Bhuvan (India’s answer to Google Earth)

In what appears to be a challenge to Google Earth and Wikimapia, the Space Applications Centre (SAC) of ISRO has come up with ‘Bhuvan’, bringing India’s name into the limelight yet again. Bhuvan, which literally means ‘earth’, is a web-based tool like Google Earth, but it promises better 3-D satellite imagery of India than what is currently being offered by other Virtual Globe software. Moreover, it brings you a host of India-specific features such as weather information and even administrative boundaries of all states and districts.

Bhuvan is equally capable of offering images of the globe, but the best resolution area is India, at least for the time being. “Bhuvan will be able to give you an image from only 10 meters away”, an ISRO spokesman said; which means in the Indian subcontinent even a commuter moving on the road can be easily spotted. Bhuvan uses images taken at least a year ago by ISRO’s seven remote-sensing satellites in orbit including Cartosat-1 and Cartosat-2.

Unique features

1. Bhuvan allows users to access, explore and visualize 2D and 3D image data along with rich thematic information on soil, wasteland, water resources etc in the Indian subcontinent.

2. It displays multi-resolution, multi-sensor, multi-temporal image data.

3. Users can superpose administrative boundaries of choice on images as required.

4. It allows visualization of AWS (Automatic Weather Stations) data in a graphic view and use tabular weather data of user choice.

5. Fly to locations (Enables users to fly from the current location directly to the selected location)

6. It features a Heads-Up Display (HUD) navigation controls (Tilt slider, north indicator, opacity, compass ring, zoom slider)

7. Allows navigation using the 3D view Pop-up menu (Fly-in, Fly out, jump in, jump around, view point)

8. 3D Fly through (3D view to fly to locations, objects in the terrain, and navigate freely using the mouse or keyboard)

9. Drawing 2D objects (Text labels, polylines, polygons, rectangles, 2D arrows, circles, ellipse)

10. Drawing 3D Objects (placing of expressive 3D models, 3D polygons, boxes)

11. Snapshot creation (copies the 3D view to a floating window and allows saving to an external file)

12. Measurement tools (Horizontal distance, aerial distance, vertical distance, measure area)

13. Shadow Analysis (it sets the sun position based on the given time creating shadows and effects of the lighting on the terrain)

14. The Bhuvan portal is designed to run on slow Internet connections.

Bhuvan’s edge over Google Earth

Google Earth                                                          Bhuvan

Zoom levels up to 200 mt                            Zoom levels up to 10 mt

Single layer information                               Multi-layer information

Images upgraded every 4 years                 Images upgraded every year

No alternate viewing options                      Options of viewing on different dates

Uses international satellites                         Uses Indian satellites

Thus, Bhuvan represents, in essence, the whole India on your computer. The next version of Bhuvan is expected to be called Bhuvan ChandraBhumi, which will feature both earth and moon in resolution up to 347 m maximum in near side and 432 m far side which is taken by Chandrayaan. The Bhuvan project demonstrates the country’s expertise in both information and space technology.

The Bhuvan can be downloaded from http://bhuvan.nrsc.gov.in/.

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Mac vs Win

It’s because while Mac is the good egg, Windows is the same chick that’s been trying to break out of its shell since 1985. Even its latest version, Windows 7 (W7) appears a few steps behind the robust (Apple’s) Mac operating system (OS).

It may be glitzy and boast of novel features, but what W7 offers in 2009, Mac OS users have taken it for granted for a long time. It might surprise those who swear by market trends where Windows is the clear winner (the Windows to Mac market share ratio is about 8:2).

But we – Mac users – have no qualms about it. We are a small, happy family, which takes pride in quality and doesn’t shout from the rooftops about innovations.

Why, how many of you know that OS X 10.6 (aka Snow Leopard), the latest from Mac, was launched on August 28, 2009, without making any noise or tall claims? Maybe because it’s not so much about new wallpapers, interface, colour themes, security options and desktop gadgets. Instead, Snow Leopard is all about the ‘routine’ changes that your system and mine need: increased speed and more space (maybe Microsoft will consider it in W17, probably 10 years later).

Don’t get me wrong. I am not anti-Microsoft; I spend almost the same time fretting over both OSs.

That’s what helps me understand the difference better. My conclusion is that it isn’t Apple’s extraordinariness that gives it an edge over Windows; Mac is better because Windows’ instability gives it the reference point.

The latter learns from its mistakes and comes out with a less-erratic product each time; the former creates new errors in its laboratories, solves them and makes innovation available for public use. Windows 7, then, is a face-saver for a company that failed in its pioneering effort with Vista; Snow Leopard, like its predecessor Leopard, continues the tradition of surging towards an improved future.

Well this is what I read today from a reporter on yahoo news. definitely mac is worth trying. The greatest advantage here will be freedom from lot of viruses but the compromise will be a limited number of softwares. Win on the other hand has a large number of softwares.

Ask any hacker which is easier to crack an Windows or mac they will surely say Windows is too hard to crack lot of security in it, what makes it more vurnable to virus attacks is its popularity. Very less people use Mac as compared to Windows. Naturally Windows becomes an easier target.