Bhuvan: India’s upcoming web map announced, misreported

[Update 2009-08-12: Bhuvan has been launched, and is accessible here.]

Bhuvan, which means Earth in Hindu Sanskrit, will be India’s home-grown (3D?) web-based satellite imaging and mapping app when it goes live in March 2009, according to Indian media.

What it will do depends on how much faith you have in this media.

According to the Times of India it will let you “count the lions in Gir or fishermen find concentration of fish in the sea.” The Times also has nonsensical stuff like:

If Google Earth shows details upto 200 metres distance and Wikimapia upto 50 metres, Bhuvan will show images upto 10 metres, which means you can easily see details upto a three floor high building and also add information.

That’s ludicrous, of course, as it is the resolution of the camera that matters. Also, Wikimapia uses Google’s imagery, but that’s something that has been misreported before.

The Times also has what I sincerely hope is misquote by Indian Space Research Organisation chairman Dr G Madhavan Nair:

“[Bhuvan] will be able to give you an image from only 10 meters away”, he said to the excited gathering.

More believably, imagery will be updated every year, and will be of the Indian sub-continent only. The Times also reports that you’ll have the option of viewing imagery from different dates, which would indeed be a cool feature.

ExpressIndia reports, meanwhile, has what is very likely another misquote:

The ISRO Chairman said with this service they will have mapping of the entire earth, both in terms of the upper land surface and the exotic minerals down below.

That would be nice, if only it were likely to be true.

Joking aside, DNA India has a properly reported article. Salient points:

The data gathered through Bhuvan will be provided to different government agencies for urban planning, traffic management, crop planning, education and forest planning. The data will be available free to users, but very high resolution and customised precision data will be given to agencies at a cost, [ISRO Chairman] Madhavan added. “Integrated with application-specific Spatial Decision Support tools, the application will open up a new era of collaborative mapping in the country,” he said.

But I think this is unintentionally hilarious:

Technical Transfer Industrial Department head YP Rana said, “In scientific lingo, this is an oven-fresh concept, we are working on the details.

Quite possibly Rana was joking, and the reporter didn’t get the joke.

If Bhuvan turns into a web mapping resource that manages to show satellite images of all of India at a constant, say, 2.5 meter resolution, that would certainly be a worthy addition to existing web tools, complementing Google Earth’s 15m basemap with 1m DigitalGlobe imagery for urban areas. It will be especially interesting to find those parts of Bhuvan that are censored, as those are the ones we’ll all have to go check out in Google Earth for Indian military secrets.

61 thoughts on “Bhuvan: India’s upcoming web map announced, misreported”

  1. “Bhuvan, which means Earth in Hindu”

    For someone decrying falling journalistic standards, you’re no better either :)

    Hindu is a religion, not a language. Perhaps you meant to say that Bhuvan means earth in Hindi. Though Bhuvan, or very similar cognates mean earth in a lot of Indian languages from the Sanskrit root Bhuvana.

  2. “Bhuvan, which means Earth in Hindu”

    For someone decrying falling journalistic standards, you’re no better either :)

    Hindu is a religion, not a language. Perhaps you meant to say that Bhuvan means earth in Hindi. Though Bhuvan, or very similar cognates mean earth in a lot of Indian languages from the Sanskrit root Bhuvana.

  3. Perhaps the reporters were writing their articles in “Hindu” which made them difficult for you to understand. Moron.

  4. No, they really do write in English. Those are English-language papers.

    Also, I meant to say it was in Sanskrit, which is one of Hinduism’s liturgical languages. Unlike the articles I critique, I correct my errors as soon as they are pointed out.

  5. What a bastard asshole u are u fuckin arse u shud go and suk googles ass if u like it somuch do not write motherfucking articles like this about indian media u dumb sucker.if i were in front of u u wood not have been alive u bastard pussey ……hope we not meet sum dayit willbe ur last…….

  6. Is there any update on this? I tried to check whois of bhuvan.com coz possibly ISRO may have registered it to show online maps. I look forward to this great product.

  7. It is common to ridicule Indian achievements. At least people tend to dis-believe or consider it far fetched. Let us see what comes out. After all we have successfully sent Chandrayan with best resolution pictures from moon.

  8. Technology will help everybody.

    But the fact is that this also help jihaadees too.

  9. the writer does’t know anything about modern technology and Indian achievements. He is still a baby by his knowledge. He might have not aware that Indian economy was contributing quarter to third of world’s economy and was first until 1800. India ruled world spreading knowledge, technology and peace. Sanskrat is not hindu language but is the language of India since there were no religion in the world and is the mother for all Europien, Arebic, south asian and south-east asian languages. The days are just returning back. If India become again superpawer is not new thing. Keep digging knowledge it may brighten your life. Let god keep everybody happy.

  10. this is totally true ….that bhuvan is capable of showing clear pics of 10 mt height….as dr.g madhavan nair says…..this article is dam useless as this a joint attempt to distort india’s confidence in bhuvan…….

  11. Most Awaited Site on Web ….. Specialy by Indians.

    Keep it Up…!!!!

    Hope will come soon.

  12. Its really possible whatever they say about deep close-up views , by the help of latest GIGAPAN Technology. Even it can help showing underwater views too.

    Great …! Lets Hope for the Best.

  13. Hi.

    I was looking for this project at the ISRO’s web site but I didn’t find any mention about it.

    Do you have any information related about Bhuvan at the ISRO web or any other Indian Organization?

    Its really just for curiosity. ISRO mention about their upcoming satellite programmes only. All other space agencies in the world encourage their programmes and development projects when they have it.

    Thanks

  14. Please filter the inflammatory responses and make it a pleasant experience to read this post. It was interesting to know the mis-information spread by media in a country known most for its Information Technology.

