern agricultural
machinery allows accurate positioning
of a unit within a field, adjustment of its
trajectory and, depending on uploaded
programme, activation of various modes
of operation, say Ilya Farutin and Sergei
Mikhailov of Scanex. Although incentives for implementation of innovative
technologies could be improved, there
is a growing interest in the use of precision agriculture techniques, simply
because the benefit-cost ratio is high.

India: Battling Inner

Self-sufficiency in agricultural production has been the top priority for India,
which is home to 17% of the worlds
population and 15% of global livestock,
but only 2.4% of the geographical area
and 4% of the global water resources.
Half the population depends on agriculture as principle source of income and
agriculture accounts for about 14% of
Indias GDP and about 11% of exports.
Since the net sown area is stagnated at around 142 Mha, further increase
in production needs to come through an
increase in gross cropped area (multiple
cropping), coverage of area under irrigation and improvement in the productivity, underlines Dr G.P. Obi Reddy, Senior Scientist with the National Bureau of
Soil Survey & Land Use Planning. This
could be achieved by focusing on potential areas, regionally differentiated strategies, crop diversification and scientific

Satellite-based Crop
The Russian company Scanex has developed a satellite-based crop monitoring
system to improve the efficiency of the
plant industry. The first step is to establish an accurate estimate of the area
under cultivation. Overgrowing with
shrubs and trees, loss of land by gully
erosion, conversion of agricultural land
into built-up areas, and withdrawal of
land plots from agriculture are factors
that have to be taken into account.
Satellite images provide the information that is needed for crop monitoring.
Substantial work goes into image classification and field visits to assess and
validate photosynthetically active biomass. The results are used to advise on
fertiliser application and optimal harvest timing (scheduling machine use).
Comparing the vegetation index of winter crops

producers and employees of institutions

responsible for crop estimation. However, with variations in spectral behaviour
due to factors such as spacing, age, time
of year, this can better be identified and
mapped on satellite images with reasonable accuracy, improving the results in
terms of accuracy and timeliness.

management of natural resources. The

Bureau is conceptualising a project to
generate high resolution soil resource
database at 1:10,000 scale for site-specific agricultural land-use planning.
Geospatial technology plays a key role
in all these endeavours, he adds.
For years now, ISROs National
Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) has
been working on crop pattern/system analysis, crop monitoring, crop
acreage and production assessment,

Geospatial World January 2014 / 81

drought assessment etc; and farmers

are provided assistance through village
resource centres. Recently, the government recommended remote sensing and
GPS-based support system for land rejuvenation while pilot studies are being
planned for land-use planning and precision farming. NRSCs Bhuvan also
provides thematic data for agriculture,
water and ecosystem management at national, state and district level on 2D/3D
mode on the Web and Mobile.
The Ministry of Agricultures Mahalanobis National Crop Forecast Centre was established in 2012 to provide
crop forecasts and assessment of drought
situation. We use remote sensing data
from various satellites (Indian and foreign) for crop and drought assessment.
GPS is used for field data collection,
while GIS is used for integrating thematic information from multiple sources
and generating maps, says Dr Shibendu
Shankar Ray, the Centres Director.
Ray adds there have been several
end-user oriented applications of geospatial technology, such as watershed development, site suitability and precision
farming. An example is the work carried
out by the North East Space Applications
Centre towards horticultural development in the region. Satellite data was
used to delineate the area under Jhoom
(shifting) cultivation. Then, village-level horticulture development plans were
generated, based on site-suitability for
fruit cultivation, to directly benefit the
farmers. Another example is the use of
remote sensing and GIS for post-harvest
infrastructure (cold storage) planning for

potato crop in the state of West Bengal.

ICRISAT and ICARDA are two
other organisations promoting the use
of geospatial technology for agriculture. The Indian Council of
Agricultural Research
Indian Sugar
sector. In addition
has also launched a
to the variety of
$250-million World
Mills Association
climatic and
has used geospatial
economic cirinitiative called
technology to map
the National
sugarcane crop in India.
this makes
This enables it to predict
the picture
Innovation Procrop acreage, drought
very diverse.
ject which uses
impact on crops, water
geospatial data to
utilisation, etc for the
develop innovative
entire country.
issues, however,
ways of farming.
such as the continuing
Suhas P. Wani and
fragmentation of land holdA.V.R. Kesava Rao of ICRISAT note that developments in the ings and the ever-increasing pressure on
field of GIS that synthesise thematic land and water. This calls for a sound
information with ancillary data have land-use policy that facilitates rural area
not only made this technology effec- development, sustainable natural retive and economically viable but also source management and eco-restoration.
an inevitable tool to arrive at sustaina- For such a policy to be effective, comble development strategies for land and puterisation of land records and mapping
of land and water use and resources, as
water resources management.
Dr Chandrashekhar Biradar of well as soil characteristics is necessary,
ICARDA confirms the paradigm shift and the potential for geospatial technolfrom landscape-level information to ogy is obvious. Further, countervailing
farm scale. In particular, very high measures like subsidising water, electricresolution (VHR) satellite imagery ity and fertiliser should be phased out or
now provides unprecedented oppor- at least balanced, to enable productivity
tunities for standardised farmscape to gains and modernisation of the sector.
It is interesting to note that use of walandscape metrics and analytics to inform sustainable agricultural intensifi- ter and power for agriculture is heavily
subsidised in India, contributing to excation in smallholder settings.
Agriculture is the responsibility of cessive drawing of power and depletion
the states in India. This means there of groundwater resources. Water-use
are different policies to support the efficiency can be increased with rain-

ISRO takes the lead

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) coordinates a wide array of remote sensing applications for agriculture. For crop
production forecasts a mixture of space, agrometeorology and land-based observations is used. For the early-season crop monitoring the soil moisture conditions are critical, rainfall monitoring and drought
assessment are therefore very important. This combined with an analysis of
cropping patterns and crop rotation increases productivity by crop intensification and diversification. Advice on fertiliser and water use is another objective.
Soil erosion pattern in Karnataka as shown by ISROs geoportal Bhuvan.

82 / Geospatial World January 2014

BRICS: The Breakout Nations / Agriculture

water harvesting, micro-irrigation and
watershed management, an area where
geospatial technology is a valuable tool.
To boost its stagnating agriculture,
India has to switch from traditional
grains to high-value crops and livestock
products. It also needs to change its production based on low labour costs to efficiency and productivity-driven growth.
As elsewhere, promotion of geospatial
technology in India would make use of a
two-fold strategy showing the potential of concrete geo-based applications
and transforming a science and government-dominated discipline into one that
also includes the private sector.

