State Spatial Data Infrastructure

State Spatial Data Infrastructure for West Bengal – A Concept Paper
Traditionally the state of West Bengal has been a pioneer in the Information Technology
sector, with the first Centers of Excellence and efforts to build a first generation computer
having taken place here. In a recent study, the National Council for Applied Economics
(NCAER), New Delhi (2003) assessed the E-readiness of Indian states based on the
Composite E-readiness Index developed at the Center for International Development,
Harvard University. In terms of Information & Communication Technology (ICT)
adaptors, the study classified West Bengal in the expectants category i.e. it is expected to
be leaders in ICT in future. Also, the study found it to be the only states from the eastern
region showing relatively high level of E-readiness. Since the announcement of its IT
policy in January 2000, the state has taken up various steps for achieving its targets of IT
enabling by 2005. Along with the IT infrastructure development, it is important to look
into the content development in digital environment. In this context, geo-spatial data and
information become important since 80% of the decisions at various levels of government
depend on space or location.
On review of the status of Geo-spatial data and information generation and utilization in
the state of West Bengal, the key actors are identified as few central government
organizations located in the state (Annexure I) and the state government departments in
Annexure II, who are presently using or having the potential to use spatial data.
Among the spatial data generated by the state departments, most are in analogue or paper
format. At the state level, the Department of Land & Land Reforms has already got the
capacity for using geo-ICT in its activities. Effort for computerization of land records was
started in West Bengal from 1986-’87, with the active participation of the National
Informatics Center (NIC), West Bengal State Unit. They developed the first version of
the Land Records computerization software, named “BHUMI” in 1989, which has been
continuously upgraded till date. A pilot project on Computerization of Land Records
(CLR) was taken up in the State as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme, with 100% financial
assistance from the Government of India from 1990-’91, which is over by 2001. 95% of
the 3,67,00000 records of rights i.e., 3,49,00000 individual records have been
computerized. Other departments, which use Geo-ICT, are State Water Investigation
Directorate (SWID) and Forest Department. The remote sensing cell and geo-informatics
division, Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of West Bengal is providing the
technical coordination in developing digital databases from different sources in the state.
Numbers of central sponsored programmes are under operation in the state for
demonstrating the utility of spatial information in planning. Natural Resources Data
Management System (NRDMS) programme of the Department of Science & Technology
(DST), Government of India is aiming to develop databases, technologies and
methodologies to catalyze the local level planning of the country. In West Bengal
NRDMS activities started in 1990, with the establishment of Bankura Center, which was
upgraded to a regional center in 1993 with two satellite centers at Purulia and West
Midnapur. In April, 2000 management of these three centers was taken over by the
Development and Planning Department, Govt. of West Bengal. On the basis of the
success of these centers, the fourth NRDMS Centers have been established at Jalpaiguri
district during June, 2001 on cost sharing basis of 25% of the State Govt. and 75% by the
Integrated Management for Sustainable Development (IMSD) and Natural Resource
Information System (NRIS) are the two programmes of Department of Space, Govt. of
India to proof the utility of space technology in natural resource management and
The NRDMS center in Bankura has established itself as a hub of spatial data capture and
analysis to provide spatio-temporal information to the district authorities and district line
departments for their planning requirements. The NRDMS center acts as repository of
spatial and non-spatial data from different sources as listed in Annexure III.
Many line departments are utilizing this database for rational decision-making.
Block Medical Health Officer, Anchuri undertook reallocation of two Block Public
Health sub-centres (BPHC) of Bankura-I Block under Jagadalla-II Gram Panchayat using
the spatial data and analysis. Considering the criteria that no people should travel more
than 2 kms from their village, from the BPHC location map it was found that the mouza
Dadhimukha was in the commanding area of Helna Susunia Sub-centre (Figure 1.a) but
the Service centre was inaccessible in comparison with the Sub-Centre Damodarpur
which is nearer and more accessible. After analyzing the service area of each sub-centres
in Anchuri with a criteria of maximum radial working distance of 1.6 km(Figure 1.b),
Dadhimukha mouza was relocated in the commanding area of Damodar Sub-Cenre
(Figure 1.c).