    Although, I admit, this is the most awaited release I am looking for and really anxious about it.

    Thank you for a good post.

  15. Hi I am Osama bin Ladin, and I am anxiously waiting for release date of this product.

    sincerely yours

    OBL

  16. Sir,

    Bhuvan from the root (bhu / bhoo) means “being or state of existanace” as used in a word “Tri-Bhuvana”(three worlds) and the derivative is commonly understood to mean “globe”, “Earth”, “Abode” etc. Incidently it also is used for “state of being” and even to mean the “esoteric body” which is but a reflection of “bhuvana”. Hindu as a world came into existance when foreigners started denominating people residing in the Indian sub-continent. It has nothing to do with Bhuvana. The the application is for people of the subcontinent and is therefore Hindu… that is hilarious.. Let us hope the programme is not as hilarious as you wish it to be.

  17. fear of Jihadi!…oops..Capability is a capbility, meant for any one who uses it. It will help catching and butchering the jihadies. what stops Indians using this for programming and planning Jihadi Termination in the “bhuvana (oh! bhavan..I mean)” where they hide like cowards and sissies!

    Do not worry even if it is not so good. These very jurnos made fun of the “Chinese” singing sats and “Jap transistors” a few years ago. Today they like (lick) their “bhuvans”. Do not worry, Indian (Hindu.. sic) “Bhuvan” will also be liked (licked) unless it is a fraud. so relax..

    Thanks jurnos..carry on..

  18. This is an spectaculer achievment by ISRO. We congratulate the team. Go ISRO Go !

    Jai Hind.

  19. site launched, far above than expectations,

    I thought it will open in several attempts but i was wrong. i wasted full 1 day but not able to open.

    web sites of indian gov. can’t take load of users.

    pata nahi kaun banata hai ?

  20. Most Awaited Site on Web ….. Specialy by Indians.

    Keep it Up…!!!! very happy cant express more than this at this time

  21. Most Awaited Site on Web ….. Specialy by Indians.

    Keep it Up…!!!! very happy cant express more than this at this time

  22. Most Awaited Site on Web ….. Specialy by Indians.

    Keep it Up…!!!! very happy cant express more than this at this time

  23. hii…this is a really fantastic thing..n it wud be a lot helpful too….but will u plz tell the website…..i mean i hav searched this web page but i dont know the website of bhuvan…….. hope for a fast reply….

  24. hii…this is a really fantastic thing..n it wud be a lot helpful too….but will u plz tell the website…..i mean i hav searched this web page but i dont know the website of bhuvan…….. hope for a fast reply….

  25. madarchod….randi ke aulad….gaddar paki behanchod when everything is a lie then madarchod whats your mother fucking proof that u are right.bol madarchod

  26. bhai log..wat is this site yaar..it downloads Buvansetup.exe, but installs terra watever software…and shows only us and france..has this site been hacked already..by the look of the isro site even this blog template looks great..whoever built that site….

  27. google is operated by indians..so is yahoo and everything else..so it is good if indians have produced a new one..jai hind…india is the best.. fuck the rest…

  28. Excellent, please tell detail to be operated.

    nice thing that is done by Indian…………

    Jay hind Jay gujarat.

  29. for Dr Atul Gandhi

    Jay hind jay gujarat jay kutch jay porbandar jay X nagar jay y mohalla jay plot no jay first floor jay bla bla bla

    No i need to clarify more what i mean

  30. I do not understand what this guy tried to explain here in this article. You are reviewing a product which you have never seen nor used but only on the basis of an article in some news paper. Total crap.

  31. fuck all evaluators…about the product and india.

    before u all start go to wkipedia and findout what is sanskrit, hindu and india. I can’t understand why the hindu is there and stiked out in the beginign of this page..if u don’t have a proper knowledge, simply fuck off..rather than misleading others by posting crap like this…

    sanskrit is an entient language and hindu is the every devotional culture of India, which is 15 times older than roman era…

  32. @surya…

    ur soo beginner..!!!! just it uses that platform… bcoz it runs in IE u can’t say tht it belongs to IE or M$… can u ????

    hehehhe

  33. Wonder why they didnt name the author. Would like to blast that idiotic non-sensical THING. Who ever you are, better watch your ass before saying such things about India.

    well, hope you read this… ‘You suck’.

    well done INDIA. I hope Bhuvan gets released soon and teach this idiot a lesson he needs.

    Good Luck India. :o)

  34. why u guys always fear that india is ahead of u..we have brain,courage but u guys cant accept it ..that all ur fear..y dont guys funkin work hard to be better..we work hard so we come up with better..check out all over the world there is atleast one indian to be helpful to great invention , technology or whtever ..u white people r sucks..i lived with u guys..u guys hv no brain just wanna make other people fuckin sucks..but reality ..u r the basterd..with no culutre no religion..nothing …if i can write this fuckin thing in english then dare to me write in my hindi..accept the reality..

  35. I HAVE BEEN TRYING FOR THE LAST ONE WEEK TO SEE SOMETHING ON BHUVAN BUT NOTHING IS CLEAR. IT IS NO COMPARISON TO GOOGLE EARTH. WISH OUR NEW MEDIA WOULD TEST THE PRODUCT BEFORE DOING THIS FALSE BRAGGING IN FRONT OF THE WORLD. HAS ANYBODY ABLE TO SEE YOUR HOUSE IN BHUVAN?

  36. In my point of viwe That all details about bhuvan should be shown on Hindi because you want to make A pure and Bhartiye home-grown.Then the makers of ‘bhuvan’ should praud to be a bhartiye and accept they mothertonge

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