[Fsf-friends] Cabinet Approves New Map Policy
Sun May 29 06:12:17 IST 2005
Strangely, I've not seen this discussed on any of the usual mailing
lists so far (or maybe I missed it). Apologies for cross-posting. See
also our Mumbai Free Map project on http://www.crit.org.in/projects/gis
Cabinet approves new map policy
Defence and open series to be released
Though as a rule the use of maps is governed by a system of
registration, there will now be no such requirement for maps up to a
scale of 1:1 million.
The Hindu, Chennai
20 May 2005
NEW DELHI: : The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved a new policy, which
provides for the release of two series of maps — defence and open. This
is to ensure free flow of spatial information for developmental
activities and address security concerns.
The defence series maps (DSMs) are for the exclusive use of the defence
forces and authorised government departments. The open series maps
(OSMs) will be available to the public, private and public agencies and
non-governmental organisations involved in planning and development of
irrigation projects, roads, bridges and hospitals.
The Defence Ministry will determine the policy on the use of DSMs,
while the Survey of India (SOI), under the Science and Technology
Ministry, will be responsible for the policy on OSMs.
The S&T Ministry will have to take one-time permission from the Defence
Ministry before releasing a map in the open series. The user-agency
will be free to add value and share it, provided the changes are
communicated to the SOI.
The OSMs can be produced to any scale. Though, as a rule, the use of
maps is governed by a system of registration, there will be no such
requirement for maps up to a scale of 1:1 million. Registered private
agencies, carrying SOI accreditation, will be permitted to do surveys
for preparing maps in all parts using the public domain datum.
Announcing the decision,Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said
technological changes around the world rendered many features of the
existing map policy redundant and anachronistic.
An official release said its continuance tended to impede free flow of
spatial information and engendered high opportunity costs for a
developing economy. At the same time, all spatial data available in the
public domain had potential security hazards. The new policy would
address all these concerns.
Later, addressing a press conference, S&T Minister, Kapil Sibal, said
the SOI would begin releasing the new OSMs in a few months, after the
Defence Ministry decided on the extent of the geographical areas that
could be opened up for generation of maps without compromising security
concerns. At present, 60 per cent of the geographical area was under
restriction. It was expected that the new policy would drastically
The SOI would soon begin updating the maps. The OSMs would have all
essential parameters such as the latitude, longitude, gradients and
CRIT (Collective Research Initiatives Trust)
Goregaon-Malad Link Road
Malad (West), Mumbai 400064
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