Fig. 1.a Sub centres command area of
Anchuri B.P.H.Cs (before re-allocation)
Fig. 1.b Sub centres service area of
Anchuri B.P.H.Cs (1.6 km. radial distance)
Fig. 1.a Sub centres command area of
Anchuri B.P.H.Cs (after re-allocation)
Similarly the center’s services have been utilized by different line departments for law
and order management, road planning, tribal development, natural resource management
etc. The Department of Science & Technology is supporting IIT, Kharagpur to develop
digital resource profile for the Midnapur district. Similar resources profile for Purulia has
been developed through the NRIS programme.
In spite of the above geo-spatial related activities and data availabilities,
institutionalization of these data and information in decision making process are getting
affected due to the following reasons :
- No data catalogue is available, thus, we do not know which organization has what
- Due to unavailability of metadata, it is difficult for users to know about the quality of
the data and how they can access the available data.
- There is no mechanism so that users can access available data from different sources
as per their requirements.
- The available and accessible data cannot be used in conjunction with others, since
they follow multiplicity of standards in terms of scale, projection, standard, content,
formats and quality.
- Even if the data gets standardized there may be reluctance to share among
organizations or may be restrictive policies.
In order to overcome the above hindrances and take advantage of the available plethora
of spatial and non-spatial data for better and efficient decision making for good
governance, there is an urgent need to develop a state level Spatial Data Infrastructure
What is SDI?
The term "Spatial Data Infrastructure" (SDI) is often used to denote the relevant base
collection of technologies, policies and institutional arrangements that facilitate the
availability of and access to spatial data. The SDI provides a basis for spatial data
discovery, evaluation, and application for users and providers within all levels of
government, the commercial sector, the non-profit sector, and academia and by citizens
in general.
The word infrastructure is used to promote the concept of a reliable, supporting
environment, analogous to a road or telecommunications network, that, in this case,
facilitates the access to geographically-related information using a minimum set of
standard practices, protocols, and specifications. The spatial data infrastructure (SDI)
concept continues to evolve, as it becomes a core infrastructure, supporting economic
development, environmental management and social stability in the developed and the
developing countries alike (Williamson, Rajabifard and Feeney 2003).
Hierarchy of SDI
As a result of developing SDIs at different levels by different nations and organisations, a
model of SDI hierarchy that includes SDIs developed at different political-administrative
levels have been developed and introduced by Rajabifard and Williamson. This model
presents an SDI hierarchy is made up of inter-connected SDIs at corporate, local, state or
provincial, national, regional and global levels.
According to this hierarchy model, there are top down and bottom up views of multi level
SDI development, which interlinks each hierarchic level in two ways. Based on these two
views, the SDI hierarchy creates an environment, in which decision-makers working at
any level can draw on data from other levels, depending on the themes, scales, currency
and coverage of the data needed.
Components of SDI
With respect to core components, an SDI encompasses the policies, access networks and
data handling facilities (based on the available technologies), standards, and human
resources necessary for the effective collection, management, access, delivery and
utilization of spatial data for a specific jurisdiction or community. The essential
component can be listed as below:
Core / framework Geospatial Datasets : Common themes of data needed by different
Governments for good governance. Every nation or organization decides on their
Policy : Policy to facilitate data access to users.
Metadata : Data about data, helps to locate, evaluate, extract and employ right data for
right purpose by various users.
Standards: Required to Provide an understanding of data around the globe and across
communities. Standarisation in data, hardware, software and process help in facilitating
exchange of information and its analysis across different communities.
Clearinghouse: Distributed, electronically connected network of geospatial data which
can be made available through a common window.
Organizational framework: Issues related to governance, data sharing and cost recovery.
Resources / Partnerships: Capacity building of human resources, cooperation among
organizations and outreach.
