Govt Offers Free Access To Topographic Maps By Survey Of India…But Aadhaar Must For Instant Download!
Survey of India, which was established in 1767, has made two series of maps till now: One of called ‘open series’ for the general public, and the other one is called ‘defense series’, meant for military establishments.
In order to access the open series maps, general public was required to visit any one of the 23 Survey Of India offices spread across India, and then ask for a copy of the map, after furnishing required ID proof.
Now, under Digital India, for the first time ever, these highly precise open series topographic maps are being allowed to be downloaded from a special website.
But there is a catch: You need to input your Aadhaar number for downloading these maps.
Aadhaar Based Maps Download?
It is again a first for India, and for UIDAI based platform. Survey Of India has made Aadhaar based maps download, which has never been done before.
Survey of India has created a special website called Nakshe (maps) for the same.
Here is how you can download maps from the website:
– Visit http://www.soinakshe.uk.gov.in/ ( We did not understand, why the domain has a ‘UK’ in it)
– Enter your Aadhaar number and solve a captcha code
– Receive the OTP on your registered number
– Verify the OPT with a new captcha code
– You will receive a consent pop-up, which says: “I, the holder of Aadhaar number , hereby give my consent to Survey of India to obtain my aadhaar number, name, address and contact number for authentication with UIDAI. Survey of India has informed me that my identity information would only be used to ensure the compliance of policies of Government of India for data dissemination.”
– Once you agree to this disclaimer, the user will be presented with a dashboard, wherein he can search the particular geographical area, and download the desired map.
– However, just before the download starts, another disclaimer pop-up is presented, which states: “The pdf maps downloaded from this site shall not be copied to pass on to other user or commercialized. Users can use the map for their studies, researches and development projects. Export, Commercialization, alteration and any kind of illegal practices are not allowed in these pdf OSM maps. PDFs are password protected and the password is last 8 digits of the user’s Aadhar Number”
Hence, every downloaded map is protected by a password, which is Aadhaar last 8 digits.
This is certainly one of the strongest security mechanism incorporated, for enabling downloads of Govt. information, for the common man, using Aadhaar as the platform.
Swarna Subba Rao, Surveyor General of India said, “We have approximately 5,000 open series maps, out of which 3,000 would be available immediately. Another 700, mostly related to land boundary, would also come up after we received approval from the government,”
Plans are also in to provide more such information, maps and documents to the common man, using Aadhaar based security.
Union Science Minister Harsh Vardhan said, “We have a law that states any information compiled with the public money should readily be available to the people. That’s why I suggested to them to open up the maps for the public,”
Why These Maps Are Important?
Survey of India has created these maps using gravity-based mathematical formula, so that elevation of a particular area is calculated, using GPS data. This is known as IndeGeoid (Geoid model of India), using which engineers and architects can do wonders; and absence of this data was considered as a major obstacle for starting major projects.
Using these maps, height of any structure can be found with a accuracy of 30 cm. By 2018, this accuracy would be precise by 10 cm.
Do you think Aadhaar based maps download mechanism is a good initiative by the Govt.? Do let us know by commenting right here!