‘Weve grown to a full-fledged GIS offering

Whats the reason for the growing buzz around GIS?
Over the last two years, the GIS industry has matured largely. GIS is an old
industry. Earlier, it was more of a theoretical science used by scientists for
forecasting earthquakes, material resource management, etc. However, over the
last few years, it has taken a solid push with Google Earth, which brought GIS
to home PC. Today It has become a laymans tool.

What is Autodesks focus on the GIS space?
Autodesks Geospatial business focuses on the GIS market. We are trying to
create a market for the Geospatial product line. Weve identified certain
segments as the prime focus, which includes areas with strong engineering and
CAD components. In India, we are targeting market segments like utilities,
transportation, mining, geology, mapping, and data conversion agencies.

In terms of offerings, today, weve grown to a full-fledged GIS offering,
catering to all GIS users. Our product offerings include Map 3D, Map Guide, Map
Guides Studio, and Topobase. Of this, Topobase, which is a real high-end
platform, is not yet available in India but will be released in the near future.

Manideep Saha, head,
Infrastructure Solutions, Autodesk, India and SAARC Region

But why go for separate GIS tools when AutoCAD was already being used in
Traditionally, AutoCAD has been used for creating the primary data for GIS.
So, typically, our products were used for data creation and then moved into
another GIS tool. However, there were issues of inaccurate data in this and a
lot of rework had to be done. Therefore, it was required to have specific GIS
tools. In order to avoid data errors, were encouraging people to create data on
Map 3D, which is a GIS tool rather than AutoCAD.

What trends do you foresee emerging in the GIS market?
People have invested a lot in GIS software with a lot of aid coming from
World Bank. Now, the clear trend is creating applications on that software. To
provide value addition, industry specific applications are being built on our
products. About 6-7 industry specific applications will be made available in the
next 3-4 months. Some applications that are available on Topobase are utility,
land record management, asset and facility management, etc. One can create more
complex applications on top of Topobase.

There is also an emerging trend of integrated IT and GIS to manage the
infrastructure of the entire city. This is both from the initial design
standpoint and post implementation managing standpoint.

Shipra Malhotra

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