New Geospatial data policy: The government has approved the new policy on geospatial data and services related to such data. The policy aims to liberalize access to geospatial data among private Indian entities. Geospatial data refers to all the data regarding natural or artificial, imaginary or physical features, whether above or below the ground. It also includes location information and boundaries, points of interest, mobility data, etc. This data helps in mapping, whether it be of different physical features or places to visit, or even live location tracking by apps like Swiggy and Zomato.
In the policy, the government has acknowledged that various sectors of the economy would stand to gain with the availability of accurate, comprehensive, and granular representation of Geospatial data that would be constantly updated.
The policy also aims to give a push to the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative. In the procedure, the government says that at the moment, India was relying on foreign resources to a large extent. However, with the liberalization of the sector and the currently available datasets, domestic companies would be able to give an innovative push to this area. They would also be able to use modern technologies to compete globally in this sector. Also, since the Indian entities would get inspiration, it would increase locally relevant maps, which would aid in better planning and management of resources suited for the Indian people.
The blue economy is also an area that would benefit from geospatial data. With India working to bring more projects to undertake the exploration of its water resources, the Bathymetric Geospatial data would help achieve this goal.
With this policy, the requirement for private entities to get prior approval, undergo a security clearance, or obtain a license to collect or use Geospatial data has been done away with. Instead, the private entities would self-attest and adhere to these guidelines without any governmental monitoring. The data collected by the government using public funds, except for classified data, would now be available openly.