Friday, October 2, 2009

Bhuvan - ISRO answer to Google Earth

Google Earth’s got some competition now — from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), which today unveiled its beta version of Bhuvan (meaning earth in Sanskrit).

A web-based tool like Google Earth, Bhuvan promises to give better 3-D satellite imagery of India than is currently being offered by the US-based software giant plus a host of India-specific features like weather information and even administrative boundaries of all states and districts.

The application can be downloaded from (But the website doesn’t look promising at all!)

From Bhuvan website:

Bhuvan is an initiative to showcase this distinctiveness of Indian imaging capabilities including the thematic information derived from such imagery which could be of vital importance to common man with a focus on Indian region. Bhuvan, an ambitious project of ISRO to take Indian images and thematic information in multiple spatial resolutions to people through a web portal through easy access to information on basic natural resources in the geospatial domain. Bhuvan showcases Indian images by the superimposition of these IRS satellite imageries on 3D globe. It displays satellite images of varying resolution of India’s surface, allowing users to visually see things like cities and important places of interest looking perpendicularly down or at an oblique angle, with different perspectives and can navigate through 3D viewing environment. The degree of resolution showcased is based on the points of interest and popularity, but most of the Indian terrain is covered upto at least 5.8 meters of resolution with the least spatial resolution being 55 meters from AWifs Sensor. With such rich content, Bhuvan opens the door to graphic visualisation of digital geospatial India allowing individuals to experience the fully interactive terrain viewing capabilities.


* Access, explore and visualise 2D and 3D image data along with rich thematic information on Soil, wasteland, water resources etc.

* Visualise multi-resolution, multi-sensor, multi-temporal image data

* Superpose administrative boundaries of choice on images as required

* Visualisation of AWS ( Automatic Weather Stations) data/information in a graphic view and use tabular weather data of user choice

* Fly to locations ( Flies from the current location directly to the selected location)

* Heads-Up Display ( HUD) naviation controls ( Tilt slider, north indicator, opacity, compass ring, zoom slider)

* Navigation using the 3D view Pop-up menu (Fly-in, Fly out, jump in, jump around, view point)

* 3D Fly through (3D view to fly to locations, objects in the terrain, and navigate freely using the mouse or keyboard)

* Drawing 2D objects (Text labels, polylines, polygons, rectangles, 2D arrows, circles, ellipse)

* Drawing 3D Objects (placing of expressive 3D models, 3D polygons, boxes)

* Snapshot creation (copies the 3D view to a floating window and allows to save to a external file)

* Measurement tools (Horizontal distance, aerial distance, vertical distance, measure area)

* Shadow Analysis (it sets the sun position based on the given time creating shadows and effects the lighting on the terrain)

* Urban Design Tools (to build roads, junctions and traffic lights in an urban setting)

* Contour map ( Displays a colorized terrain map and contour lines)

* Draw tools (Creates simples markers, free hand lines, urban designs)

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