The National Geographical Information System (nat-GIS), described by three officials how refuesed to be identified, will use existing datasets from the likes of Google and Microsoft (who are in on the discussions) as well as state data and data rom private firms to build a kind of Google Maps, but with far more data layers, for the country. The cost is expected to be 3,000 crore, about US$54 mllion.
The government will not collect data, but provide infrstructure and cajole the players to share their datasets disourage duplication of data.
The state’s role will be to set up the infrastructure—servers, communication links that will enable them to piggyback on existing fibre optic networks such as those manned by the National Informatics Centre—and to get the ministries and the government departments, both at the state and the district levels, to make their data accessible.
One GIS expert, Sanjay Mehendale, doesn't expect to see anything too soon.
“Making data compatible is the most challenging aspect and there are several impediments—legal, administrative—to it. I don’t see anything before 2020.”