China: Farming Out

Although China is a big producer, it
is also the biggest net importer of agricultural products in the world. China has invested heavily in R&D and
the creation of support infrastructure
in rural areas (electricity, irrigation)
and aims at modernising agriculture
through market development, technical
innovation, intensification, food safety, regional development, land tenure
security, disaster management and climate resilient low-carbon agriculture.
Agricultural production has grown
considerably over the last few decades;
since 1980, production increased by a
factor of 4.5 (over the same time span
GDP increased by a factor 20). Food
security has therefore increased significantly, but demand has also risen sharply owing to improved living standards
and urbanisation. The increased pressure on land leads to land degradation,
soil salinisation, acidification and pollution and water scarcity and pollution.
All this notwithstanding, the achievements of China in increasing productivity
and sustainable environmental management are remarkable. In Northern China,
for example, water saving is practiced to
reduce evapotranspiration. Proper watershed management not only increased
productivity, but also helped extend the
area under agriculture while maintaining

the water balance. In Central China, the

successful restoration of the Loess Plateau (fencing, grazing right, planting of
grasses, trees and bushes) is an example
in ecosystem-friendly management. In
South China, afforestation and rainwater
harvesting have been implemented. Paddy cultivation changed from continuous
flooding to superficial drainage at midseason, increasing yields and reducing
methane emissions. China is now a net
sequesterer of carbon from land use and
forestry, according to the World Bank.
Additionally, the government aims at
improving the efficiency of fertiliser use,
which is currently still low. Tao Xiang,
CEO of Hexun Science and Technology, a local player, confirms that thanks
to state support agriculture production
unit-scale is growing. This enables
the application of modern technology
for massive production, which in turn
increases the demand for monitoring
and decision making supported services.
GIS is still the most popular concept, but
other types of innovation are actively
supported by the government.
The National Agriculture and Rural Information Development in the
Twelfth Five-year Plan had listed accelerating the pace of information technology of modern agriculture as one
of the major tasks. It had also called
for digitisation of agricultural production data and development in precision
agriculture, besides actively promoting
farm management GIS, meteorological
monitoring system of soil moisture, soil
testing and fertilisation system, crop
growth monitoring system and other
information technology applications in
field planting, points out Tao.
He Hui, Deputy Manager (Remote
Sensing), Wuhan Zondy Cyber Science
and Technology, confirms the active role
of government in stimulating geospatial
implementation. This means GIS, remote
sensing and other forms of spatial information technology have greater role to
play as the government promotes modern, information-oriented farming. The

future prospects for the development of

agriculture in China are vast, and will
gradually develop in a scientific manner
keeping the ecological and environmental concerns in mind.

South Africa: Diversified

The total amount of agricultural land in
South Africa is in the order of magnitude of 100 million hectares, of which
14 million receive sufficient rainfall for
arable farming. A large part of the available land is used for extensive grazing
(72 million hectares) and the rest for
nature conservation and forestry. As in
most other BRICS countries, distinction
can be made between large commercial

CropWatch for
crop monitoring
CropWatch is a crop monitoring
system supported by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the
National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry
of Science and Technology and
others. In its 15 years of existence, CropWatch has developed
into a quantitative and dynamic
monitoring system. CropWatch
delivers information for decision
support and policy evaluation
on environmental impact, biomass, cropping activities, crop
condition and crop production.
All this is done not only for China, but also globally. Another
use of CropWatch is to monitor
and mitigate disasters, such as
drought and snow damage.

Geospatial World January 2014 / 83

Precision agriculture has taken off well in

the BRICS, especially in Brazil & Russia

farms (owning 87% of the land) and

small family farms. These small farms
are usually (communal) subsistence
farms and the situation is an inheritance
from the apartheid era. Improving the
low-input, labour-intensive production
methods of the small farms poses a special challenge, making land reform programme an urgent need of the hour.
South Africa exports one-third of its
agricultural production (amounting to
8 to 10% of total exports) and this has
increased steadily over the last decade.
Here too the inheritance from the apartheid period plays a role: the sector had
to adjust from a protected market to
global market conditions. One trend,
for example, is the shift from producing
large quantities of cheap wine for the
domestic market to high-quality wine
for the international market.
It seems that productivity gains
in commercial agriculture have been
quite limited and are mainly caused by
reducing the number of farm workers.
Diversification has been the answer
to threats of instability: investing in
different crops and/or a geographical
spread of risk by growing the same
crop in different regions. Although
productivity has not increased much,
production has increased steadily over
the past decades. There has been innovation, for example in the application
of minimum tillage and the introduc-

84 / Geospatial World January 2014

tion of improved (genetically modified) seeds. South Africa also faces a

number of infrastructural constraints,
including access to electricity.
The countrys agricultural policy
favours innovation as a growth engine
and the challenge is maintaining a
balance between efficiency and equity.
Apart from the land reform programme,
technology transfer by entities such as
the Agricultural Research Council is
very important. South African farmers
have always been successful in importing technology and adapting it to
local circumstances. The challenges for
geospatial industry are similar: the same
opportunities as for the other BRICS
are there, but solutions will have to be
tailored to the specific characteristics of
the country, which differs in nature from
the other BRICS countries.

Maturity of Technology
Remote sensing and GIS have played
a key role in agriculture in the all these
countries in some or other capacities
since the 1980s. In the initial stages,
the technology helped in areas like
land resource management, agricultural resources information manage-

ment, regional agricultural planning to

present crop yield estimation research,
regional sustainable development of
agriculture, agricultural production potential research and other aspects. The
current trend is the increasing interest
in technology tools like GNSS, big data
analytics and integration of geospatial
with broader information technologies.
Currently, traditional agriculture is
developing gradually toward modern
agriculture, which needs IT as technical support and foundation, says
He Hui. In such a scenario, integrated
solutions provide a wide range of information management tools for agricultural resources, regional agricultural zoning, agricultural land suitability
evaluation, agricultural ecological environment research and so on.
Even advanced technologies
like precision agriculture are rapidly
picking up in the emerging nations, in
particular BRICS. The focus of technology adoption is toward integration
of various technologies into the operations of farms such as planting, spraying and harvesting. Examples include
auto-steering with GNSS positioning
and automatic shut off for individual
rows of a planter or tips on a sprayer.
Michael Gomes, Director, Topcon
Positioning, identifies two important
developments for precision agriculture
portfolio: the application of low-cost indicate-only systems and the application
of fully automatic systems. Typically,
the adoption begins with the lower cost
indicate-only systems, where the user
reacts to a signal and performs manual
control. The second and more advanced
step is full automation of that particular
aspect or operation, whether it concerns
earth-moving operations or the ability to
steer the tractor or agricultural vehicle
for tillage or harvesting.
The technology works best on very
large corporate-owned farms, referred
to as mega-farms (typically sizes of
20,000 to 250,000-plus hectares), especially in Brazil and Russia where tech-

BRICS: The Breakout Nations / Agriculture

nology is becoming engrained as process
and operational control. Gomes is of the
view that some of these farms are even far
more streamlined and automated than the
smaller scale farms in the more mature
and English-speaking markets. Economies of scale drive technology adoption
and practices are being determined very
differently as farms retool from a emerging economy to a first world economy of
mass-scale production.
The services add a lot of value to
them and are based not only on hardware/software distribution for data
collection, but on delivery of information which is unavailable or expensive
when ground based data collection
technologies are used, says Bolsunovsky. It concerns mainly applications
of satellite monitoring, yield forecasting, assessment of vegetation phenology, study of soil characteristics.
Even in India where farm holdings
are small and fragmented, precision agriculture is taking off well. For instance,
sugarcane farmers are reaping the benefits of precision farming through an
efficient application of crop inputs and
mapping yields and crop quality, says
Amit Bhardwaj of the Indian Sugar
Mills Association. The technique helps
measure the localised environment conditions, thus determining whether crops
are growing efficiently, while identifying
the nature and location of problem is any.
State regulations and initiatives are
driving the adoption of automation and
machine control technologies. An apt example is the enforcement of air pollution
standards to lower burning of sugarcane
in Brazil. While this reduces air pollution, it would also help create higher value jobs for streamlined farm operations
from planting through harvest. Regulations around usage of radio frequencies
for communication and import tariffs on
foreign manufactured goods could be
considered hurdles to streamlined adoption of those technologies. These things,
however, can vary with country, technology and crop type, adds Gomes.