Indian NSDI initiative
Considering the need in the country, an initiative is being taken to develop National
Spatial Database Infrastructure (NSDI) for India by Department of Science and
Technology and Department of Space in collaboration with several stakeholders of
spatial community like:
Ministry of Rural Development
Ministry of Urban Development
Ministry of Environment and Forests
Department of Information Technology
Survey of India
Geological Survey of India
Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India
National Natural Resource Management System
Natural Resource Database Management Systems
Forestry Survey of India
National Atlas and Thematic Mapping Organisation
National Remote Sensing Agency
Indian Metrology Department
National Informatics Centre
The NSDI vision are 1) to develop National infrastructure for the availability of and
access to organised spatial data and 2) Use of the infrastructure at Community, Local,
State, Regional and National levels for sustained economic growth.
The NSDI is an overarching framework for the existing agencies with the authority to
mandate constituent agencies to commit their data sets and generate new data on the basis
of user needs.
Possible partners of State SDI in West Bengal.
The SDI initiative has the goal to create an environment or a framework where all
stakeholders can cooperate and interact with each other with the relevant technologies in
order to meet objectives at different political and administrative levels. Coordination,
cooperation and sharing among different participant agencies are the essence of it. In the
context of West Bengal SDI (WBSDI) the central coordination could be provided by
Department of Development & Planning on administrative issues and Department of
Science & Technology on technological issues. Central organizations located in the state
should contribute data, information and knowledge and key state departments dealing
with spatial data like DLRS, Irrigation, PWD, panchayat etc. should be the initial
partners, which will gradually encompass all the departments. Following figure illustrates
the possible coordination and sharing mechanism.
ps GSI
Mines & Minerals
(Dev.& Planning and
Other Depts…
n RRSSC NRSA Census of India
Approach / road map for State SDI
n of SDI, road map for development of WBSDI may
In the context of different components
be consider as follows:
Development of Core / framework Geospatial Datasets: Survey of India should supply
the basics of framework datasets i.e. geodetic framework. Standarised core digital
datasets for all the 18 districts should be developed. While core datasets at 1:50,000 scale
are available for Bankura, Puruliya, Midnapur and Jalpaiguri districts, it needs to be
developed for other districts with the help of various participating organizations. Average
cost for developing core datasets for one district would be Rs. 25.00 lakhs.
Policy guidelines: State has a proactive IT policy. However, availability and accessibility
of digital data will be guided by central policies like recent map policy and NSDI bill
which is going to be issued shortly. The state may need to develop its own digital data
policy pertinent to the data not coming under the purview of NSDI.
Cataloguing of spatial data: In order to assess the availability of spatial data with different
central and state government agencies and departments, it is necessary to develop a data
catalogue. State Department of Science & Technology should do it in a project mode
with the assistance of Central Department of Science & Technology.
Metadata and Standards: The National Spatial Data Exchange (NSDE) should be adopted
as standard data exchange format. While standardization of data in different sectors
developed at national level should be adopted. Metadata format developed for NSDI
should be adopted. Each of the state departments generating spatial data should develop
their metadata information.
Development of Clearing house: Pilot scale clearing house linking the spatial data
generating central and state organizations, as well as the districts should be developed. In
this regard a project should be developed in association with Central DST.
Organisational partnership framework: In order to coordinate geo-spatial activities in the
state of West Bengal for development of WBSDI, a state level coordination committee
should be constituted under the chairmanship of the Minister-in-charge , Development
and Planning, Government of West Bengal and the other relevant departments should be
the members in the committee.
Capacity building: In order to build up the awareness and capacity of different
stakeholders at different level in the concept of SDI, training workshops should be
organised regularly.
Annexure I
Survey of India (SOI)
Organisation (NATMO)
Geological Survey of India (GSI)
National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land
Use Planning (NBSSLUP)
Forest Survey of India (FSI)
Regional Remote Sensing Service Centre
(RRSSC), Kharagpur
Topo maps at scale of 1:50 & 25,000
Thematic maps, district planning series
maps for selected districts.
Geological maps
Soil maps
Forest maps
Services related to space technologies.
