What is New Mapping Data Policy?

The new policy change by the government will mainly allow the Indian companies to access the accurate maps of the Indian territories without going through permissions and approvals.

Created On: Feb 16, 2021 14:02 ISTModified On: Feb 16, 2021 14:02 IST
New Mapping Data Policy

The Central Government announced on February 15, 2021, that it decided to liberalise the policies of mapping and geospatial data. Under the previous policy, it was not that easier for the Indian companies to build tools and provide better geospatial data and mapping technologies.

The new policy change by the government will mainly allow the Indian companies to access the accurate maps of the Indian territories without going through permissions and approvals. The move by the government aims at making the country more self-reliant when it comes to mapping, navigation, and geospatial data.

While announcing the new guidelines for geospatial data, the Ministry of Science and Technology stated that what is available globally does not require to be restricted in India.

Read more to know everything about the change in the mapping data policy.

Why the maps and geospatial data is significant?

The availability of the maps and accurate geospatial data is highly significant as they are essential for the major infrastructure projects of the country such as linkages of rivers, deploying smart power systems, and creation of the industrial corridors.

The accurate maps with the proper land details are important for the growth of e-commerce, smart cities, autonomous drones, delivery, urban transport, and logistics. The quality of the mapping information also depends on the HD quality maps with greater depth and accuracy and 3D images.

Better land information and mapping data are also significant for small businesses and farming. Also, the new geospatial data tools can help small businesses to expand and help farmers to get more information about their lands.

Struggles faced by Indian companies due to approval processes:

While the Indian startups and companies have always been capable and eager to provide tools that will help the infrastructure projects, the major problem has been in getting access to the geospatial data.

The Ministry of Science and Technology mentioned in a statement that there have been significant restrictions on the mapping industry- from creation to the dissemination of the maps. These restrictions required Indian companies to seek licenses as well as follow the systems of permissions and pre-approvals.

The Ministry further accepted that these restrictions have hindered Indian innovation in map technologies for decades.

How the changes in mapping policy will benefit Indian companies?

The changes introduced in the new mapping policy are specifically for Indian Companies. Geospatial data that was restricted earlier will now be freely available in India for Indian startups and companies.

They will no longer be subjected to any form of restrictions nor will they require any form of prior approvals before they generate, collect, store, disseminate, update, publish, prepare the digital maps and geospatial data within the Indian territory.

How the new policy change will empower India-made navigation apps?

With the change in the mapping data policy, Google maps may not remain the only preferred navigation service. Indian companies will now be able to deliver the alternatives to the Google maps with as much good or even better accuracy, particularly when it comes to indoor navigation such as malls, airports, hospitals, and more.

The mapping innovators and the startups will be trusted to apply good judgment and self-certify while using the geospatial data and mapping.

Plan to make India an emerging mapping power:

The Indian Government plans to make India seen as an emerging mapping power. The government, with this policy change, hopes that it will enable the Indian innovators to create substantial advances in mapping technologies. They are expected to create the next generation indigenous maps of India while also taking new technologies to the rest of the world.

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