ecollage ecollage at vsnl.net
Sun Jan 20 11:29:31 EST 2002

Dear All,
The following url, http://education.vsnl.com/ecollage/index.htm details some features of MESSIAH (the Mahabaleshwar EcoSensitive area Spatial Information Access system by Http) developed at Ecollage on GRASS GIS. The site is presently a collection of screen shots with captions intended to show how the tool can be used (we are limited to using only 1MB of space at present, so the site is very primitive!).

MESSIAH allows for storage, access and output of data specifically required for different management inputs, for almost 400sq.km. of land in the Mahabaleshwar region, uniting cadastral mapping systems and remote (satellite) imagery within a GIS domain. A list of primary and derived spatial and non-spatial data already functional within the system is appended below.

MESSIAH contains information vital to sound decision-making for local and regional planning and can be used not only to manipulate information (separately or together) but also to model the effects of proposed management interventions for any point within the system. Changes in water management upstream can be explored to discover potential problems for downstream users. Engineering or construction applications that require information on slope and soil type, are sometimes also affected by demands that certain areas (especially forest) remain outside `development' boundaries and these are sometimes governed by 'hidden' laws. MESSIAH allows access to all of this information, so immediate decisions can be made based on defined areas of suitable slope available for development that do not affect legally protected and/or conservation priority areas. 
We intend to set up MESSIAH on the world wide web, providing potential users the power of information and GIS capability on their desktops without needing either hardware or GIS expertise to manipulate the information (thanks to GRASSLinks). Ecollage has already begun liasing with Governent Agencies, Universities and NGOs in the region to allow free access and use of MESSIAH.

We hope to be able to provide 59 computers at each of the ESA's villages with dial-up capability and provide a Marathi interface so that each village can track future planning thereby increasing their stake in the development process. Ecollage will further develop MESSIAH based on the information requirements of these users. 

Because we use open source computing, the cost of setting up the infrastructure necessary for connectivity at these sites remains minimal.

The biggest advantages of a web enabled MESSIAH is easy access, editing and updating of information relevant to the development process; faster access to user-specific information and possibilities of work integration between different agencies who can contibute and share data as a common resource.

We need your help to set up and maintain this system on the world wide web. Till MESSIAH is web enabled, the information contained within is free-to-use. If you have a specific query/analysis please email us. We will process the information and send it on to you.

Please email us at ecollage at vsnl.net or write us at Ecollage, 11A, 203/2A Rajiv Nagar, Viman Nagar, Pune 411 014 if you can support MESSIAH. 

Ecollage is a Public Charitable Trust registered with the Charity Commissioner, Mumbai.  

Sujoy Chaudhuri
Managing Trustee

Functional data 'layers' within MESSIAH


24 Primary Spatial Data at 1:50,000 scale: 
Land use map, Land cover map, Geological Structure map, Drainage Network Map, Relief (Contour) map, Watershed Boundary map, ESA/Region map, Village boundary map, Settlement map, District Boundary map, Taluka boundary map, Forest boundary map, Springs map, Tourist `Points' map, Road Network map, Electric and telephone network map, Endangered Fauna Habitat availability/preference map, Endangered Flora Habitat availability/preference map, LISS Band 1-4 spectral data maps (for 31-03-01), Lat-long reference map.

13 Derived Spatial Data:
Slope map, Aspect map, Digital Elevation map, Forest density maps, NDVI map, Land development unit map, Water body mask map, District mask map, Watershed priorities for soil conservation map, Runoff potential map, Land irrigability map, Habitation mask map.

8 Primary Non-spatial Data:
Demography, Occupation structure, Education facilities, Medical Facilities, Communication facilities, Landuse data, Power availability data, Water availability data.
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