An Eye on Future
There is strong evidence that there will
be an increased demand for agricultural
products in the coming days and production will have to grow to keep up with
the demand. As in most cases, extension
of the area under cultivation is not an
option and huge gains in productivity
are needed, which is only possible with
investments in technology. Parallelly,
measures will have to be taken to combat price volatility and mitigate the consequences of extreme events. Further,
for most BRICS countries even a steady
rise in food prices will be unacceptable,
as they may lead to social unrest.
The BRICS nations should increase
their investments in geospatial projects
and develop new policies to improve
economic opportunities and reduce
hunger, underlines Simo. Furthermore, from the technical side, it is nec-

In South Africa, satellite images
are used to estimate the area
under cultivation and to map
field boundaries. This information is complemented by field
visits and airborne surveys. Crop
development is then monitored
and yields are estimated per crop
and per district. A very important
aspect is monitoring of the water
balance. The findings of the
surveys and analysis are used as
decision support for government
and for advice to farmers on, for
example, sowing dates for maize.

essary to develop regulations, policies

and procedures to support technology
dissemination in these countries.
The 6th BRICS summit, to be held
in Brazil in 2014, will be a key event
for further development of the sector, and there are high expectations
in terms of open access to data, partnerships for sustainable agricultural
development, new remote sensing applications and business opportunities.
In view of globalisation of economy
and trade, there is a need for a common
platform among the BRICS centuries
to address many common issues like
impact of climate change on agriculture and food security, says Reddy.
Accordingly, agriculture stakeholders
and geospatial players both have an
eye on the summit for exchanging the
technical knowhow and strengthening
cooperation in agricultural information technology. From the technology
side, the summit should focus on enhancement of agricultural technology
cooperation and innovation, as well as
promotion of trade and investment in
agriculture, adds Simo.
The BRICS need to improve their
basic agricultural information exchange
system and develop a general strategy
for ensuring access to food for the most
vulnerable sections of the population.
Besides, it is important to undertake
measures to reduce the negative impact
of climate change on food security.
Geospatial technology is part of the
agriculture sector in the BRICS in various levels, from (mostly Web-based) national agricultural information systems
and regional watershed and land management tools, to provision of weather
information at the local level and precision farming. Going forward, the challenge will be to underline the importance
of this technology, devise harmonised
policies and increase the role of the private sector in agriculture.
Mark Noort

Geospatial World January 2014 / 85

BRICS Bluebook/Brazil

Ao Informatica

Alezi Teodolini

AMS Kepler





CPE Tecnologias





Furtado Schmidt





HP Brasil

Av. Alfredo Egdio de Souza Aranha,

100 - Bloco D - 11 Andar, Chcara Santo
Antnio - CEP: 04726-170 - So Paulo,
Brasil. Tel: +55 11 35082109

Av Roque Petroni Jnior,

1089 jardim das Accias
CEP: 04707-900, So Paulo, SP Brasil
Tel: +55 11 51815184

Rua Verbo Divino, 1661 CJ. 13, So Paulo,

SP 04719-002 Brasil
Tel: +55 11 28232667

Endereo Presidente: R. Santos Dumont,

160 19806-060 V. Boa Vista Assis SP - Brasil
Tel: +55 18 34212525

Voluntrios da Ptria, 1113, Santana,

So Paulo - SP, 02011-100. CEP:01235000 - Brasil
Tel: +55 11 22210111

Avenida Juscelino Kubitschek, 1327 - 21

andar, So Paulo SP CEP 04543-011,
Tel: +55 11 37971554

86 / Geospatial World January 2014

Endereo: Av. Paulo VI, 184 (Antigo 1952)

Sumar, CEP: 01262-010,
So Paulo SP - Brasil
Tel: +55 11 38680822

Autodesk do Brasil Ltda. Rua James Joule

65 - 4 Andar 04576-080 - So Paulo - SP
Tel: +55 11 55012500

Avenida Baro Homem de Melo, 4282

Bairro Estoril - Belo Horizonte - MG - Brasil
Tel: +55 31 30254001

Rua Dr. Reynaldo Machado, 1151 Prado Velho, Curitiba - Paran - Brasil,
CEP: 80215-242
Tel: +55 41 32716000

Rua Nilo Peanha, 466 Bom Retiro, Curitiba-Paran, PR CEP: 80520-000 - Brasil
Tel: +55 41 30231617

SGAN 607 Bloco B Sala 123,

Centro Empresarial Brasilia, Braslia DF CEP 70 850.070
Tel: +55 61 34478979

Av. Armando Lombardi, 800 sala 206,

Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
22640-906 - Brasil
Tel: +55 21 36223655

Rua Marqus de Lajes, 1027 So Paulo,

SP- CEP: 04162-001 Brasil
Tel: +55 11 29489900

Rua Dr. Renato Paes de Barros750 cj 45,

Itaim Bibi - So Paulo - SP, CEP: 04530001 - Brasil
Tel: +55 11 31688466

Rua: Traipu, 509 - Perdizes, So Paulo SP - CEP:01235-000

Tel: +55 11 38836917, Brazil

Av. Shishima Hifumi, 2.911, 2 Andar - Pq.

Tecnolgico UNIVAP- Urbanova, So Jos
dos Campos, So Paulo, 12244-000 Brasil. Tel: +55 12 37976811

Av Rebouas 2455, So Paulo SP

CEP 05402-400 Brasil
Tel: +55 11 55025680

IBM Brasil




Pitney Bowes

Santiago & Cintra

Space Imaging


AV Pasteur 138 , Escritrio MB 09 Ramal

2101 URCA, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Tel: +55 21 21324934

Rua da Conceio, 105, Salas 15081513, Centro - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - CEP:

20051-011 - Brasil
Tel: +55 21 35532717

Rua Vieira de Morais, 420 - 10 Andar

Conj. 107 Cep 04617-000
So Paulo - SP- Brasil
Tel: +55 11 35290260

R. Itoror, 555, Vila Bandeirantes,

So Jos dos Campos, So Paulo
12216-440 - Brasil
Tel: +55 12 39468985

Avenida Shishima Hifumi, 2.911 - Trreo,

Parque Tecnolgico UNIVAP - Urbanova, SP, CEP: 12.244-000, Brazil
Tel: +55 12 32022700

Rua da Assembleia, 10 - 4015 - Centro

Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil
CEP 20011-901
Tel: +55 21 21027070

Av. Eng. Luis Carlos Berrini, 1681,

9 andar, Brooklin, So Paulo,
SP 04571-011 Brazil
Tel: +55 11 23488860

SIA Trecho 8 - Lotes N 50/60 - BrasliaDF - Brasil - CEP: 71.205-080

Tel: +55 61 37995000

Geospatial World January 2014 / 87

BRICS Bluebook/Russia



Aerospace, Gorokhovskiy lane. 4,

Moscow - 105064
Tel: +7 495 6321654

Molodogvardiiska St.,
46, m Youth building 2, Moscow - 121351
Tel: +7 495 9132222




