Exploring new terrains and places is always easier to trek even with a rough map of that area.
Surveying and mapping have always been a popular science since Ancient Egypt times.
Filling you on a fun fact, three out of the four presidents engraved on Mount Rushmore were land surveyors!
Surveying plays an integral role in various fields from civil engineering, construction, architecture, and real estate.
Surveying and Mapping technologies got an accelerated push with the introduction of LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), which is especially true and holds huge potential in the diverse terrain of India.
Despite facing a few challenges in investing in the LiDAR Technology in India and its Applications, with the ease of stringent regulations on capturing aerial data, in recent years, India has seen a surge of new companies that have positioned themselves as holistic geospatial or geo-intelligence providers.
LiDAR Technology in India and its Applications are now gaining new thresholds as new applications of this technology are getting discovered day by day.
If you want more details about the general uses and benefits of LiDAR, you can check out my previous article, “LiDAR System: Usage and Benefits”.
Before going on about LiDAR Technology in India and its Applications along with some of the top companies integrating LiDAR Technology in India, we must talk about some of the popular types of LiDAR surveys.
Types of LiDAR Surveys
According to its installation, LiDAR Technology can be categorized into airborne and terrestrial types.
Airborne LiDAR systems are installed on aircraft and drones and emit pulsed lasers toward the ground surface.
However, according to the area of survey, Airborne LiDAR Technology can be further separated into topographic and bathymetric.
While topographic LiDARs utilize near-infrared lasers for mapping objects on the land, bathymetric LiDARs, on the other hand, use water-penetrating green light to map underwater terrain, including both seafloors and riverbeds.
Current Scenario of LiDAR Technology in India
With new guidelines enforced last year, on 15th February 2021, the government of India published its New Geospatial Data Guideline.
This sudden ease of regulations in the new policy related to LiDAR Technology in India left all working in geospatial and related sectors awestruck and full of disbelief.
As we all are aware of how Google Maps had issues with the Indian government when they did not allow the big tech to make data of geo-spatial locations of India public, the new policy gives freedom to an Indian entity for data capture and dissemination at any resolution and also provides accessibility to public-funded data to all Indian entities.
Considering several new projects going on all across the country, LiDAR Technology in India is broaching new fields with its advanced usage.
Use Cases of LiDAR Technology in India
Counting some of the most hyped applications of LiDAR Technology in India, the list includes,
Forest Areas Mapping
According to the reports, the government of India awarded WAPCOS this project in July 2020 at a cost of over Rs.18 crores to implement it in 26 states over 261897 hectares.
WAPCOS is a Mini Ratna PSU that comes under the Jal Shakti Ministry.
With first of its kind unique experiment, this project utilizes LiDAR Technology in India to help augment water and fodder in jungle areas thereby reducing human-animal conflict.
Apart from reducing human-animal conflict, LiDAR Technology in India will help us in identifying areas that need groundwater recharge which will, in turn, help local communities.
GIS Mapping of City
In a recent turn of events, Chandigarh has now become the first city in the country to use LiDAR Technology in India for Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping of the city.
This LiDAR data would help in generating the 3D models of the entire city in the form of a digital elevation model and a digital surface model.
The Department of Information Technology had also organized training on LiDAR-based GIS mapping of the city.
Mapping of Area
Gujarat government has employed drone-based aerial LiDAR Technology to map some areas of Gujarat with laser precision the exact contours, natural structures to buildings and will feature streams, forest covers and even the Statue of Unity with laser data.
Top Companies in LiDAR Technology in India
Listing some of the top companies utilizing LiDAR Technology in India include,
Infosys- This giant conglomerate offers IT solutions and consulting services all over the world and is now investing heavily in machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies along with LiDAR-based solutions.
Genesys- Headquartered in Mumbai, Genesys is one of the largest providers of geospatial and mapping services as its solutions cater to multiple industries.
Rolta- Rolta is a Mumbai-based company that provides IT solutions to several verticals and offers complete solutions for geospatial requirements ranging from image processing, mapping, and spatial data analysis, etc.
Nakshatech- This Bengaluru-based company offers geospatial solutions and services, catering to industries like forestry, mining, transportation, water, oil & gas, utilities, and many more.
The company also provides full-spectrum LiDAR data collection and analysis services.