Thursday, August 13, 2009

Beta Testing Bhuvan

What is Bhuvan?
Touted as Google Earth's biggest competitor, it sure is an app to watch out for. Its an application by Indian Space Research Organization that will allow you to view India's geographical data in variety of innovative ways. You need to use it to check the combinations. You also need to check out on how cities and communities and other things are organized in India as it refers to local terminology like taluka, golden quadilateral etc. I haven't explored it fully yet, but am confident that more things with local flavor will be added in future.

Is it really 3D?
Yes, it actually is! When you look at Google Earth or Maps, all images look as if they've been taken from space vertically above the object. This is called orthogonal view, as far as I remember from my college days. However, Bhuvan retains its perpectives and things appear as if they are on a sphere. So don't expect to do a 360 degree view of any building!
Official site:
This wont work usually. However, nothing's lost. Actual data and application is on which you cannot access directly. So... what to do? Google! Query "faq.html" without quotes. Hit the cached link of first result and you will be able to see its FAQs. Likewise, you can also search for 'Register' and 'Login', click on 'Cached' and this will appropriately redirect you to page on bhuvan2 sub-domain.

Peculiar behavior
When hitting the official website from Indian server, only then it will refuse to open. When you use proxies based outside India, it responds... though slowly because of the round trip time. What's up man?!

Initial bug reports
  • Search was unsuccessful for localities in towns. It said there was an unexpected error with Database. I was expecting it to give me the correct result as it supposed to have local information too.
  • I was not able to view maximum resolution photographs. Is it bound because it is in beta?
  • Under the photo section, Vidhan Sabha is wrongly written as Vidan Soudha. This largely implies non-indians were used to customize this patented app. that's bad ISRO. You should have got the app made in India itself.
Feature requests
  • DO NOT allow geo tagging that is saved in your servers. You people keep it to yourself. However, please allow the users to add photos, tags etc. which are saved in their local systems ONLY. Also enable users to share this data. This way, you will be saved from marketing and social tagging garbage and would be able to cater to serious individuals too.
  • Please DO NOT tie to a platform like you have done now. Please make the data available to users via a web service hosted on a cloud. This will allow you to leverage data in unforeseen ways. require people to sign up before they can use this webservice and track their activities. If certain behaviors appear suspicious (behavioral patterns can be learnt over time, or can you can use some starlet's research in your team), you can be sure to monitor them. Banning won't help. New ids would be created that very second.

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