Satellite data to be used for detailed study of Bhimbetka | Hindustan Times
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Satellite data to be used for detailed study of Bhimbetka

IN A first scientific project of its kind, the latest technology of remote sensing and Geographical Information System (GIS) is being used to document all the hitherto unknown geographical, geological and socio-economical data regarding the world heritage site of Bhimbetka, with an objective of preparing a management plan that would help conserve the site and its surrounding ambience in a better manner.

india Updated: Apr 19, 2006 01:21 IST

IN A first scientific project of its kind, the latest technology of remote sensing and Geographical Information System (GIS) is being used to document all the hitherto unknown geographical, geological and socio-economical data regarding the world heritage site of Bhimbetka, with an objective of preparing a management plan that would help conserve the site and its surrounding ambience in a better manner.

The Madhya Pradesh Council of Science and Technology (MAPCOST) has taken up a pilot project for preparation of a management plan of the area in collaboration with the Bhopal circle of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

The pilot project is first in the field of archaeological application of remote sensing and Geographical Information System and would use the most advanced satellite data for the purpose.

The digital data in the form of thematic maps and location, composed as part of the project, would be put up on the web to promote tourism in Bhimbetka area.

Apart from gathering all relevant details about Bhimbetka and the surrounding areas by using latest technology as mentioned, the project would also look at the possibility of existence of similar sites with evidence of early human settlement in surrounding areas with similar geological setting, Director General of MAPCOST and team leader of the project, Dr J G Negi told the Hindustan Times.

The pilot project would encompass about 22 villages spread over approximately 130 square km and thematic mapping of natural resources and its integration with the socio-economic data would be undertaken.

The project is part of the Natural Resource Information System (NRIS) and the geology, slope structure, rock structure and its connectivity and extension in the surrounding area would all be studied and documented under the project, Dr Negi said.
He said the documentation of this data and its correlation with other available details would help in looking out for the possibility of existence of similar sites in the nearby areas or areas with similar geological setting elsewhere.

He mentioned that because of weathering and human interference, the rock shelters, paintings and caves are in danger and the management plan would help in ecological and environmental conservation of the world heritage site.

The director general said that high-resolution satellite data (IKONOS/Quickbird) would be used for detailed classification of rock shelters and paintings.

The attribute data would also be linked with digital maps to facilitate the user to understand description of each rock painting.

The Global Positioning System (GPS) would take the geographical location (latitude/longitude) during the survey for about 400 rock paintings distributed in the core area of Bhimbetka.

Dr Negi said the project would become more emphatic once the data from the latest satellite Cartosate, with resolution as high as one metre (life-size satellite imagery), starts coming in.

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