User friendly devices for weather & market forecast
ICCI in association with the
of Earth Sciences, Government of India, organised a conference on Location Based Services (LBS) 2014 on the theme 'Transforming Coordinates to Business' in New Delhi on June 3, 2014. This is the second edition of the programme, which had an exclusive focus on transforming and using coordinates for different decision making processes, be it the government or the corporate. The conference aimed to explore the utility of LBS across various domains. LBS have an array of applications for individuals, enterprises and the government. The speakers deliberated on the present market condition for expansion of LBS in India with special emphasis on business analytics, tracking systems, workforce management and route optimisation.
While delivering the keynote address, Dr. Shailesh Nayak, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India, urged industry to design user friendly devices to provide information on weather in remote areas and at places where information dissemination is difficult, such as fishermen who are 50-60 kms away from the sea coast. In addition to whether forecasting, a built-in information system encompassing market behaviour could be an added advantage to people engaged in agricultural, horticulture, fishing, etc. For example, information about market rates to fishermen so as to give them an idea of where to sell their catch.
Highlighting initiatives of the government, he said that around five million farmers are being provided with information about crops and weather conditions regularly which has helped in increasing productivity. Also, fishermen are using LBS and almost 90 per cent of them do not go out into the sea without checking weather conditions. Besides these, a glider has been launched which is able to detect the approaching cyclones and Tsunami.
The special address by K. Jayakishan, Executive Vice President - Corporate Strategy & Business Development, Delhi Integrated Multi Modal Transit System Ltd., highlighted some of the challenges that LBS faces such as user maturity, proprietary solutions, standardisation of protocols and paid app downloads. Showcasing the use of LBS at DIMTS as a case study, he detailed that under this scheme GPS based Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) system has been deployed on all buses, which makes monitoring operations of the fleet much easier.
The inaugural session witnessed presentation from Rajesh Mathur, Chair, FICCI Committee on Geospatial Technologies. Elaborating on the GIS system, he said that Location Analytics integrates geography with existing business systems and processes. In his closing remarks, Dr. Vivek Lall, Co-Chair, FICCI Homeland Security Committee, added that the global LBS market will consolidate at an average growth of 30 per cent (CAGR) from 2010-15. A substantial amount of this growth is expected to come from the Asia Pacific region, especially India and China.
In addition to the above presentations, Dr. A Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI, said that FICCI is currently working on the larger vision of mainstreaming applications of geospatial technology as an effective decision-making tool for governance in India.
The inaugural session was followed by a plenary keynote of Chetan Krishnaswamy, Country Head – Public Policy, Google. His presentation focused on the magic of maps in today's world. About 41 per cent of the people on internet use Google Maps services and there are about one billion active monthly Google Map users across one million sites. He emphasised that the greatest strength of LBS is
its ability to customise apps across platforms, devices etc. He emphasised on the major challenges of LBS that is to decontrol data when it comes to government systems. There is vast amount of data available in the government realm, which is not easily available in the public domain. Thus, there is a need for the government to start rethinking the issues. The government further should standardise APIs to ensure that the focus is more on the open standards, then perhaps usability challenges will be addressed.
The first session of the conference was devoted to 'Field Workforce Management'. The session was chaired by Sandeep Rai Rathore, IG – NDRF & CD, Ministry of Home Affairs. While majority of Indian businesses have adopted software for monitoring, planning and decision making, workforce management is yet a manual task at large. Field workforce management solutions allow planners to enhance efficiency of their staff for providing better services at lower cost. The speakers of the session represented the government and industry alike. M. L. Srivastav, DIG – Forests, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, highlighted the use of LBS in field workforce management from the perspective of forestry. He said that the government has identified areas for technological intervention in the forestry sector. Rohit Mani Sharma, Director & Country Head, XSAT India Services Pvt. Ltd., focused on the technicality and functionality of using LBS for workforce management. Lastly, Kushal Nahata, CEO, Roboticwares Pvt. Ltd., focused on the android based tracking solution called 'fareye'.
The luncheon keynote address was delivered by Taj Hassan, Special Commissioner (Traffic & Security), Delhi Police. Elaborating on the benefits of location tools for governance, he focused on the use of LBS in traffic management. He detailed the initiative, which the Delhi Police has been taking over the years to use LBS in processes such as issue of e-challan, Intelligent Traffic Management System (ITMS), and the recently introduced mobile application of the Delhi Traffic Police. ITMS has made roads comparatively safe with less congestion.
The last two sessions focused on 'Tracking and Route Optimization' and 'Location Analytics' with speakers coming from sectors as varies as food and beverages, footwear and logistics.
L to R: K. Jayakishan, Executive Vice President - Corporate Strategy & Business Development, Delhi Integrated Multi Modal Transit System Ltd.; Dr. Vivek Lall, CoChair, FICCI Homeland Security Committee and President & CEO, Reliance Industries Ltd.; Dr. A Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI; Dr. Shailesh Nayak, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India; Rajesh Mathur, Chair, FICCI Committee on Geospatial Technologies and Vice Chairman, NIIT-GIS Ltd. and Sumeet Gupta, Director, FICCI.