Annexure II
Land & Land Reform
Police Department
Irrigation & Water ways
Detailed Soil Survey and
District Industries Centre
Animal Husbandry
Public Health
Mines & Mineral
Food & Supply
Co-operative Societies
Spatial Layer
Sub-Division boundary, Block boundary, Block Head
Quarter, Gram-Panchayat Boundary, Gram Panchayat
Head Quarter, Mouza Boundary,
Circle Boundary, Police Station Boundary with Head
Quarter, Outposts, Crime prone area
Road: Metalled, Unmetalled, Water bound Macadam,
Parliamentary Constituencies, Assembly Constituencies,
Polling Stations
Canal System, Dam, Barrage, Rivers, Streams
Catchment area and command area of irrigation
Micro-watershed Boundary, Land use
Location of Small Scale Industries
Schools (Primary, Secondary & Higher Secondary),
Sishu Sikshya Kendra (SSK)
Location of Permanent Hydrographic Stations, ground
water fluctuation maps and hydro-geomorphology maps.
Existing & Proposed of Electric Supply Office, SubStations, Electric Line ( 220 kv, 132 kv, 33/11 kv)
District Veterinary Hospital, State Animal Health Centre,
Block Livestock Development Officer, Block Animal
Health Centre, Addl. Block Animal Health Centre,
Animal Aid Centre, Chilling Plant, Liquid Nitrogen
Plant, Veterinary Pathologist
Location of ICDS Centres, Medical College, SubDivision Hospitals, BPHC, PHC, Sub Centre,
Homoeopathic Centres, Ayurvedic Dispensory, Leprosy
Control Unit, TB Centres
Tube Well, Well, Hand Pump, Rig Bore Tube well
&Command area of piped water supply scheme
Ward Boundary
Alluvium, Laterite, Pancht Sandstone shales, Raniganj
Sandstone shale with coalseams, Anorthosites and related
rocks, Calc-Granulites and other calcareous rocks, basic
Rocks, Granite gneiss porphyritic, granite, Pegmatite,
Schistose rocks (Mica Schist), Quarzite
Road metal, Decorative Stone, China Clay, Coal,
Copper, Dumortlerite, Galena, Dolomitic Lime Stone,
Mica, Quartzite, Magnetite, Tangsten Ore, Quartz ,
Vermiculite, Quartz Felsper
Location of Ration Dealers, FCI Godowns
Location of Co-operative Societies with their command
Water bodies
Area of Dense forest, degraded forest & Social Forest,
location of Forest protection Committees
Location of Self Help Groups exist, Status of Below
Poverty Line (BPL) families
Source: NRDMS center, Bankura
Annexure III
Geological Map
1. Dissected Plateau
2. Flood Plain
3. Lower Alluvial
4. Residual Hillocks
5. Settlement
6. Upper undulating
Alluvial Plain
Mineral Map
Waste Land
1. Upland with Scrub
2. Upland without
3. Eroded Land
4. Sand
Soil Series
Mini Watershed
1. Double Crop
2. Double Crop
(Paddy + Potato)
3. Kharif crop
4. River Grass
5. Settlement
6. Bushes / Village
1. Dense Forest
Height of
Polygon referring
to rocks
Mines and
Deptt., Govt.
Buraeu of Soil
Survey and
Land use
Names of minerals
found its location
and amount of
Directorate of
Mines and
Minerals, Govt.
W.B. Bankura
Satellite Image
Soil Series –
Physical Chemical
Bureau of Soil
Survey and
Land use
IIT, Delhi
Watershed Data
Satellite Image
Name of division,
2. Degraded Forest
3. Open Forest
Ground Water
Surface water
Surface water
Hydrology map with
water table
Surface water
boundary, Canal
Location of bodies
Administrative Mouza boundaries,
Settlement, Road &
institutions, Health
centers, Warehouses
range, beat, block
etc., age group
wise distribution
sal & Coppice tree
upto 10 years
high-forest etc.
Details of depth of
Name of surface
water boundary
Location code of
water bodies,
seasonal uses of
Name of Mouzas
Census data-2001
Associated data.
Satellite Image
and Census2001
Source: NRDMS center, Bankura