The forest department in Karnataka has launched two websites as a part of its e-governance initiative. The first site, called e-Green watch, is mostly a transparency portal which tracks central government funds allocated for afforestation. The second, is more interesting.
The state government has integrated the data from forest department with the Indian Space Research Organization’s geoportal- Bhuvan. Using spatial data from earth observation satellites shown on Bhuvan and data from the forest department, forests of Karnataka can be observed. Forest fires, assets, changes in forest cover etc can be viewed through the portal.
On a Satellite map of Karnataka, one can see villages, water bodies, landscapes, national parks, beat boundaries etc. When launched, Bhuvan was technically superior to Google earth in many ways. It is capable of higher resolution and is updated more often than Google earth. It has multiple views and is backed by powerful spatial data in the back end. However, while Google earth and its maps are widely used, Bhuvan did not make much headway with the consumers. Government departments have been using ISROs satellite imagery for various purposes like town planning.