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Bhuvan, formerly Bhoo (lit: Earth), is a software application which allows users to explore a representation of the surface of the Earth. The browser is an Indian equivalent of Google Earth, offering higher resolution in this region and providing content in four local languages: English, Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu.[1][2] A beta version[3] was launched on 12 August 2009.[4]


The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launched the beta version of its web-based GIS tool, Bhuvan, on August 12, 2009. Bhuvan offers detailed imagery of Indian locations compared to other Virtual Globe Software, with spatial resolutions ranging up to 1 meter.[5] Currentyl 177 cities High resolution datasets are available,[6] while the other part of the country is covered by 2.5m resolution imagery. Locations will be viewable from different perspectives, and the software will also provide functionality for the measurement of distances and other geoprocessing capabilities. The Bhuvan portal is designed to run on slow Internet connections, common on the Indian subcontinent. The images available do not include any military installations in India, due to security concerns.[7] The National Remote Sensing Agency played an important role in the development of this product.

Bhuvan-2D is developed using open-source software Geospatial solutions (UMN Mapserver, Geoserver, OpenLayers). 2D images are available on all mobile browsers, including Apple's iOS.[8] All other Bhuvan applications and services are developed by taking Bhuvan-2D as a base. Bhuvan also provides facility to view satellite imagery in 3-Dimensional format. On 12 August 2014, Bhuvan's fifth anniversary, an open-source tool based on Virtual Globe was released.[9] This 3D tool is platform-independent and Plug-in free. Bhuvan also provides an android-based application for field data collection.[10][11]


Bhuvan allows users to view 2D and 3D images, along with information on soil, wasteland and water resources on the Indian subcontinent. Users can superimpose administrative boundaries of their choice, from a selection of boundaries available, on images as required. Bhuvan also allows visualization of AWS (Automatic Weather Station) data in the graphic view, as well as in tabular form. Users can "fly" from one location to another, and also navigate using the 3D view pop-up menu (with fly-in, fly out, jump in, jump around and view point controls). The software features Heads-Up Display (HUD) navigation controls (tilt slider, opacity control, compass ring and zoom slider). There is also a drawing function, which allows users to draw certain objects in both 2D (text labels, polylines, polygons, rectangles, 2D arrows, circles and ellipses) and 3D (placing of expressive 3D models, 3D polygons and boxes). Users can create snapshots (copies the 3D view to a floating window and allows to save to an external file) to record images and use measurement tools (horizontal distance, aerial distance, vertical distance, measure area) to record distances. Shadow analysis also allows a user to view terrain as it would appear at a specified time of day, by setting the sun position appropriately for the given time, thus creating accurate shadows and lighting.

ISRO plans to allow the end-user to participate in the development of features for the product in the future.

Some of the functionality planned for future versions includes:

  • Online shapefile creation
  • Urban Design Tools (to build roads, junctions and traffic lights in an urban setting)
  • Contour maps (displays a colorized terrain, maps and contour lines)
  • Terrain profile (displays the terrain elevation profile along a path)
  • Draw tools (creates simple markers, free hand lines and urbn designs)
  • Navigation map (to jump to and view locations in 3D)

Plugin download

Bhuvan-3D released in 2009 requires Plugin and best viewed on IE 8 in windows machine. However, on its fifth anniversary (12 Aug 2014), Bhuvan has rolled our platform & plug-in independent Bhuvan 3D.[12]

See also

Notes and references

  1. "Welcome to Bhuvan | ISRO's Geoportal | Gateway to Indian Earth Observation". 2013-04-25. Retrieved 2013-05-20. 
  2. "India to launch Bhuvan in March 2009". Silicon India. 2008-11-23. Archived from the original on 25 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  3. "Bhuvan, Indian Earth Observation Visualisation". ISRO. 2009-08-12. Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  4. "Bhuvan: India’s answer to Google Earth". Jai Bihar. 2009-08-12. Archived from the original on August 15, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  5. "Bhuvan Updates: Gateway to Indian Earth Observation - GIS Resources". 14 February 2014. 
  6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-15. Retrieved 2014-08-12. 
  7. "ISRO's Bhuvan stands up to Google Earth". 2009-08-13. Retrieved 2013-05-20. 
  8. Chaudhary, Apurva (5 August 2013). "Bhuvan Goes Mobile, But Not On Play Store". 
  10. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-21. Retrieved 2014-08-12. 
  11. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named
  12. "NRSC has Launched Plug-in Independent Bhuvan 3D - GIS Resources". 21 August 2014. 

External links