India Launches Drone & AI Digital Mapping Project

aerial surveying with drones

India has reportedly initiated a project to digitally map the country and its coastline by using drones, Artificial Intelligence and big data, according to multiple national reports who cite senior government officials.

The project will reportedly be driven by the Survey of India (SoI), the government department historically tasked with mapping the country and it will be the first time drones have been used to do so.

Ultimately, the aim is to map 75% of India’s geography – approximately 2.4 million square kilometres – by using up to 300 drones at a cost of US$6 billion. It is believed the country’s forests, hills and deserts are likely to be left out.

The images in the mapping will be taken with a resolution of 10 centimeters they will allow for unprecedented detail, especially in remote regions.

Gireesh Kumar, Director-General, SoI, said: “We are aiming to provide good high-resolution foundation maps.

“We’ve used aerial photography before for mapping purposes (taking pictures from planes) but that’s expensive and has its limitations. This is the right time to deploy drones,”

Once the data is collected, it will be available to citizens and local authorities, which will allow for improved decision making and planning of infrastructure projects.

Drones and AI are becoming increasingly important technologies in global trade and logistics. They are pivotal to the collection and sharing of big data, which could rapidly improve supply chain speed and visibility.

AI and Big Data will be among the many topics discussed at Port Technology International’s Smart Digital Ports of the Future Conference (SDP19) between 4-6 November 2019.

India is currently in the process of building a network of inland ports and connect its inner regions to the vital Asia-Europe shipping lanes.

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