52/6 Smolnaya Street

Moscow - 125445, Russia
Tel: +7 495 9883481

GSP-3, 80, Volokolamskoe St., 4, Moscow

- 125993, Russia
Tel: +7 495 2215879

Geoinformica Co ltd

Geoinnovation Agency INNOTER


9N, 16A, Kuznechniy Lane,

St. Petersburg - 191040, Russia
Tel: +7 812 6030342

Office 304, Bldg. 1, M. Jushunskaja

St.,Moscow - 117303 Russia
Tel: +7 495 3198180

St. Lenin Sloboda 26/2,

Moscow - 125047, Russia.
Tel: +7 495 6460128

Jena Instruments

KB Panorama Geoinformation

KGK Global

Meridian +


Taininskaya st, 7, Moscow,

Tel: +7 495 4741328

ul. Pavla Korchagina,

Moscow - 129626, Russia
Tel: +7 918 0997672

Neks Info


Sushchevskaya street, 22, Moscow, Russia

Tel: +7 499 6536000

Jena Instrument Ltd, 42 Lublinskaya St,

509, Moscow - 109387, Russia
Tel: +7 495 6496105

Moscow , B.Tolmachevsky per,

5 (m. Tretjakovskaja)
Tel: +7 495 7390245

Nedelina street, 32, Office 46,

398000 - Lipezk, Russia
Tel: +7 4742 232704

88 / Geospatial World January 2014

Data East

2/2 Ak. Lavrentyev Avenue,

Novosibirsk - 630090, Russia
Tel: +7 383 3320320

Avenue Leninskiy, 158, Moscow,

Tel: +7 495 6680998

Pokrovka Street, 47,

Moscow - 105062, Russia
Tel: +7 499 9990000

ULTRA LONG RANGE 3D Terrestrial Laser Scanner
for eyesafe scan and image data acquisition


Shchelkovskoe Shosse 5, Building 1,

Moscow - 105122, Russia
Tel: +7 495 6444046

With the VZ-4000 Laser

Scanner and specifically
designed software packages, RIEGL provides a perfect
solution for the demanding fieldwork
in open pit mining and topography.


Ul. Yaroslavskaya, 13A, Office 15,

Moscow 129366, Russia
Tel: +7 495 7205127

Rekarto Group

Tel: +7 4725 480313



13/1, Nakhimova Street, Tomsk - 634034, Russia

Tel: +7 3822 977772

Scanex R&D centre

Highlights RIEGL VZ-4000

Rumyantsevo Business-Park, Bld. 1, Entrance 4, 8th floor,

Rumyantsevo Village, Leninsky District, Moscow Region - 142784,
Russia. Tel: +7 495 7397385

range up to 4 ,000 m


connector for external

GNSS receiver

28, Shipilovskaya St, Moscow - 115563,

Tel: +7 495 988751

eyesafe @ laser class 1

on-board inclination
sensors, GPS receiver
and compass integrated

built-in camera

HMI interface and built-in

SSD data storage media
for stand-alone operation
multiple target capability
(excellent penetration
of dust and vegetation)
waveform data output

Highlights Mining Software RiSOFT

RiSCAN PRO efficient data acquisition and registration


29-2 Instrumentalnaya Street, Taganrog,

Rostov Region - 347923, Russia
Tel: +7 8634 315400

Trimble Export, Russia


automated resolution of range ambiguities


monitoring of terrain deformations by

analyzing the changes of surfaces


optimized and simplified scan data

registration and processing workflow for
open pit mining, offering, e.g., automatic
extraction of break lines, contours, profiles,
and calculation of volumes

Moscow Representation, Business Center Nakhimov, Sebastopol

Avenue, 47A, Moscow- 117186, Russia, Tel: +7 495 2585045
RIEGL LMS GmbH, Austria


RIEGL Japan Ltd.

BRICS Bluebook/India


ADCC Infocad

Apex CoVantage

Plot No.E/54 & E/54/1, Infocity

Chandaka Industrial Estate, Patia
Bhubaneswar - 751024. Orissa, India
Tel: +91 674 6621016

10/5 IT Park, Near VNIT Campus,

Nagpur - 440022 Maharashtra
Tel: +91 712 2249033

Autodesk India

Avineon India

BAE Systems India

Cyber Gateway, Block A -1st floor, HITEC

City, Madhapur, Hyderabad - 500081
Andhra Pradesh, India
Tel: +91 40 66632452

2nd Floor, Hotel Le-Meridien Commercial

Tower , Raisina Road,
New Delhi, 110-001, India
Tel: +91 11 43412345

Bentley Systems India

COWI India

203, Okhla Industrial Estate, Phase-III,

New Delhi - 110 020
Tel: +91 11 49021100

121, Phase - I, Udyog Vihar,

Gurgaon - 122 016,
Haryana, India
Tel: +91 124 4092500

CyberTech Systems and Software


Elcome Technologies

FARO Business Technologies

A-6, Infocity, Sector 34

Gurgaon - 122002,
Haryana, India
Tel: +91 124 4122222

E-12, B-1 Extension,

Mohan Cooperative Industrial Estate,
New Delhi - 110044, India
Tel: +91 11 46465656

GE India

Genesys International Corporation

Building No. 7A, 5 th floor, DLF Cyber City,

DLF Phase - III, Sector 25 A,
Gurgaon - 122002, India
Tel: +91 124 4808056


Andheri (E),
Mumbai - 400096, India
Tel: +91 22 44884488

Hewlett-Packard India Sales

Hitachi India

IIC Technologies

306, The Capital, Plot C 70,

G Block, Bandra Kurla Complex,
Bandra (E) Mumbai - 400051, India
Tel: +91 22 61539393

Tel: +91 9916139761


Units 802A and 802B, Tower 2, 8th Floor,

Konnectus Building, Bhavbhuti Marg,
New Delhi - 110001, India
Tel: +91 11 30605252

90 / Geospatial World January 2014

8-2-350/5/B-22, Road No 3, Banjara Hills,

Hyderabad - 500034.
Andhra Pradesh, India
Tel: +91 40 39144444

89, Road No 2, Banjara Hills,

Hyderabad 500034,
Andhra Pradesh, India
Tel: +91 40 30127730

B-65, CyberTech House, J. B. Sawant

Marg, Thane 400 604, Maharashtra, India
Tel: +91 22 25834643

24, Salarpuria Arena, Adugodi Hosur Rd,

Bangalore - 560 030, India
Tel: +91 80 33824000

The IL&FS Financial Centre- Plot C22,
G Block, Bandra Kurla Complex Bandra (E)
Mumbai 400051, India
Tel: +91 22 26533333

Infotech Enterprises

Intergraph SG&I India

11, Software Units Layout, Infocity, Madhapur, Hyderabad - 500081

Andhra Pradesh, India
Tel: +91 40 23110357

3rd Floor Enkay square, 448A Udyog Vihar

phase 5, Gurgaon - 122016, India
Tel: +91 124 4633000

Lepton Software Export & Research

Magnasoft Consulting India

570, Udyog Vihar, Phase-V,

Haryana-122016, India
Tel: +91 124 4725500

Texas Building, First Floor, Global Village,

Technology Park, Mylasandra, Pattanagere
Village, Bangalore - 560059, India
Tel: +91 80 43466000

