Geo Tagging Institutions

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Geo Tagging

What it is

Geotagging is the process of adding geographical identification metadata to various media such as

It is a form of geospatial metadata.

Any picture taken with a smartphone with GPS enabled has it's location stored in the picture's metadata.

Sample Code

PHP's exif_read_data($filename) function provides an array of the meta data in jpg file taken with a smart phone / digital camera. In the case of a smartphone with GPS enabled, the meta data contains the Lat/Lon info which become part of the output array.

Sample code

Google API, GeoNames and others

  • GeoNames has a big list of over 1.5 Lakh of PinCodes for India with their Geo Co-ordinates. This lit needs to be cleaned up of symbols / punctuation marks appearing at random: backtick, backslash, semicolon, double quote. The single quotes like an apostrophe must be appropriately escaped to import into databases.
  • S.Anand's Mapping Indian Pincodes blog is informative and is backed by code for crowd-sourcing at GitHub.
  • Maperitive is a free desktop application for GeoTag visualisation.
  • An example of Visualisation of GeoTags for Chennai is at OpenStreetMap.
  • A sample visualisation of Pincodes in South India is here.
  • Using the PinCode, we can get the Geo Co-ordinates with reasonable accuracy in GoogleMaps, but some will be way off the mark in GeoCoding. Unless qualified by some city or country name, multiple results may ensue. The output is currently in XML.
http://maps.googleapis.com/maps/api/geocode/xml?address=625001,India

will result in the following:

<GeocodeResponse>
 <status>OK</status>
 <result>
  <type>postal_code</type>
  <formatted_address>Madurai, Tamil Nadu 625001, India</formatted_address>
  <address_component>
   <long_name>625001</long_name>
   <short_name>625001</short_name>
   <type>postal_code</type>
  </address_component>
  <address_component>
   <long_name>Madurai</long_name>
   <short_name>Madurai</short_name>
   <type>locality</type>
   <type>political</type>
  </address_component>
  <address_component>
   <long_name>Madurai</long_name>
   <short_name>Madurai</short_name>
   <type>administrative_area_level_2</type>
   <type>political</type>
  </address_component>
  <address_component>
   <long_name>Tamil Nadu</long_name>
   <short_name>TN</short_name>
   <type>administrative_area_level_1</type>
   <type>political</type>
  </address_component>
  <address_component>
   <long_name>India</long_name>
   <short_name>IN</short_name>
   <type>country</type>
   <type>political</type>
  </address_component>
  <geometry>
   <location>
    <lat>9.9157062</lat>
    <lng>78.1193823</lng>
   </location>
   <location_type>APPROXIMATE</location_type>
   <viewport>
    <southwest>
     <lat>9.9013498</lat>
     <lng>78.1088560</lng>
    </southwest>
    <northeast>
     <lat>9.9319769</lat>
     <lng>78.1301907</lng>
    </northeast>
   </viewport>
   <bounds>
    <southwest>
     <lat>9.9013498</lat>
     <lng>78.1088560</lng>
    </southwest>
    <northeast>
     <lat>9.9319769</lat>
     <lng>78.1301907</lng>
    </northeast>
   </bounds>
  </geometry>
  <place_id>ChIJU0OYCYPFADsRYYmjihENWb0</place_id>
 </result>
</GeocodeResponse>

GPS formats

GPS coordinates may be represented in text in a number of ways, with more or fewer decimals:

Template Description Example
[-]d.d, [-]d.d Decimal degrees with negative numbers for South and West. 12.3456, -98.7654
d° m.m′ {N|S}, d° m.m′ {E|W} Degrees and decimal minutes with N, S, E or W suffix for North, South, East, West 12° 20.736′ N, 98° 45.924′ W
{N|S} d° m.m′ {E|W} d° m.m′ Degrees and decimal minutes with N, S, E or W prefix for North, South, East, West N 12° 20.736′, W 98° 45.924′
d° m' s" {N|S}, d° m' s" {E|W} Degrees, minutes and seconds with N, S, E or W suffix for North, South, East, West 12° 20' 44" N, 98° 45' 55" W
{N|S} d° m' s", {E|W} d° m' s" Degrees, minutes and seconds with N, S, E or W prefix for North, South, East, West N 12° 20' 44", W 98° 45' 55"

Benefits

  • Heat Map Generation uses locational meta data - OpenHeatMap
  • Planning and Monitoring can leverage summary of locational metadata to optimise Resource Allocation and Outcome progress.
  • Phased implementation of policies on large geographically distributed locales can effectively rely on locational data
  • Fleet and Moving / Movable Resource Tracking directly benefits from GPS and a backhaul transfer of metadata in
    • stored batches
    • online by GPRS / SMS
    • monitored camera feeds of resultant outcomes (trash can opened and emptied)
  • Directions to reach destination (nearest location available) and serving / organising local institutions

Issues

Vulnerability

"Destroy just the 2% of the population of any nation which is their intelligentsia by annihilation, rendering ineffective or enticing them away and you will have achieved complete subjugation of the nation akin to colonization of yore."

The above adage applies as much to individuals as to physical resources such as critical knowledge based institutions like ATIs/ITIs and others of their ilk.

  • Automated weapons systems can be programmed with such metadata to target locations.
  • Such data will find it's way out into the internet through ill thought out / blackmailed government MoUs and inadvertent social / bragging emails.
  • Compromised / ignorant / manipulated officers and staff will be even unwitting conduits of such information to malicious entities.

No politician / bureaucrat should be willing to compromise the safety and security of the nation - irrespective of their political affiliation / disgruntled prejudice.

Hence the key question is what level of granularity of such Geo Spacial Metadata should be available in any central repository / entity for easy plucking.....????

Trustworthiness

  • Each piece of Geo Spatial data used in a GeoTag will have some form of time specific and submitting user specific hash atleast during the data submission phase. Transport Layer Security (TLS) is generally used as well.
  • When a GeoTag data source submits data, the following should be verifiable:
    • Is the submitting user who he says he is?
    • Has the data been tampered with before reaching us?
    • Has anyone else intercepted it? - This is of no consequence ordinarily for such innocuous transactions except that third parties too will get such data...

Ownership and Legality

  • The copyright, ownership and safe custody of such metadata must rest on the shoulders of some nominated Govt Authority.
  • IT Support personnel who have access of such data for performing their work should be under a NDA agreement or better still implement a monitored support session where wrong doing can be easily established.

Time Sensitivity

  • Immovable assets of the type envisaged in mapping ITIs generally do not need any change in their Geo Tag Metadata.
  • They will be subject to change when:
    • Physical location of ITIs are on rented premises and move for any number of reasons including eviction
    • Re-purposing of the physical location and moving of students to other IITs
    • Closure for any number of reasons including non-fulfilment of affiliation requirements

Such changes must be incorporated within reasonable time by the authorities in charge of overseeing these institutions and not on those managing them. The onus of data updation, verification and monitoring must vest with those in Govt Authority and must be haulable by the courts of the land. The ITI managements should have no legal responsibility in this regard.

Resources

Global Resources

National Resources : DGT in Space Technology

The Directorate General of Training Already (DGT) has taken initiative to upload relevant data / information in their Bhuvan Project and maintained by Dept of Space, Govt of India.

Mobile app for android platform developed for MoL&E

  • Mobile app for android platform (.apk file) developed exclusively for MoL&E is available here.

Application Area

  • Geo-referencing of all Institutes under MSDE - DGT and generating a data base (dynamic) for mapping of various schemes implemented by MSDE.
  • Integrate the geotag information of each ITI's/ATI's in the MIS portal

Reference Links

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