Indian GIS Startups Are Using Maps For Cutting Edge Work

These startups are using digital maps to do bigger things than find out the nearest coffee shop. Innovation in these areas however come at a great price, literally..."That’s why we work with Esri India as one of their emerging business partners,” says these entrepreneurs.

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GIS stands for Geographic Information Systems. It’s a discipline of software development that deals with compiling geographic data to create digital maps. The GIS global market between 2014 and 2020 is set to grow from 7 billion dollars to 14 billion dollars. GIS software developers largely cater to other businesses and less so to casual consumers.

While the industry will continue to work more on enterprise solutions these Indian startups are set to make use of digital maps so that all of us citizens can lead easier and better lives as well.

Take for example, Maptoss based in Pune. The company has created a prototype software that will help in water and disaster management. “Say you’re at work and there happens to be a tap open at home or worse, a fire. With our software installed on your phone or mobile device, you can monitor these things and via your phone turn off the tap or alert the fire department about the fire,” explained Ashwini Khaladkar, cofounder of Maptoss. The software is built using two key technologies. IoT so that smart devices will communicate with each other and digital maps created using GIS technologies.

The example is but a trivial application of a sophisticated software. Maptoss’ app can help municipalities monitor burst pipelines, areas with water shortage and even burning buildings. It can potentially be a lifesaver.

R2 Robotronics is a startup that can service the defence sector. They even had a pilot testing for defence minister Manohar Parrikar. The startup creates software that comes in the form of a chip. The chip is embedded in a drone which makes it possible to control the drone remotely from your smartphone. According to a cofounder of R2 Robotronics not even Amazon has drones with automatic control. With R2’s chip the user can also keep track of the drone thanks to the GIS technologies it uses.

Similarly GIS startup from Bangalore, named DesignSense is also making use of digital maps created using GIS to make the construction projects easier to handle. “We listened to potential clients and realized what was missing from their businesses was a software that they could use to draw a 3D building design, monitor the whereabouts of people and material at the construction site, and even pinpointing to an ideal physical location to set up the construction. Our software has done that for them,” says product owner of DesignSense, Prakriti Khanna.

Innovation in these areas however come at a great price, literally. It’s expensive to develop software using GIS, IoT and cloud computing technologies. “It takes highly skilled man power extensive hours and innovation means company expenditure on software developers will run too high for startups to afford. That’s why we work with Esri India as one of their emerging business partners,” said Ajit Dharmik, founder of 6simplex.

Esri is the undefeated world leader in geographic information system software developing with market share of over 40 percent in every operating region. “Free access to Esri’s state of the art mapping software and geodatabase management applications have helped us develop this prototype, said Ashwini of Maptoss.

“India is morphing into a country of smart cities. And smart water devices like ours will be the future. Our prototype is good to go but there’s more we can improve on. We think having Esri’s support will definitely improve our chances of getting there.”

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