GIS Developments in India – Year 2000 Analysis

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The year 2000 was a tremendous time for GIS users in India even though the developments were in a juvenile stage towards the end of the last millennium. We can say that the Year 2000 was a watershed for ‘GIS in India’. During this year, India started to face a volatile GIS growth fueled by increasing work opportunities, availability of competent workers, development of powerful GIS software and a rapid increase in the awareness of GIS among all the stakeholders. It is heartening to note that by and large, around 35 GIS related conferences were organized in India during the year 2000.

The following statistics is for those who want to look back on past GIS happenings in India with the hope of future developments. It’s no doubt that GIS is doing its magic spell in the recent years all around the world and as a result we are experiencing the ever-increasing GIS activities in both private and public sectors. The following observations will throw a light regarding the booming of GIS industries in India, in the year 2000.

The limitations of the inferences are also mentioned below.

BACKGROUND:The locations GIS companies were collected to carry out the analysis and was collected from GIS and other business Magazines, Company profiles in the past GIS conferences, advertisement columns of Dailies and also from the Internet.

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The details of GIS employment offers from August 2000 to December 2000, were taken from the ‘offer column’ of leading Dailies, GIS Magazines and GIS offers from the Internet. For all the above, proper care has been taken to overcome the redundancy of the data.


  • Around 150 GIS companies in India were used for this analysis.
  • GPS, Remote Sensing and companies of exclusive CAD/CAM nature were not included.
  • Only the companies’ Headquarters locations have been considered.
  • Government agencies involving in GIS activities in India were not been included in this study.

ANALYSIS IThis section looks at the percentage of GIS companies in India compared to the total number of companies (City wise comparison).

Method of Calculation:The percentage was arrived at by comparing the number of GIS companies in each city to the total number of GIS companies in India. The following figure illustrates the results.

Click on map for a larger image.

INFERENCESHyderabad (located at 17°-22’N latitude & 78°-27’E longitude), a city in AndraPradesh, India is becoming the ‘GIS Capital of India’. It tops the position in accommodating GIS companies due to state’s IT policy. Many software giants in India are very keen in setting up their GIS offices in the year 2000 at Hyderabad (Watch this space!!!). Thanks to Mr.N.Chandrababu Naidu’s, (Chief-Minister of AndraPradesh) IT approach in the state of AndraPradesh and particularly in Hyderabad.

After Hyderabad, it is a close race between New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. The impression is that the investments in GIS in the above three cities are much better than any other city in India; thanks to their diplomatic appearance and gigantic research work in GIS.

The calculations further indicate slow and steady GIS developments in Chennai, a southern hardware city in India. It is a fact that Chennai was far behind during the year 1999 and it is interesting to note down the developments in the year 2000.

It is also heartening to note that the northern Indian cities Pune, Calcutta, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar, Jaipur and Vadodara are in the receiving end and gives us rays of hope for the coming days. But, the other cities like Allahabad, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Indore, Kochin, Rajkot and Gurgaon have limited role, constituting of 0.7%. The results further indicate a salubrious sign in the state of Gujarat (latest earthquake victim state). Consistent and Rational GIS developments are taking place in the state, as three cities in the same Gujarat State namely Ahmedabad, Rajkot and Vadodara occupying different positions in accommodating GIS companies.

ANALYSIS IIThis section categorizes the number GIS employment offers in Indian Cities.

Method of calculation:The total number of GIS offers from August 2000 to December 2000 were considered and resulted in around “one hundred GIS offers” in just five months. It is a position wise count and not based on total number of vacancies. The percentage was arrived at by comparing the city wise offers to the total number of offers in India.
Click on map for a larger image.

INFERENCESThough Hyderabad again had the highest amount of offers, New Delhi and Mumbai were not far behind. The results may differ if we count the number of vacancies instead of position wise count. However it is evident that the cities of Hyderabad, New Delhi and Mumbai are providing a red carpet welcome to GIS professionals.

It is interesting information that Bangalore (IT capital of India) is not a congenial place for GIS professionals though it comes close to New Delhi and Mumbai in accommodating maximum number of GIS companies. The reason may be due to its high cost of living and absence in the diversified nature of GIS works.

Categorization of GIS offers, position wise. Method of Calculation:The offers of various GIS positions were taken and categorized. Then, the percentage has been arrived out by comparing it to the total number.

Click on graph for a larger image.

Figure 3 Position wise Percentage of GIS offers (August 2000 to December 2000) INFERENCESThe above curve indicates that there is a large demand for ‘GIS Professionals’, which it includes different nomenclature like GIS Technical experts, GIS Technical Specialists, GIS Analysts and GIS Engineers. As per the survey conducted by GIS@development during April 10, 2000, the existing percentage combination of GIS Analysts and GIS Engineers in India is much high than any other professionals. It is pleasant to see that these positions are still in the same height.

Next to it, Project Managers comes to the chase and is followed by CAD Professionals, which it includes CAD Engineer, CAD Operator, CAD Data converters, GIS Digitisers and CAD Supervisors. It is evident from the data that the total number of vacancies is more for CAD professionals than other positions.

The other positions are of course only ‘opportunistic positions’ and also based on requirements. Hence the demand is always a customary one.

CONCLUSIONSFor the size of the country and volume of specialist in this field, it is heartening to note that awareness of GIS potential is felt very much in this country. It shows that various seminars, symposiums and workshops have yielded much in the past so many years. But the variation among the states using this facility is much more. The results clearly indicate that the Northeast states in India are far behind in using GIS facilities, compared to other states.

Also, it is equally important that all the resources should give niche to our Indian Economy. As per the feedback on ‘Indian GIS Market’ by ‘Map India 2001’ conference held at New Delhi, the growth of GIS market in India is Rs 79 Crore in the year 1999-2000, which is increased from Rs 29 Crore of the year 1996-97. According to the report on export of ITES from India to North America (by US based Stevens International Consulting (SIC) for electronic and computer software export promotion council), the GIS exports from India are expected to reach US $150 million in year 2005 (exports in the year 2000 was US $60 million). Industrial GIS services are expanding at 10-15% per annum in India. The relative share of the GIS market in the ‘design software market’ is expected to increase moderately from 16.1% in 96-97 to 19% in 99-2000. It is estimated that based upon the industrial projects there will be 35-40% increased growth in GIS industry in India during next few years.

The general opinion is that as the demand for GIS increases day by day, the applications of GIS in India is deviating much beyond from the benefit of Indian community. It is a sad state of affairs that Indian corporate is doing business to enhance and upgrade European and American System but people in India is even not able to access the data of his own locality.

It is palpable that the growth of development of a nation would largely depend upon the ability of the decision maker to use the information available to them for optimum benefit. Hence it is high time that various societies and organisations dealing with Geomatics industry in India must come to a common platform and provide thrust to inculcate awareness of the GIS potential among cross section of people either in Government or academics or industry.

Acknowledgement: I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to Mr.Manoj, General Manager, RMSI, Hyderabad, and the members of [GIS INDIA] group for their valuable suggestions to complete this work.

GIS Analyst
IIC Technologies Pvt Ltd. Hyderabad. India

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