'Clinton opened up GPS to world'

 It was former president Bill Clinton who opened geographical positioning system (GPS) in 2002 to the world and thus the technology became available to the common man.

 Both the government and individuals have become the users of geospatial technology, said former director, NRSA, Hyderabad and advisor to chairman, ISRO, Ministry of Space V Jayaraman. He was delivering the key note address at the inauguration of the 21-day training programme on ‘Geospatial Technology and Applications,’ organised by JSS University and Department of Science and Technology, here on Monday and said crowd sourcing is the result of the individuals passing on information to the government. “August 6 is a very significant day as Curiosity landed on Mars exactly at 11.01 am IST and it was the same day when the Hiroshima suffered a nuclear bomb attack. But the first GIS was started by a medical doctor John Snow in 1954 in London when he found the cause for the outbreak of cholera and dysentery by pencil drawings on map which led to a contaminated hand pump close to a public drain from where people were drinking water,” he said. Thomas Friedman in his book ‘World is Flat,’ talking about the increasing Indian influence on the world map and made a comment that Geography is dead. But with the geospatial technology’s reach it is seen that geography is not dead but there is the neo geography and cloud computing which gives inputs on the latest weather conditions, he said and added that mobile technology will have much more powerful applications in the future. 

He called upon the participants in the training programme to make use of the geospatial technology by applying it in poverty alleviation programmes and above all food security. “You must domesticate technology and not technology must domesticate you,” said Jayaraman. Earlier deputy commissioner P S Vastrad in his inaugural address speaking about the applications of geospatial technology said that Mythri autos have been launched in the city fitted with GPS and shortly Mythri taxis will also be launched. The technology is already used in urban property ownership rights (UPOR) project and it is also incorporated to trace garbage trucks and sand lorries. Geographical information system is emerging as a science and a lot of research is taking place which is also addressing medical problem, healthcare insurance and in zilla panchayats apart from monitoring the movement of teachers in schools and in State-level projects like mapping BDA layouts, said Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology executive secretary M Prithviraj. Pro-chancellor, JSS University B N Betkerur, registrar Dr B Manjunatha, director Academics Dr P Kushalappa and JSS Pharmacy college principal Dr H C Shivakumar were present. 

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