Monday, April 11, 2011

Fazilka to be available via open street digital maps

Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Fazilka, April 10
Fazilka, the cotton-rich town of Punjab bordering Pakistan, which has carved a niche for itself in different fields, will add another feather to its cap on April 16, 2011, when it will join the league of 40 big cities, which are available via open street digital maps.

This border town, which has suffered huge losses on account of the 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak wars, has already attracted the attention of countrymen for its handmade juttis (footwear), tosha (a sweet), first car free zone, dial- a-rickshaw service and for starting different projects connected with environmental conservation.

"In the era of technology, local Graduates Welfare Association Fazilka (GWAF) has joined hands with Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, Ludhiana, to prepare a digital map of Fazilka and make it available to public through Internet," said Navdeep Asija, Secretary (Administration), GWAF. The project is called Open Street Map.

Through unrestricted access to data, such digital maps will empower the citizens and will result in numerous innovations. The project will help the government and NGOs in their social welfare schemes by providing geographical information for their projects.

"The quality data so produced will also facilitate easy navigation for commuters. It is very useful for a small town like Fazilka," said Asija, adding that the GWAF had selected 20 people belonging to 
different sections, who would be having a GPS device to capture the ground realities, land marks, eating outlet, hotels, restaurants, and other related attributes as a part of the mapping party.

"The information collected by them will be combined and uploaded. Geeta Softech, Fazilka, will be acting as a facility provider. The concept is fairly new to India and is fast catching up, said Vinod Kumar, Director, Geeta Softech, adding that information will be available on the website

"Fazilka city is one of the hot spots in border area tourism in the Malwa region of Punjab for its original art and culture, rural tourism, black buck sanctuary and border retreat.

Such information on a digital map will help visitors at large," he claimed.

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