After creating history by launching India's first moon mission Chandrayaan I, Indian space agency ISRO is all set to challenge Google Earth with it's own satellite mapping service dubbed "Bhuvan", the IRS (Indian Remote Sensing) image portal will provide satellite images similar to Google Earth and WikiMapia but with more precision and frequent updates, currently Google Earth provides single-layered images with zoom levels up to 200 meters and images updated every 4 years in-contrast Bhuvan will provide multi-layered images with zoom levels up to 10 meters and images being updated every year.
While announcing the service ISRO Chairman, G Madhavan Nair, said:
"With Bhuvan we will be able to produce very local information which will be specific to only to our own country. This information available from this mapping system will be useful in addressing very local problems like floods, famines, infrastructure development, education and much more"
"The information on Bhuvan will be layer wise and the options of viewing filtered information will be available. Inputs from a lot of local players, like farmers, fishermen and likes who know the local area in and out, will also being integrated in Bhuvan. This is for the primary reason to make it of more use to the general public,"
ISRO expects the service to be launched in next six months by March 2009, all the infrastructure and softwares required for the service is already in place and a prototype of Bhuvan should be ready by end of November.