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Department of Space, Indian Space Research Organisation


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Natural Resources Census

The Natural Resources Census project aims at generation of a set of thematic maps through systematic inventory and mapping from space-based images and creation of a geospatial database for the whole country. The project uses satellite data at different spatial resolutions to prepare natural resources information layers, namely, land use/land cover, land degradation, wetlands, vegetation, snow and glaciers and geomorphology at 1:50,000 scale. Also, land use/land cover at 1:250,000 scales is periodically monitored as part of natural resources census on an annual basis.

(i) National Land Use/Land Cover: National Level Annual Land Use/Land Cover (LU/LC) maps using multi-temporal AWiFS data were generated at 1:250,000 scale, including related statistics for the years 2004-05 to 2011-12. The eighth cycle maps (2011-12) and assessment of net sown area along with Land use/land cover is completed. The net sown area was estimated at 153.2 Mha. All eight cycles LU/LC data has been hosted on ‘Bhuvan’ web portal of NRSC/ISRO. This data has been extensively used by various governmental organisations, NGOs and academia as an input for their planning, research (spatial modeling), environmental planning, watershed management, etc. Currently, the ninth cycle of mapping is initiated and this time RISAT-1 data is also being used.

The first cycle of the nation-wide land use/land cover mapping on 1:50,000 scale was completed for the entire country using 2005-06 Resourcesat (LISS-III) data and an atlas was prepared. The second cycle of mapping was initiated during 2011-12. It is planned to map and depict areas with major changes between these two time periods also. 

(ii) Land degradation: The Land degradation mapping has been completed using 2005-06 satellite data for the entire country on 1:50,000 scale. Further, these datasets were enriched with soil information in collaboration with National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning (NBSS & LUP). District-wise area statistics were generated. The overall status of land degradation in India and various processes of land degradation are being assessed. Water erosion is another important form of land degradation that is being looked into. 

(iii) Geomorphology and Lineament mapping: The mapping for entire country is being executed jointly with Geological Survey of India using Resourcesat data (2006-07). The mapping is based on a genesis-based classification system with 417 landform units. These maps are useful for applied geological investigations such as geo-hazards, mineral and ground water exploration. A significant area of mapping has already been done. Geospatial data of Orissa, Kerala, Goa, Haryana, Punjab, Tripura and Sikkim are being hosted in the Bhuvan. The project is expected to be completed by December 2013.