Saturday, November 26, 2011

Nepal Complete GIS Database?

A report from My Republica says that a researcher has collected a complete GIS database for the country Nepal.


A Nepali researcher with the University of Arizona in the United States claims to have developed the most exhaustive Geographic Information System (GIS) database for Nepal on his own.

Dr Tank Ojha -- a one-time officer with the Department of Mines and Geology, who, in his own words, was kicked out of the department by his seniors -- has incorporated soil maps, geomorphological maps, land use maps, digital topographical maps, geological maps and seismicity maps for the whole country.

GIS captures, stores, analyzes, and present all types of geographically referenced data to produce visual maps and meaningful outputs in order to support decision-making for planning and management of land use, natural resources, environment, transportation, urban facilities, and other administrative records, according to Nepal GIS Society.

"The Survey Department has topographical map, the Department of Mines and Geology the seismicity map, the National Planning Commission has also started to work on GIS database and some INGOs may have database of some pockets of the country but we don´t have comprehensive and organized GIS database of the whole country at any level," President of Nepal GIS Society Dr Krishna Poudel states.

"It is a vital tool for development which is not possible without spatial auditing and spatial learning," Dr Poudel asserts and opines that there have been no significant works on developing GIS database at a level which can be beneficial for the country despite millions of rupees spent on it by different organizations.

Dr Ojha, whose son Lujendra recently hogged headlines by becoming the first to spot signs of possible brine water flow during the warmer months on Mars, claims to have developed the Digital Elevation Model (DEM) for the whole country.

A DEM represents the earth´s surface and includes all objects on it, ala Google Earth.

Dr Ojha´s database has yet to be tested for accuracy by any government agency as it is prepared by a person but he claims that it is accurate and instead insists the topographic database developed by Survey Department in GIS format has serious technical issues and cannot be used to solve real life problems.

Nepal GIS Society is planning to work with Dr Ojha, who spends nearly half a year doing research in Nepal, and they have recently submitted a big proposal to National Science Foundation of USA on natural hazard mitigation and sustainable agricultural issues for funding.


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