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ISRO Bhuvan Website Screenshot

ISRO Bhuvan in Action

A review of ISRO Bhuvan Features and Performance

Here is a frank review of the features and performance of ISRO Bhuvan (the much anticipated satellite-based 3D mapping application from ISRO) BETA Release and comparing it to supposed arch rival Google Earth. Bhuvan from the begining is claiming that it is not competing with Google Earth in any way, but there was much hype and propaganda in the media saying that ISRO Bhuvan will be a Google Earth killer atleast in India. But it looks like that can nit be the case anytime soon. Here is why..

  • While Google Earth works on a downloadable client, Bhuvan works within the browser (only supports Windows and IE 6 and above).
  • The ISRO Bhuvan currently has serious performance issues. The site currently very unstable. It gives up or hangs the browser every once in a while. When a layer (state, district, taluk, etc.) is turned on, it renders unevenly and sometimes fails to render at all. The navigation panel failed to load routinely and it felt like a rare sighting when we could actually use the panel.
  • The promise of high resolution images has not been kept. While the service promises zoom up to 10 metres from the ground level  as against 200 metres for Google Earth, we didn’t encounter a single image with nearly as much detailing. In fact, comparative results for a marquee location such as New Delhi’s Connaught Place or Red Fort make its clear as to the inferior performance of ISRO Earth as of now.
  • The navigation tools are similar to Google Earth (GE).
  • The search doesn’t work if a query returns multiple results. A pop up window is supposed to give the multiple results from which the user is supposed to be able to choose. During two days of sporadic testing, we found the result only once. The rest of the time, the window would pop up, but nothing would be displayed. When the search is accurate, the software ‘flies in’ to the exact location, the same way as GE.
  • Users need to create an account and download a plug-in.
  • Bhuvan packs a lot of data on weather, waterbodies and population details of various administrative units. We were unable to access weather data. Clicking on icons of administrative units show basic information such as the population. For specialist users, Bhuvan might hold some attraction. For instance, there is a drought map which cab be used to compare drought situation across years and there is a flood map that shows Bihar during the Kosi flood and after. With Isro backing, Bhuvan would be able to provide such relevant data from time to time, but the application needs major improvements in terms of usability before it will be of interest to the ordinary user.
  • Users can also not edit any data or tag locations.
  • We hope Bhuvan is able to fix the bugs soon. But even then, to be a credible alternative to existing mapping services, and even to get new users to try it, it much provide much higher resolution images. User interest will be piqued only when they can see their house or school or local street in high resolution. With Isro data, this is easily doable.

Having said all this,  ISRO Bhuvan is still a very good step forward for ISRO in the right direction we feel. We wish all the best for ISRO and hopefully Bhuvan will mature very fast to become a good service and can really compete with Google Earth.

ISRO Bhuvan Vs Google Earth – A Comparision

Google Earth Vs ISRO Bhuvan

Google Earth

* Zoom levels up to 200 mt
* Single layer information
* Images upgraded every 4 years
* No alternate viewing options
* Uses international satellites

ISRO Bhuvan

* Zoom levels up to 10 mt
* Multi-layer information
* Images upgraded every year
* Options of viewing on different dates
* Uses Indian satellites

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Some Images & Screen shots of ISRO Bhuvan

Here are some pictures of ISRO Bhuvan Software and Website.

ISRO Bhuvan in Action

ISRO Bhuvan in Action

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Minimum System Requirements for Bhuvan

ISRO has launched their own edition of a mapping application similar to Google Earth. Bhuvan, which is a sanskrit word, mean Earth.

ISRO Bhuvan was launched on the occasion of 90th birth anniversary of Vikram Sarabhai who is considered to be the father of Indian space program. National Remote Sensing Agency played an important role in the creation of this product.

They used data provided by satellites including Resourcesat-1 to get the best possible imagery for India.

ISRO claims that the application can provide imagery of up to 10 metres for major Indian cities compared to 200 meters provided by Google Earth.

