India is launching its own version of Google Earth for urban planning, officials said, amid worries that it could be misused after the Mumbai attacks probe showed militants had studied Google images of targets. Bhuvan, is a Web-based service developed by India’s National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC).
The service is aimed at helping scientists, town planners and administrators in areas of disaster management as well, officials said.
It is expected to be better than Google Earth, helping viewers gauge the soil type and ground water potential across the mainland with high resolution images and data from satellites with a likely resolution of 2.5 metre (7 feet).
it will be putting a lot of thematic information like land use, ground water potential and soil types, which are not available on Google Earth.
But there are security concerns that Bhuvan could be misused because usage would be free.
“Giving satellite images to everyone will obviously have some kind of a security impact,” said Ajai Sahni of New Delhi’s Institute for Conflict Management.
“There is a possibility of misuse of such technology,” Sahni said.
Security analyst Uday Bhaskar said there needs to be a global consensus on availability of such technology.
“There should be a global consensus on what is the kind of technology disseminated and what kind of firewall we need to erect for our own internal security,” Bhaskar said. NRSC officials said important buildings could be masked.