e-Governance

Tree Tracking goes Hi-tech in India

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A team of botanists in Mumbai are planning to map trees with the help of GPS based etchnology. Environmentalist, Ramesh Madav and his team, who have founded Terracon Ecotech Pvt. Ltd, will be out with equipment that can determine the exact location of a tree using global positioning system, or GPS, a satellite-based technology typically used in vehicle navigation and location-based information search.

Each unit, costing around INR 85,000, records the latitude and longitude of a tree, achieving an accuracy of within 5m. In addition, the botanists will record other details such as the height, canopy and condition of each tree in digital format, all of which will be transferred to a master information system that will plot the data on maps. This will make it easier to audit data and regulate illegal or irregular tree felling. The company has signed a contract with Thane's municipal corporation to conduct a tree census for the district over the next few months.

The company is currently building a proprietary software platform called Vruksha Sharad to map and analyse the tree data more effectively. It also wants to increase its current team of 60 field officers, each a qualified botanist, to around 200.

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