Geospatial Data Service for India ISRO’s Bhuvan

Are you a user of Google maps ? Due you feel discomfort while using google maps using Speed and Loading times ? Can you see your home from satellite ? .

ISRO’s Bhuvan is to answer all these questions .

Bhuvan gives you an easy way to experience, explore and visualize IRS images over Indian region

ISRO is well known amongst space faring nations for its world-leading reputation in developing new, indigenous and innovative service oriented applications using remote sensing technology. Over the past 2 decades, ISRO has mastered the art of developing these unique applications using various spectral, spatial and temporal resolutions offered by the versatile IRS satellites and these have been successfully institutionalized in many important areas of policy making, natural resources management, disaster support, and enhancing the quality of life across all sections of the society.

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Bhuvan is an initiative to showcase this distinctiveness of Indian imaging capabilities including the thematic information derived from such imagery which could be of vital importance to common man with a focus on Indian region. Bhuvan, an ambitious project of ISRO to take Indian images and thematic information in multiple spatial resolutions to people through a web portal through easy access to information on basic natural resources in the geospatial domain. Bhuvan showcases  Indian images by the superimposition of these IRS satellite imageries on 3D globe.

It displays satellite images of varying resolution of India’s surface, allowing users to visually see things like cities and important places of interest looking perpendicularly down or at an oblique angle, with different perspectives and can navigate through 3D viewing environment. The degree of resolution showcased is based on the points of interest and popularity, but most of the Indian terrain is covered upto at least 5.8 meters of resolution with the least spatial resolution being 55 meters from AWifs Sensor. With such rich content, Bhuvan opens the door to graphic visualization of digital geospatial India allowing individuals to experience the fully interactive terrain viewing capabilities.

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Multi-resolution images from multi-sensor IRS satellites of India is seamlessly depicted through the Bhuvan web portal by enabling a common man to zoom into specific area of interest at high resolution. Bhuvan brings a whole lot of uniqueness in understanding our own natural resources whilst presenting beautiful images and thematic vectors generated from varieties of geospatial information. Bhuvan will also attempt to highlight the importance of multi-temporal data and the changes taking place to our natural resources, which will serve as a general awareness on our changing planet.There are lot more special value added services which will be enabled onto the web portal in due course of time and each one of those services are going to be unique to preserving and conserving our precious natural resources through public participation.

Service Launched on

13th August 2009


Operating System: Windows XP/Vista

RAM: 512MB

Hard Disk: 2GB free space

Network Speed: 256 Kbits/sec

Graphics Card: 3D-capable with 32MB of VRAM

Screen: 1024×768, 32-bit True Color

  • To browse Bhuvan, you require the Bhuvan Plug-in (Click to Download) which can be downloaded from this website, after registration and you will also need DirectX 9.0 or higher version ( and MS .NET framework 2.0 or above for installing the plug-in. Please note that the Bhuvan Plug-in can be installed with administrative privileges only

Supporting web Browsers

IE v 6.0 or greater than 6.0 , Mozilla Firefox , Netscape Navigator.

Technical Review

Basic Features Available in Bhuvan

  • Access, explore and visualize 2D and 3D image data along with rich thematic information on Soil, wasteland, water resources etc.
  • Visualise multi-resolution, multi-sensor, multi-temporal image data
  • Superpose administrative boundaries of choice on images as required
  • Visualisation of AWS ( Automatic Weather Stations) data/information in a graphic view and use tabular weather data of user choice
  • Fly to locations ( Flies from the current location directly to the selected location)
  • Heads-Up Display ( HUD) naviation controls ( Tilt slider, north indicator, opacity, compass ring, zoom slider)
  • Navigation using the 3D view Pop-up menu (Fly-in, Fly out, jump in, jump around, view point)
  • 3D Fly through (3D view to fly to locations, objects in the terrain, and navigate freely using the mouse or keyboard)
  • Drawing 2D objects (Text labels, polylines, polygons, rectangles, 2D arrows, circles, ellipse)
  • Drawing 3D Objects (placing of expressive 3D models, 3D polygons, boxes)
  • Snapshot creation (copies the 3D view to a floating window and allows to save to a external file)
  • Measurement tools (Horizontal distance, aerial distance, vertical distance, measure area)
  • Shadow Analysis (it sets the sun position based on the given time creating shadows and effects the lighting on the terrain)
  • Urban Design Tools (to build roads, junctions and traffic lights in an urban setting)
  • Contour map ( Displays a colorized terrain map and contour lines)
  • Draw tools (Creates simples markers, free hand lines, urban designs)

Features to be added in future

  • There would be many more value added functions and facilities added into the package from time to time. Particular interest of ISRO/DOS would be to provide such functionality to common man so that he/she adopts participatory approach with scientists to solve simple problems easily and interactively.

Security system to prevent the usage for defacing purposes

  • The whole service is hosted in the site of bhuvan and the user has to create an account to use the service .
  • The site keeps track of the end user and his details .


Google Earth , Wiki Mapia

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About the Author: Robin C

Security Consultant, Engineer, Technology Enthusiast and Blogger.

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