The much awaited Bhuvan (Indian Earth Observation visualization) a geoportal by Indian Space Research Organization was made available to public mainly aiming at showcasing the Indian Imaging capabilities in multi-domains (Multi-sensor, Multi-platform and Multi-temporal). Although the portal allows you to explore the whole world but is more specific for Indian regions.
Being Tech Savvy we also tried to grab our hands on it. And here is our review about the Indian versions of web mapping service but before using that service, the user must have the following:
- First being the operating system, as per the website, they have mentioned only two versions of OS which are Windows XP and Windows Vista.
- Secondly, You need to have at least 256 Kbps connection alongwith 3D graphic card capable with 32GB of VRAM and recommended screen resolution is 1280×1024, 32-bit True Color.
- Last but not least you need to download Bhuvan plugin from their website in order to run the service (The plugin and service is only available for users who are registered on Bhuvan’s website).
Many people say that “First Impression is the last impression”. It took us at least 10 to 15 minutes to open their website. Even the ISRO recognizes that there are site load issues, for that they have placed a message as well stating that the “Site is heavily loaded with users. Please bear with us for the delay. View in IE 6.0 or above only."
After waiting for 12 – 14 minutes, there was a flash screen with globe on it, Still the site was not displaying the complete information and took five more minutes to load completely.
Then it took us around 20 – 30 minutes to register, login and to download the plugin from the members area.
After logging in, we were on their default interface, which includes 3D maps on the right hand side, layer infomation on left hand side and rest of the information on the top as a tool bar. Altough there are some predefined sets but you can manage the layers as per your convenience.
The site provides
- 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
Coming to the overall presentation, Bhuvan is designed in such a way that even a newbie can browse it easily. Unlike Google, Bhuvan does not show images or maps of important security installations which is an added advantage to the Indian security agencies.
Comparison between Google Earth and Bhuvan
|Zoom Levels||Up to 200 Meters *||Up to 10 Meters*|
|Information Update Rate||Low||High|
|* The above mentioned data is zoom levels from ground i.e Up to 10 Meters means it is more maginfied than Google.|
Our intial thoughts about Bhuvan after experience its load time were that it is nowhere near Google Earth and we still feel the same but in the other sense and is definitely second to none in geomapping.
How to Use Bhuvan (Download and Register)
|First you need to||Register on their website|
|After that||Log in to access maps|
|Then||Download Plugin from member page|
|Or from||Here * or Here #|
|After Downloading||Install the Plugin with adminstrative rights|
|After Installing||Log into their website and use the service|
* Download Bhuvan Plug-in (Recommended) (System with Direct X 9.0 and .Net framework 2.0)
Tip: Use Internet Explorer instead of any other browser.
Do not use download accelerators to download their pluign, it may further deteriorate their server speed.