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Microsoft to digitise Indian maps
Contributed by: G3nu1n3, at 1/12/2005 10:57:00 PM.

The Indian Government on Wednesday asked software giant Microsoft to put its vast collection of satellite images, remote sensing data and other information about the country's terrain in digital form.

"As the project progresses, citizens of India can actually get a bird's eye view of the country," said P Anandan, head of Microsoft Research India, the company's research center opened at Bangalore, also on Wednesday.

The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding for research collaboration. The first project under the memorandum will be a geographic information system to make high technology information available to the public in an easily understandable form, Anandan said in a statement.

"Comprehensive digitisation of India's terrain can support relief planning and monitoring in the wake of natural disasters," he said.

Indian authorities were criticized in the aftermath of the December tsunami waves that killed more than 10,000 along its southeastern coast, for not being part of an international coalition to monitor tsunami threats.

Despite having a well-evolved remote sensing satellite system, India often fails to warn its people of natural disasters in time, due to poor infrastructure for disseminating the information. Anandan also said the research center opened Wednesday will hire "a couple of dozen" scientists in 12 months to work on technologies for emerging software markets such as India, multilingual systems and other specialties.

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