Monday, April 30, 2007

Google Inc ATC (Authorised Training Center) in India?


I found this interesting advertisement in a leading Indian newspaper daily (today morning, on my flight from Delhi to Mumbai) - Google Inc ATC announcement (see attached image) for SKETCHUP training in Indian.

Few Questions:

1. Is Google SKETCHUP so complex to operate that there is training required?

2. Does Google Inc has a authorised training center for SKETCHUP PRO V6 training anywhere else in world?

If anyone has any idea about this google ATC, please drop in your comments and views!

Manoj Misra

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Indian GIS Industry and University Collaboration

Last few weeks were extremely hectic (on AUGTICS front).Travelled to Mumbai (several times), Pune, Bhuvneswar, Puri and Konark and made new associates & friends with diverse backgrounds, in addition to exploring diversity of India. It was truly a very rich and rewarding experience on business and personal front. However, with all the activities, I could not keep pace with blogging. I hope I will be able to find more time in the coming days..

I mentioned in last post that I am very impressed with the quality of remote sensing research work that is bring carried out by IIT-R. Few months back, at at conference at Chennai, I got a preview of the exemplary work that is being carried out by Centre of Remote Sensing at Bharathidasan University, in the field of natural disaster mapping & mitigation (Seismicities, Landslides, Tsunamis, Flood etc). I also saw a discussion list on Yahoo Group (GIS India) where someone is collecting names of institutes offering GIS course and I noticed that the list contains names of over 60 institutes (on last count) and almost each of the top university in India now runs a GIS department. I do not know (comprehensively and fully) details of the research work that is being carried out in these labs, but one can safely assume that significant quality thinking is going on in the labs.

One reason for arriving at the assumption is the learning from interviewing the graduates from many of these universities - one point is loud & clear that the quality of education and research focus in the institutes is relatively good. Yet another point that stands out clearly is that when many of these students graduate and seek jobs in Indian GIS industry, they do not get the jobs that are challenging enough – or get into jobs where skills are underutilized.

So what are the reasons for this problem?

During my discussion with professors at some of these institutes & universities, one point came out very clearly - there is very less or minimal interaction between the Indian GIS industry & these institutes. Several great ideas evolves in these labs that can be monetized by the GIS industry, if there is appropriate collaboration. Also, there are several India specific GIS problems, faced by the the GIS industry, that can be tacked by these labs (due to availability of quality resources and R&D focus).

Adena Schutzberg posted a blog, last month, at allpointsblog - Consortium of Ohio Universities on Navigation and Timekeeping ( The Consortium of Ohio Universities on Navigation and Timekeeping, COUNT, includes experts from Miami, Ohio and Ohio State universities and the Air Force Institute of Technology, and will provide expertise to industry professionals and other scientists in those areas. According to Maimi of Ohio officials, COUNT has 40 faculty members, more than 100 students and more than $10 million in annual research funding).

I wish to see such an initiative between Indian GIS industry and the universities!!!

Based on the above points, I am sure that you will agree with me (fully in this case) that there is a need for increasing collaboration between Indian GIS industry and the educational institutes offering GIS courses and carrying out GIS research & development.

How do we increase industry-academia interaction? Give me your thoughts and suggestions and also stay tuned to hear my different view. This time definitely very soon!!

Manoj Misra

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Is the World’s Geospatial development story complete without India?

Recently I visited IIT Roorkee and was very impressed with the quality of research work that is being carried out in the field of Remote Sensing by brilliant research scholars guided by able Professors. While I was giving final touches to my “different view” report on IIT Roorkee visit, a news-paper analysis caught my attention and I am saving my report to blog at a later time!

Google, Yahoo, Intel, IBM, Adobe, Microsoft - the line-up on MNC’s which have opened their own R&D centers in India is a virtual Who’s Who of the IT industry. India is emerging as a hot destination for investment in research and development. An article in Times of India has analysed Mirosoft, Intel, Adobe & IBM India R&D. Here’s the summary:

Microsoft

  • Two research facilities in India – Hyderabad & Bangalore
  • Hyderabad center is the largest development unit outside the US
  • Products by Microsoft India : Data Protection Manager; Virtual PC 2007 ; Office Mobile which includes Word, Excel & Powerpoint ; SQL Mobile

INTEL

  • Intel’s largest non-manufacturing unit outside US is in Bangalore
  • Products by Intel India: Teraflops research chip; Centrino Duo technology; Quad core processor; Community PC

ADOBE

  • Two centers in India – Noida (biggest outside US) & Bangalore
  • Products by Adobe India: PageMaker 7.0; Acrobat Reader on Palm OS & Pocket PC; Frame Maker, Page Maker Pack, Photoshop Album ; Premiere Elements 3.0

IBM

  • Two centers in India – Bangalore & Delhi
  • Products by IBM India: Web-based, interactive language technology; Business finder technology

Can we map a similar pattern in the world's geospatial R&D? Actually, geospatial industry in also following the similar route. MapInfo has recently opened a development center at Noida, within the last two years Bentley has set-up a development center at Pune, Microsoft development center at Bangalore is focusing on GIS, Google center at Hyderabad is doing the same! Intergraph was the first to set-up India center years back (1994?).

But I have few bigger questions:

  • Is India truly seen as a R&D center by World’s geospatial development industry & community?
  • Is the world’s geospatial development story complete without India?

Stay tuned to “Different View” to discuss this. Over the next few weeks I will put my thoughts on India’s research and development potential for World’s Geospatial Industry!

Manoj Misra

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