Navayuga Spatial Technologies

NIIT GIS Limited

PetroIT Limited

Plot No. 223-224, 3rd Floor,

Udyog Vihar, Phase -1
Gurgaon - 122002, Haryana
Tel: +91 124 4002702

Plot No.61, Sector-44,

Gurgaon, Haryana 122003,
Tel: +91 124 4583830

Pitney Bowes India

Reprographics India

45, 2nd Floor, Okhla Industrial Estate

Phase III, New Delhi- 110020, India
Tel: +91 11 42195500

604, Sidhartha Building

96, Nehru Place, New Delhi 110019
Tel: +91 11 26424631

Ridings Consulting Engineers


Rolta India

Satpalda Geospatial Services

Rolta Tower A, Rolta Technology Park,

MIDC, Andheri (E),
Mumbai - 400093, India
Tel: +91 22 29266666

1006, Kanchenjunga Building 18,

Barakhamba Road,
New Delhi - 11000, India
Tel: +91 11 23312648

TriCAD Consultants

Trimble Navigation India

Plot No. 379, Road No. 10

Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad - 500033
Andhra Pradesh. India
Tel: + 91 40 23339990

A-8 Sector 16
Noida 201301, India
Tel: +91 120 2511102


Stesalit Towers,1st Floor, E-2/3,

Block EP & GP, Salt Lake,
Sector - V, Kolkata - 700091, India
Tel: +91 33 65229064

C- 44, Madhura Nagar, S.R. Nagar (P O),

Hyderabad - 500038 India
Tel: +91 40 66610255


68, Okhla Industrial Estate, Phase 3

New Delhi 110020, India
Tel: +91 11 46009900

Ganga Shopping Complex(STP),

No. 429-430, Block-II, 2nd Floor,
Sector-29, Noida 201301, India
Tel: +91 120 4694500

Unit 312 Time Tower, MG Road

Gurgaon, Haryana 122 001
Tel: +91 124 4256820

Geospatial World January 2014 / 91

BRICS Bluebook/China

Beijing Boif Instrument

Beijing Eastdawn Information


Beijing Geo-Vision

10th Floor, Sinosteel Plaza, No.8 Haidian

Street, Haidian District,100080, China
Tel: +86 10 6268 6799

19, Block 11, ABP,

No.188 NanSiHuanXiLu, Fengtai District
Beijing 100070, China
Tel:+86 13 121462566

Beijing GEOWAY Software

Beijing Space Eye Innnovation

Beijing Top View Technology

Beijing UniStrong Science &


BHC Navigation

CHC Navigation Technology

A- 204 Buiding, # 10 Jiuxianqiao North Rd

Chaoyang District, Beijing 100015,
Tel: +86 10 5827 5050

7 Floor, Tower C, Intelli-Center,

No.18 Zhongguancun East Road,
Haidian District, Beijing, 100083, China
Tel: +86 10 51266697

ComNav Technology

Guangdong Kolida Instrument

Gvitech Technologies

Hi-Target Surveying Instrument

HuaZheng Geospatial Software

KQ GEO Technologies Co Ltd

Leador Spatial Information

Technology Corporation


Oriental Titan Technology

No.2, Xingye St, Beijing Economic

Technological Development Area,
Beijing, 100176, China
Tel: +86 10 6781 6800

F16, Wanshang Plaza, 22 Shijingshan Rd

100043 Beijing, China
Tel: +86 10 6863 8580 ext.1544)

Building E, No.50 Alley 2080

Lianhua Road, 201103 Shanghai, China
Tel: +86 21 64056796

10th Floor, Chuangxin Building, Tianan

Technology Zone, No.555 North Panyu
Road, Panyu District, Guangzhou City,
Guangdong Province, 511400,China
Tel: +86 20 22883930

Bldg 12th, Innovation Base, Hust Science

Park, Wuhan, Hubei,430223, China
Tel: +86 27 87492808

92 / Geospatial World January 2014

No.17, Huayuan Road, Haidian District,

100088, Beijing, China
Tel: +86 10 82257160 ext.8029)

2/F, He Tian Building, No 24, Ke Yun Road,

Guangzhou 510665, China
Tel: +86 20 85542075

1st Floor, Chuang Ye Building, Wuhan East

Lake High-Tech Dev. Zone, Wuhan,
Hubei, 430223, China
Tel: +86 27 879280212 ext.855

F 2/13 Tower B Venture Plaza,

No.11 Anxiangbeili St.
Chaoyang District,100101, China
Tel: +86 10 51286880

Room 1107, Ruidu International Centre,

Tongzhou District, 101121, Beijing, China
Tel: +86 10 60529357

Building 35, 680 Guiping Road,

Shanghai, China
Tel: +86 21 54260273

F3 Tower D, Beijing Global Trade Centre,

36 North Third Ring Rd East, Dongcheng
District, Beijing, 100013, China
Tel: +86 10 5893 8000

Room 1606-1609, Building C, Weibo

Shidai Center, No.17 Zhong Guangcun
South St, Hai Dian, Beijing, 100081, China
Tel: +86 10 8527 1488

Room 1107, High Technology Building,

No. 229 Zhonglu, North Fourth Ring Road,
100083, Beijing, China
Tel: +86 10 82884081

Silver Data Spatial-GIS

South Surveying & Mapping


2F - 4F No.16 Guanri Road Software Park

Phase II, Xiamen Fujian, China
Tel: +86 592 2221660

2/F, Surveying Building, NO.26, Ke Yun

Road, Guangzhou 510665, China
Tel: +86 20 23380888

SuperMap Software


Suzhou FOIF

Room 30301, Scitech Plaza, No.22,

JianGuoMenWai Avenue, Beijing 100004
Tel: +86 10 85118988

18 Tong Yuan Road

Suzhou, 215006, China
Tel: +86 512 65224904

Trimble China

Twenty First Century Aerospace


Wuda Geoinformatics

3/F Unit E, Building 201, No. A10,

Jiuxianqiao North Road, Chaoyang District,
Beijing, PR China, 100015
Tel: +86 10 59896511

311 Fute (M) Road, Waigaoqiao Free

Trade Zone, Pudong
Shanghai - 20013, China
Tel: +86 21 50464200

No.26, Jiancaicheng Donglu, Xisanqi,

Haidian District, Beijing, 100096, China
Tel: +86 10 62929966 ext.1070

WHU S&T Park, East Lake, High-Tech

Development Zone, Wuhan 430223,
Hubei Province, China
Tel: +86 27 8719 6368

Chinese High Resolution Satellite Image-TH-1

Reseller Recruiting

We are BSEI (Beijing Space Eye Innovation Tech. Co.,Ltd.), a

leading remote sensing private firm from China. As the TH-1
Master Distributor, we would like to build long-term and mutual
beneficial partnership with you.

5m Triplet Stereo

Please Use and Promote TH-1 Data

10m MSI

100 Million sq km fresh archival data and new tasking service

(3 million sq km per day/no tasking fee) are available with
competitive price of 1 USD (2m Panchromatic), 0.5 USD (10m
MSI) and 3 USD (5m triplet stereo) per sq km.

