Bhuvan (means Earth in Sanskrit) is a Geoportal of ISRO, allowing host of services covering visualization, free data download, thematic map display and analysis, timely information on disaster and project specific GIS applications since August 2009 and available in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. The images showcased on Bhuvan in 2D /3D domain are from Multi-sensor, Multi-platform and Multi-temporal domain with capabilities to overlay thematic information, interpreted from such imagery, as vector layers such as Wasteland, Ground Water Prospects, Watershed, Soil , Land Use Land Cover etc. All the Ministries involved in managing natural resources in the country at National to local level become part of Bhuvan, because the applications are done jointly with them.
By integrating with other existing applications like Potential Fishing Zone Information from INCOIS, Bhuvan is poised to become a spatially based collection of profound information, coupled with facts and knowledge. All these applications are grouped as services in Bhuvan like Land services, Weather services, Disaster services and Ocean services to cater the scientific community and administrator for their needs towards societal-good. Blogs, user groups, social networking sites and forums are enabled for users to share ideas and experiences, and post case studies. Initial version of Bhuvan was made available in 3D domain for visualization which has the plug-in and OS dependency. To widen the user base and outreach, a light weight, plug-in less and platform independent slick indigenous 2D visualization system has been realized by addressing the limitation in the 3D version. In India, making the information available to the common man in their native language will be the best practice to increase the usage and ultimate benefit to the community. In this context, multi-lingual support in Bhuvan has been realized in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. Development of Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada and Marathi versions of Bhuvan is in progress with volunteered approach.Being a versatile portal with rich thematic data and unique features developed for the real benefit of common man, there is wide range of expectations.
In this direction Bhuvan has always strived to serve better and create a difference for nation with its presence, Services of Bhuvan has now been enhanced with the new facilities like NRSC Open EO Data Archive (NOEDA) facilitates the users to download IRS Data and Products coarser than 24 m with Metadata as per NSDI 2.0 and Thematic Services facilitates the users to access, query, download and consume all these data as OGC web services. Cartosat-1 Elevation data (~30m), Resourcesat-1 Ortho Products from AWiFS (56m) and LISS-III (24m) through NOEDA, Digital Data base of Land Use Land Cover at 1:250000 scale (2004-05 to 2010-11) through Thematic Services are available for free download and LULC-50K (2005-06), LULC-250K (2004-05 to 2010-11), Flood Hazards & Flood Annual Layers are available as OGC web services through Thematic Services. Bhuvan is also facilitating the users to access all Bhuvan services from the Mobile phones supported with Android, Symbian, Windows, iOS and BlackBerry. Bhuvan services are OGC complaint such as WMS (Web Map Service), Web Map Tile Service (WMTS), WFS (Web Feature Service) and KML towards Interoperability.
Bhuvan also enables users to share and overlay maps and geospatial feature data through interoperability that implement the OGC WMS and WFS Interface and KML encoding standards e.g. AP Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan using Bhuvan services to show all the school information, NSDIs India Geoportal, Forest Fire alerts from INFFRAS/NDEM. On other hand, Linux user group has brought out the Android apps to access the Bhuvan. Bhuvan is in process to showcase uniform 2.5 m data for entire country and 1 m HR data for major cities as per new RSDP-2011. Bhuvan is also planned to come up with Routing module, Dynamic User Inputting system, Online Geoprocessing to attract more users. The online shape file creation utility available in Bhuvan is a huge hit and appreciated by many students and researchers to create their data using Bhuvan and share among the community. Thus, Bhuvan is becoming as a platform for various applications from simple visualization and be of vital use for planners, decision makers, social groups, village community and to a common man.Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) declared Bhuvan as the website of the month for December 2010.