Space technologies in general, and Remote Sensing (RS), Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) in particular, are rapidly finding widespread application across a highly diverse array of fields including resource mapping, agriculture, transport, navigation, environmental protection, meteorology, disaster management and surveying, etc. Despite the enormous potential for space technology applications in many spheres of governmental, business and citizen-service activity, in terms of enhanced effectiveness, efficiency and economy, these technologies do not seem to be adequately used in most public sector agencies. The major bottleneck in most cases is found to be the unavailability of RS/ GIS data at affordable costs, capacity constraints, and in certain other cases, the inadequate awareness of their potential.
The Arthur C Clarke Institute for Modern Technologies (ACCIMT), in its capacity both as a statutory corporation with a mandate for facilitating the introduction of modern technologies, (including space technologies as one area of specialization) as well as the national focal point for space technologies, is in the progress in develop National Hub for receiving and distribution of Earth Observation data on the Applications of the Space Technology for National Development.
The ACCIMT has had discussions with the UNESCAP to receive the satellite data free of charge or at an affordable cost. The received data will be stored in a server located at ACCIMT and will be shared with the public sector organizations who use satellite data for the use of RS-GIS on national development projects. ACCIMT is in the process of developing the infrastructure to receive and distribute earth observation data and the Ministry of Technology & Research has proposed a land to construct the receiving station. Hopefully this will solve the major bottleneck in developing activities in the field of RS-GIS.