2m PAN


Lets distribute your remote sensing products in China

We are capable to be your distributor in Chinese market with
rich experiences of distributing 20 million sq km high resolution
satellite imagery and 1000 sets of imagery processing software
to 3000 customers in China in the last 15 years.

Data transmission

sensitive unit

Archive images online search:

Beijing Space Eye Innovation Technology Co., Ltd.

Phone/Fax+86 10 8225716013718267526

Channel Partner
TH-1 Global
Master Distributor

BRICS Bluebook/South Africa


3D Laser Mapping



Algoa Survey Solutions


Autobuild Africa

CAD Corporation

P.O. Box 1152, Gordons Bay - 7151

South Africa
Tel: +27 21 3867801

Block A - Ground Floor, 144 Katherine St,

(Cnr. Grayston Drive), Sandown
Sandton, South Africa
Tel: +27 12 663 2209

CK Aerial Surveys


Data World

EPA Survey

Geo Data Design

Geosense Limited

1F, Nautica Building, The Water Club

Beach Road, Granger Bay, Cape Town
South Africa
Tel: +27 21 4259833

Sunbel Building,12th Floor, 2 Old Paarl Rd

Bellville - 7530, South Africa
Tel: +21 9451072

Geospace International



P O BOX 1197, Wellington - 7654

South Africa
Tel: +21 8730546

P O Box 14134, Hatfield - 0028

South Africa
Tel: +27 87 3106400

Manor house, Dreyersdal Farm Rd,

Bergvliet - 7945, Cape Town, South Africa
Tel: +27 21 7138630

The Grain Building, 1st Floor 477

Witherite St, The Willows, Pretoria - 184,
South Africa
Tel: +27 12 8079480

94 / Geospatial World January 2014

Unit 2, Oxford Office Park, 3 Bauhinia St,

Highveld Techno Park,
Centurion - 0046, South Africa
Tel: +27 12 9400515

12 Scott Straat, Summerstrand - 6001

South Africa
Tel: +27 828229977

Block D, 2nd Floor, Edenburg Terrace,

348 Rivonia Boulevard, South Africa
Tel: +27 11 0244451

P O Box 652, Halfway House, Midrand

1685, South Africa
Tel: +27 11 4100100

AAM, Suite 1, Silvermine House, 9

Silverwood Close, Steenberg Office Park,
Tokai, Capte Town - 7945, South Africa
Tel: +27 21 7028945

No 10 High Street Melrose Arch

Johannesburg, South Africa
Tel: +27 11 2187600

PO Box 601, Randvaal - 1873

South Africa
Tel: +27 11 9498905

15 De Villiers Street, Middelburg - 1050

South Africa
Tel: +27 13 2435864

PO Box 73382, Lynnwood Ridge,

Pretoria - 0040, South Africa
Tel: +27 12 3484586


Sunset Drive Mogale City, South Africa

Tel: +27 11 6590346

Land Resources International

Map IT

PO Box 1211, Pietermaritzburg - 3200

South Africa
Tel: +27 33 3928360

P O Box 972, Irene, Centurion - 0062

South Africa
Tel: +27 12 3458015

MHP Geomatics

OPTRON Geomatics


Reutech Radar Systems

Southern Mapping Company

Total Geo-Spatial Information


15 Acacia Avenue, P O Box 400

Westville - 3630
South Africa
Tel: +27 31 2669316

PO Box 686, Stellenbosch - 7599

South Africa
Tel: +27 21 8801150

Po Box - 7911, Centurion - 157

South Africa
Tel: +27 12 6834500

39 Kingfisher Drive, Fourways, Gauteng 2055, South Africa

Tel: +27 11 4672609

88 Rubida Street Lynwood, Pretoria - 0184

South Africa
Tel: +27123652546

P.O. Box 74388, Lynnwood Ridge 40,

South Africa
Tel: +27 823865450

Mark Your Calender

Conference Calling!

Heres a list of the best geospatial and related technology conferences

for 2014, which seek to bring the best and the brightest minds together.
They will help you catch with the latest trends and products, network
with the right people, or simply help you become smarter in your chosen
field. So what are you waiting for, mark your calendars now!

Tenth Plenary Session of the Group on

Earth Observations (GEO-X)

Date: January 15-17

Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Organiser: Group on Earth Observations (GEO)
Why attend?

The main objective of the Summit will be to approve a

renewed mandate for GEO through 2025 and to endorse a
number of high-level recommendations in a Ministerial
Declaration that will guide the development of a
detailed Implementation Plan. Panel discussions on
topics, including agriculture and food security, measuring
biodiversity, disaster risk reduction, early cholera warning,
ocean acidification, water security etc will be held at the
event. Additionally, over 30 side-events and a ministerial
summit will take place.

Defense Geospatial Intelligence (DGI) Conference and Exhibition

Date: January 21-23

Location: London, United Kingdom
Organiser: Worldwide Business Research
Why attend?

The DGI Conference & Exhibition brings together heads of geospatial intelligence, remote sensing, GIS data and mapping,
satellite imagery and analysis within the military, governmental, and intelligence sectors. Running for 10 years, DGI is
considered the best international event for the geoint community, attracting 800 professionals from 45 countries. Those who
attend the conference can look forward towards developing a relationship with over 800 defence and intelligence professionals,
discuss successful strategies for providing geospatial intelligence, hear about the latest ideas for using Big Data and the cloud in
defence intelligence and learn about the latest requirements from some of the biggest defence organisations.

96 / Geospatial World January 2014

Geodesign Summit
Date: January 29-30
Location: Redlands, USA
Organiser: Esri

Why attend?

This years event will explore the use of geodesign for planning
of sustainable cities. The breadth and depth of sessions, the
opportunities for hands-on learning, and numerous networking
opportunities make this a must-attend event. Those attending
the event will have the opportunity to cultivate relationships
with geodesign thought leaders, researchers, regulators and
government agencies, and observe geodesign in action the
intersection between design and geographic science. Attendees
will also gain tremendous knowledge about how geodesign will
impact their field and how they can use it.

GeoInsurance Conference

International LiDAR Mapping Forum

Date: February 17-19
Location: Colorado, USA
Organiser: SPARPoint group
Why attend?

The conference will focus on the use of LiDAR technology

to support transport, urban modelling, coastal zone mapping,
utility asset management, 3D visualisation and GIS
applications. The three-day conference will highlight the
importance of airborne, terrestrial and bathymetric LiDAR,
with a particular emphasis on mobile mapping systems. ILMF
2014 will also host a technical programme, workshop sessions
and ASPRS Hot Topics sessions. An exhibition showcasing
the latest and best technologies and services in the LiDAR,
3D imaging and mapping markets will also take place.

Date: February 11-12

Location: London
Organiser: Corinium Global
Intelligence Network
Why attend?

