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Friday, August 14, 2009

India's answer to Google Earth : Bhuvan

Bhuvan - A Geoportal of Indian Space Research Organisation showcasing Indian Imaging Capabilities in Multi-sensor, Multi-platform and Multi-temporal domain. The portal gives a gateway to explore and discover virtual earth in 3D space with specific emphasis on Indian region.
What is Bhuvan?
Bhuvan is a geoportal that provides medium to high resolution satellite imagery of virtually the entire India over the internet. You can "fly" around using mouse and keyboard on a simple desktop computer with virtual globe in front draped with IRS images over Indian region. Many other features are built in, including 3D terrain and information on many thematic data.

What can Bhuvan do for me?
Bhuvan is a free web based image portal. Most Image visualization programs are very expensive and complex. Bhuvan provides a fast and friendly way to look at IRS satellite data and thematic information in geographic context, which is invaluable for management, planning and visualization. Additionally, Bhuvan makes it easy to share digital data between people and computers anytime, anywhere.  Over a period of time a lot more unique functionalities will be added into this tool to address common man’s problems, particularly in the rural setup of India and addressing natural resources management issues.

What do I require to run Bhuvan on my Machine?
You require the Bhuvan Plug-in which can be downloaded from the Bhuvan website after registration and you will also need DirectX9 or higher version ( for installing the plug-in. Please note that the Bhuvan Plug-in can be installed with administrative privileges only.

How do I use Bhuvan?
When you first open Bhuvan website, You will land on the index page which gives you information on Bhuvan and this page also allows you to register for using the Bhuvan. Once you successfully register, you will land on the Bhuvan 3D client page. Here, there are three primary areas of the program that you'll be using. The main window shows a globe, and you can navigate around with your mouse or use the Heads-Up Display (HUD) option available on the right top corner. Double right click to zoom in, and double left click to zoom out (or use your mousewheel). Right click, hold, and drag to pan. The second area is at the upper right of the main window. When you move your mouse over the navigation compass, it give you more movement options such as rotate and tilt (which you can also do with your mouse). The third area is to the left of the main window. This frame includes a fly to location and fly to important places option. On the top of the globe are the menu options for layers, 2D and 3D drawing, measurement tools, snapshot tools etc. When you select any of these options, you see the context options on the left plane where you can make appropriate choices that you can turn on to make visible in the main windows such as roads, 3D terrain, and more.
 Can I use Bhuvan if I don't have a fast internet connection?
Yes. Bhuvan is designed to be as bandwidth-friendly as possible. However, it is dependent on continuously downloading a large amount of imagery. Consequently, the faster your connection, the better the program will perform. If you have a slow connection, Bhuvan will download imagery correspondingly slowly, but it will (eventually) download everything at the maximum available resolution.  Depending on the number of concurrent users on over servers and the kind of bandwidth at client end the ultimate speed of visualisation will be decided.  This is a beta release, however with more learnings we will be able to make things more comfortable for all types of users.

Can I use Bhuvan if I'm not connected to the internet?
No. You will have to be connected to Internet for using Bhuvan.

How current is the imagery in Bhuvan?

Bhuvan portal does NOT display data in real-time. The images you see are a combination of satellite imagery from various IRS sensors taken (generally) sometime within the last three years during different seasons. Bhuvan, on release, contains IRS satellite images from OCM, AWifs, LISS 3, and LISS 4 sensor images and will be added with more data from time to time. Bhuvan is constantly updating its database to use more recent and higher resolution images. You can explore the metadata content to determine when exactly a specific area was imaged, but you may be able to use landmarks to generalize a date range if you are familiar with the area.

How do I bookmark a place in Bhuvan?
Zoom to the location that you'd like to bookmark (placemark, more accurately),  use the draw tool to place an icon. After you save the placemark, it will stay in the frame to the left of the main window, and double clicking on it will zoom you to that position.

Can I add my own data into Bhuvan?
No.  In the current version, you will not be able to add your own data

Do I have to register to use Bhuvan?
Yes. It is mandatory to register to use Bhuvan.

How much does Bhuvan cost?
The basic version of Bhuvan is free. Once you register and you login, you will be asked to download the Bhuvan plug-in. Accept the installation of the plug-in and you are ready to use the full features of Bhuvan.
What are the System Requirements for Using Bhuvan?

Requirements for Windows
  • Operating System: Windows XP/Vista
  • CPU: Pentium 4 2.4GHz+ or AMD 2400xp+
  • System Memory (RAM): 512MB
  • Hard Disk: 2GB free space
  • Network Speed: 768 Kbits/sec
  • Graphics Card: 3D-capable with 32MB of VRAM
  • Screen: 1280x1024, "32-bit True Color"
Can I run Bhuvan on Mac OS and Linux?
No at the moment Bhuvan can run only on windows system and is optimised for IE 6. or higher

What type of data can I see in Bhuvan?
You will be able to see the following data on Bhuvan
  • Satellite imagery (LISS III , LISS IV along with metadata and  Multi- temporal Data from OCM & AWiFS)
  • Value added information (NADAMS – National Agricultural Drought Monitoring System), Output of flood studies for certain areas,
  • Thematic information  (Wastelands, Soils, watershed,water resources related maps)
  • Base layers ( administrative boundaries, transport layers, water bodies, etc)
  • Census information
  • Metadata
What do I do when I get the ‘’DD_ERR Video Ram Memory’’ error?
Close all other applications and relaunch Bhuvan.

1 comment:

Dr Naresh Jhajharia said...

there has been lots of glitches in it, lets hope with time these will be rectified.

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