Minimum System Requirements:

  • Operating System: Windows XP/Vista;CPU: Pentium 4 2.4GHz+ or AMD 2400xp+ ;System Memory (RAM): 512MB ; Hard Disk: 2GB free space ;Network Speed: 768 Kbits/sec; Graphics Card: 3D-capable with 32MB of VRAM; Screen: 1280×1024,32-bit True Color
  • To browse Bhuvan, you require the Bhuvan Plug-in which can be downloaded from this website, after registration and you will also need DirectX 9.0 or higher version (www.microsoft.com/windows/directx/) and MS .NET framework 2.0 or above for installing the plug-in. Please note that the Bhuvan Plug-in can be installed with administrative privileges only.

How to Download & Install ISRO Bhuvan?

>> BHUVAN QUICK DOWNLOAD LINK (Click to download Bhuvan Plugin) <<

In order to download Bhuvan Software you have to forst register with Bhuvan Website. Click Here to go to Bhuvan’s Official Web site abd register there.

Then you will directed to a page from where you can download the Bhuvan plugin from here (its actually Skyline’s terraexplorer plugin) and Microsoft’s DirectX.

In order to install the plugin, you need to have the administrator privilege in your machine. The product works only in IE and is quite buggy to start with. Hopefully we will get much better versions in the future.

>> BHUVAN QUICK DOWNLOAD LINK (Click to download Bhuvan Plugin) <<

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Basic features of ISRO’s Bhuvan

Here are some of the features of Bhuvan, the Satellite Mapping Tool launched by ISRO on August 12th, 2009

  • Access, explore and visualise 2D and 3D image data along with rich thematic information on Soil, wasteland, water resources etc.
  • Visualise multi-resolution, multi-sensor, multi-temporal image data
  • Superpose administrative boundaries of choice on images as required
  • Visualisation of AWS ( Automatic Weather Stations) data/information in a graphic view and use tabular weather data of user choice
  • Fly to locations ( Flies from the current location directly to the selected location)
  • Heads-Up Display ( HUD) naviation controls ( Tilt slider, north indicator, opacity, compass ring, zoom slider)
  • Navigation using the 3D view Pop-up menu (Fly-in, Fly out, jump in, jump around, view point)
  • 3D Fly through (3D view to fly to locations, objects in the terrain, and navigate freely using the mouse or keyboard)
  • Drawing 2D objects (Text labels, polylines, polygons, rectangles, 2D arrows, circles, ellipse)
  • Drawing 3D Objects (placing of expressive 3D models, 3D polygons, boxes)
  • Snapshot creation (copies the 3D view to a floating window and allows to save to a external file)
  • Measurement tools (Horizontal distance, aerial distance, vertical distance, measure area)
  • Shadow Analysis (it sets the sun position based on the given time creating shadows and effects the lighting on the terrain)
  • There would be many more value added functions and facilities which will be added into the package from time to time.
  • Particular interest of ISRO/DOS would be to provide such functionalities to common man so that he/she adopts participatory approach with scientists to solve simple problems easily and interactively.

ISRO launches Bhuvan (Satellite Mapping Tool)

ISRO has launched their own edition of a mapping application similar to Google Earth. Bhuvan, which is a sanskrit word, mean Earth.

ISRO Bhuvan was launched on the occasion of 90th birth anniversary of Vikram Sarabhai who is considered to be the father of Indian space program. National Remote Sensing Agency played an important role in the creation of this product.

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What is ISRO Bhuvan?

ISRO’s Bhuvan (which means Earth) is a satellite mapping tool similar to Google Earth and Wikimapia. It was developed by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It offers resolution up to 10 metres and is considered as a rival to Google Earth and Wikimapia.

A prototype (beta) of this application was launched on 12th August 2009.

Tata Consultancy Services has a 3 crore deal with ISRO to make advanced moon map which is taken by Chandrayaan. An official said this software will be a freeware and it needs a license for usage to check if the users are Indian nationals. This will provide better resolution compared to existing mapping solutions. Bhuvan will feature a zoom level of up to 10 meters while the Google Earth features a zoom level of up to 200 meters. ISRO has also decided to make a tracking and mapping antenna(30×15)m the largest in India in Chennai for advanced 3D mapping and resources.

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ISRO Bhuvan Download

  • ISRO Bhuvan Download
  • ISRO Bhuvan Website
  • ISRO Bhuvan Software
  • ISRO Bhuvan Prototype