The conference aims to provide an

in-depth market and practical insight
into how insurance companies
across the world are leveraging GIS
and location intelligence capabilities
to identify, manage and mitigate
risks. By attending the two days
of roundtable discussions and
presentations, attendees can develop
the know-how and guidance on
improving their existing or building
a new comprehensive and realistic
strategy. In addition, they will hear
how market leaders have developed
business cases which have been
successfully presented at the board
level. Attending the GeoInsurance
Conference 2014 will enable one
to reap benefits from the geospatial
network infrastructure management

Geospatial World January 2014 / 97

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Date: March 4-8

Location: Las Vegas, USA
Organiser: The Association of
Equipment Manufacturers
Why attend?

The newest equipment, technology and product

breakthroughs in construction industry will be
unveiled at the CONEXPO-CON/AGG. Around
2,400 exhibitors will showcase new products
and technologies for every major construction
industry, including asphalt, aggregates, concrete,
earthmoving, lifting, mining, utilities and
more. Over 130,000 attendees that range from
contractors, to dealers and distributors, to service
providers, engineers, producers and municipalities
will attend the event. A comprehensive education
programme emphasising on industry issues and
trends, management and applied technology will
also be conducted.

Asia Mining Congress

Date: March 17-20

Location: Singapore
Organiser: Terrapinn (Singapore)
Why attend?

The event aims to bring together numerous

investors and commodities buyers and sellers that
are involved in the mining industry. Attendees
will be able to forge new business partnerships
over the course of the conference. The heads of
the mining and metals industry will offer valuable
insights at the event. Investors from small firms
to massive corporations will be in attendance,
as well as mining experts working closely with
the actual mines. In its 10th year, the conference
attracts 1,000-plus participants and will continue
to offer the most authoritative agenda and targeted
networking to do business with the mining
investment and innovation communities in Asia.

98 / Geospatial World January 2014

World Bank Conference on

Land and Poverty
Dates: March 24-27
Location: World Bank HQ,
Washington DC
Organiser: World Bank
Why attend?

Every year, the conference brings

together representatives from
governments, development community,
civil society, academia, and the private
sector to discuss issues of concern to
communities, land practitioners and
policymakers worldwide. The event
aims to foster dialogue and sharing of
good practices around the diversity of
reforms, approaches and experiences
that are being implemented in the land
sector around the world. Under the
theme Land Governance in the Post2015 Agenda: Harnessing Synergies
for Implementation and Monitoring
Impact, this years event will focus on
building a shared understanding of best
practices in land governance.


Interexpo GEO-Siberia-2014

Date: April 16-18

Location: Novosibirsk, Russia
Organisers: Siberian State Academy of Geodesy
and LLC Interexpo GEO-Siberia
Why attend?

Interexpo GEO-Siberia 2014 is a traditional platform to know about

tomorrows technologies. The exhibitors will introduce the newest equipment
to be used for engineering surveys, facilities for geodetic monitoring of
structural health and natural objects, technologies for geospatial data
acquisition, GIS technologies for environmental management, early warning
and disaster management and sustainable territorial development, etc. The
three-day conference is based on the theme Advanced Geospatial and
Surveying Technologies for Environmental Management and Sustainable
Territorial Development. The diversity of topics and wide geography of
participants make this a must-attend event.

European Geosciences
Union General
Assembly 2014
Date: April 27May 02
Location: Vienna,
Organiser: EGU
Why attend?

The EGU General Assembly

will bring together geoscientists
from all over the world to one
platform covering all disciplines
of the earth, planetary and
space sciences. The EGU aims
to provide a forum where
scientists, especially early
career researchers, can present
their work and brainstorm
with experts in all fields of
geosciences. This years theme,
The Face of the Earth Process and Form, intends to celebrate the diversity of geoscience
processes and the great variety
of associated forms, across all
scales and from the core of the
earth to interplanetary space.
This diversity is reflected in
the five subtopics of the 2014
meeting: Rocks of the Earth,
Waters of the Earth, Life of the
Earth, Atmosphere of the Earth,
and Space and the Earth.

Geospatial World January 2014 / 99

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Date: May 15-17

Location: Malta
Organiser: EUROGEO
Why attend?

With the theme The Power of Geography and the Role of Spatial Information, the conference will highlight an
increasingly important and rapidly growing field affecting all aspects of society in Europe and beyond. Key output
of the conference will be to establish a series of interdisciplinary research groups around the key challenges to be
addressed by the forthcoming Horizon 2020 EU programme for research and innovation. Horizon 2020 aims to
tackle societal challenges by helping to bridge the gap between research and the market by, for example, helping
innovative enterprises to develop their technological breakthroughs into viable products with real commercial
potential. Geographers will have, without doubt, a very important role to play in this debate as spatial information is
increasingly produced, used and shared by citizens in a wide variety of applications.

Geo Business 2014

Date: May 28-29

Location: Business Design Centre, London, UK
Organisers: Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors,
Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Survey Association and
Diversified Communications, UK
Why attend?

The two-day conference will see key industry professionals and experts presenting
the latest advances in geospatial technologies and solutions. The event will ensure
delegates are one step ahead with knowledge of up-to-the-minute research and
commercial developments. It will serve as a platform for technology manufacturers
and service providers to meet face-to-face with their users. They will also get an
opportunity to demonstrate the latest technological advances in equipment, explore
solutions and capabilities, collaborate on design issues and options for future developments and requirements. All exhibiting companies will be provided with an
opportunity to give a demo of their equipment and promote their services.

100 / Geospatial World January 2014

Mark Your Calender


HxGN LIVE 2014

Date: June 2-5
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Organiser: Hexagon
Why attend?

At HxGN LIVE, participants can preview must-see technologies from the Hexagon group, attend exclusive presentations
by industry experts, participate in targeted tracks, breakout sessions and hands-on training, hear inspiring keynotes from
todays thought leaders and network with peers from around the world. Themed Great Stories Start Here, HxGN LIVE
speaks to the very nature of Hexagons business of empowering its customers to do great things with a far-reaching and
global impact. HxGN LIVE highlights the latest trends in design, measurement and visualisation technologies, and fosters
discussion, ideas and solutions towards creating a better and smarter world.

XXV International Federation of

Surveyors Congress 2014

Date: June 16-21

Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Organiser: FIG
Why attend?

The conference brings together surveyors and

land professionals from all over the world to
one platform.Together with the exhibition and a
combination of side events and social functions, the
event aims to attract more than 2,000 people from
all over the world. The participants will be from
different cultural backgrounds, diverse surveying
traditions, varying professional experiences and
multi-professional disciplines. FIG Congress 2014
will gather international practitioners and academics
from all disciplines within the surveying, geospatial,
natural and built environment professions (land
surveying, land administration and management,
land and real property appraisals, spatial sciences,
spatial planning and development, positioning and
measurement, engineering surveying, hydrography, environmental and green building, construction
and project management).

102 / Geospatial World January 2014

The 8th INSPIRE Conference

Dates: June 16-20

Location: Denmark
Organiser: INSPIRE, European Commission
Why attend?

Each year, the European INSPIRE conference is held to provide a platform for European stakeholders from government,
academia and industry to discuss about the latest developments of the INSPIRE Directive. This conference provides
an excellent opportunity to present Europes INSPIRE Directive to the community and hear about the developments
in National SDIs. A series of plenary sessions addressing common policy issues, and parallel sessions and workshops
focusing in particular on applications and implementations of SDIs, research issues and new and evolving technologies and
applications will be held.


GI_Forum 2014

Date: July 1-4

Location: Salzburg, Austria
Organiser: Department of Geoinformatics,
University of Salzburg
Why attend?

The GI_Forum 2014 provides a platform for dialogue among technologists,

GIS scientists and educationalists in an ongoing effort to support the creation of
an informed GIS society. The presentations and workshops will focus on innovations in technologies, science and education in the spatial domain and their
possible contribution to a more just, ethical and sustainable society. Prominent
keynote speakers will highlight new developments, offer insights into trends
and visions. A separate session titled Young Researchers Corner, will be held
for young researchers. The GI_Forum will also present research papers on
innovations in the field of geospatial technologies across a range of scientific
and technological domains.

Geospatial World January 2014 / 103

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Esri User Conference

Date: July 14-18
Location: San Diego
Organiser: Esri
Why attend?

The Esri UC brings together social,

economic, business, and environmental
leaders covering the spectrum of
geospatial applications. Dubbed as one
of the biggest GIS event, the conference
provides an effective platform to learn
about the real applications of the technology, test new products, improve technical development skills and gain new
mapping techniques. Several workshops,
user sessions, product demos, lightning
talks, and hands-on learning labs will
also be held. This years event promises
to be more informative and dynamic as
presenters will concentrate on mobile
devices, cloud-based computing, GIS
workflows, data management, and new
features to improve the efficiency of


Trimble Dimensions

Date: November 3-5

Location: Las Vegas, US
Organiser: Trimble
Why attend?

The conference is the premier event for

positioning professionals wishing to stay on
top of the most current information regarding
their chosen field. This educational, networking
and hands-on training conference provides
an insight into how technology can transform
the way professionals in fields such as heavy
civil construction, building construction,
survey, cadastral, geospatial, mapping and GIS,
transportation and logistics, field service management, energy, infrastructure, utilities and natural
resources work to achieve success.

104 / Geospatial World January 2014


Data acquisition through to finished geo-products
Delivering value added and customised solutions across the globe.

Data acquisition

Airborne data

Measured building

Geodetic surveys



Survey data

Mapping Services

Historical landscape

Cadastral surveys


Navigation products

City modelling

3D modelling


Custom solutions

GIS services

Visualization and







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Geospatial Media and

Middle East Geospatial Forum
Date: February 2-4
Location: Dubai, UAE
Why attend?

Revolving around the theme GeoSmart Government, the forum will

seek to address the ways in which geospatial technology can offer a
unique advantage to decision makers to tackle challenges faced by
the society. With various sessions focusing on smart application of
geospatial technology in different verticals, the event seeks to create
awareness about the importance of Geo Smart Governance. Several
technical and user sessions will be held to bring together domain
experts and geospatial technology specialists on a common platform.

India Geospatial Forum

Date: February 5-7

Location: Hyderabad, India
Why attend?

Highlighting the significant economic growth in India aided by

cutting-edge technological advancements, the India Geospatial Forum
2014 will put in to perspective the countrys continued march towards a
sustainable economic development. The forum will bring the spectrum
of visionaries of geospatial community along with technology providers, array of users, policymakers and academicians to a single platform
to promote discussion and deliberation on the optimal utilisation of
this technology. Based on the theme Converging Geospatial Trade
and Practices, the conference and exhibition serves a well-rounded technical agenda encompassing plenary sessions, symposium,
seminars, workshops and discussions focusing on varied domains that
are influencing nations growth.

106 / Geospatial World January 2014

Communications Conferences
GeoIntelligence 2014
Geospatial World Forum

Date: May 5-9

Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Why attend?

The global conference aims at enriching the

geospatial ecosystem with market intelligence, technology trends, success stories
and capacity building. It is a confluence of
a variety of activities in the form of plenary
session, technology showcase, symposia,
workshops, panel discussions, dialogue
and exchange forums covering the vast
gamut of technology, application, policy,
use cases from across the world. The theme
geoSMART Planet: Resources + Infrastructure & YOU! will address the ways
geospatial technologies extend the ability to
smartly harness spatial data that gives our
leaders their competitive advantage in the
era of SMART to overcome the complexity
of the challenges the world is facing. The
conference and exhibition will showcase
innovative and integrative systems supported by geospatial technologies for enabling
better, efficient use of resources, organised
development of infrastructure and last but
not least, enabling the common man to live a
smart and easy life.

Date: June 12-13

Location: New Delhi, India
Why attend?

Geospatial Intelligence 2014 provides an ideal opportunity to

review the advances of the geospatial industry and to evaluate
the multitude of ways in which the geospatial technologies can
be utilised by security agencies and military organisations. The
conference will be a powerful enabler for anyone looking to
advance their use of GIS and Geospatial Intelligence. Experts will
discuss about the recent developments in defence GIS and related
technologies. There will be focus on the incredible increase in
cloud-empowered applications, the challenges and opportunities
of Big Data, the importance of social media and the availability of
improved applications.

GeoSMART 2014

Date: June 16-17

Location: Hong Kong
Why attend?

With a focus on geodesign as the core philosophy for creating

GeoSmart innovations, the scope of the conference will be
to enhance the use and application of geospatial technologies
worldwide and focus on smart innovations for urban development. Through its keynote sessions and technology tracks,
the event seeks to bring in the expertise and best practices from
around the world. Around 500 top professionals are expected to
participate in the event.

Geospatial World January 2014 / 107

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Africa Geospatial Forum

Date: August 19-21
Location: Lagos, Nigeria
Why attend?

The forum is an ideal platform for

experts from the global geospatial
community to chart a future course for
the growth of geospatial technology in
Africa. With the theme Transforming
Geospatial knowledge into actions,
the conference will present the vision
and plans of various implementing
agencies and the industries while
showcasing the success and growth
which they have accomplished by
effective implementation of geospatial

108 / Geospatial World January 2014

Latin America Geospatial

Date: September 22-25
Location: Mexico
Why attend?

The annual Latin American conference

and exhibition on geospatial information, technology and applications will
highlight the need for firmly placing
geospatial knowledge at the heart of
economic and development agenda of
the region. The forum will also throw
light on the usage of geospatial technology in processes, organisation and
design, system regulation, and continuous learning approaches in complex
organisational and multi-organisational systems that enable simultaneous
focus on and advancing of economic,
social, and ecological outcomes. The
technical agenda of the conference
will include a host of other activities
from panel discussions, symposiums,
seminars, workshops, and technical
sessions to cover the various aspects
of geospatial technology and its usage.

Asia Geospatial Forum

Date: November
Why attend?

The annual conference brings

out the relevance and importance of geospatial technologies in various industries
in Asia Pacific region, apart
from providing a platform to
stakeholders of geospatial industry to network, interact and
learn from each other. Already
in its 13th edition, the conference envisages participation
of about 800 plus delegates
from 40 plus countries across
the globe, featuring 100 plus
presentations by experts from
geospatial domain and related
end-user industries. The
dates and venue are yet to be
announced. So stay tuned!

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Bayanat for Mapping and Surveying Services is a national leader for providing complete
end-to-end geospatial services. Through more than 37 years, Bayanat accumulated extensive
expertise in aerial and hydrographic surveying that enabled us to provide unmatched geospatial
support to our clients deploying best data acquisition technologies.
For more information about Bayanats geospatial support and added value services, please visit
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