[Fsf-friends] Google Earth Exposes the Indian Military

Shekhar Krishnan shekhar at crit.org.in
Wed Sep 28 13:17:23 CEST 2005

Dear All:

:: apologies for cross-posting ::

This has caused quite an uproar in Mumbai, and the consequences will be
interesting to follow. 

To read more about open geo-data and free mapping initiatives in India,
see the Mumbai Free Map ( http://www.crit.org.in/projects/gis |
http://freemap.crit.org.in | http://www.freemap.in ). 

Please also visit and sign the open geo-data manifesto hosted by the
Open Knowledge Foundation ( http://okfn.org/geo/manifesto.php ) and
visit Mapping Hacks ( http://www.mappinghacks.com ). 



Google Earth exposes IAF bases


MUMBAI: Legally, you aren’t supposed to come within arm’s length of
India’s military bases. Whether it is the naval dockyards in Mumbai or
the air force bases in New Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad, they continue
to be strictly out of bounds for unauthorised personnel. 

But technology, unerringly, finds ways to subvert the law. A little over
two weeks ago, Google released fresh satellite images of New Delhi,
south Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad as part of its new initiative,
Google Earth (  http://earth.google.com  ). These images, available to
anybody with access to the Net, provide users with images of earth from

Punch New Delhi and the software first zooms in on Rashtrapati Bhavan.
After having taken a look at its lawns, take in a detailed perspective
of Parliament building. Maybe, fly over the Prime Minister’s residence.
And if that doesn’t satiates the voyeur in you, move over to Palam
Airport where IAF planes are based.

The level of detail even reveals the camouflage used to mask hangars.

Pictures of Mumbai reveal with numbing clarity the docks where INS
Viraat is berthed. Users can zoom close enough to take a reasonably good
look at the deck of India’s lone aircraft carrier. Browse around and you
can stroll past piers where warships of all kinds and submarines are

Pan across to take a long look at what lies beyond the fortified gates
of Navy Nagar where access is normally controlled by gun-wielding
guards. And if that isn’t enough, there are shots of a carrier under
construction, which sources speculate, could be the top secret advanced
technology vessel (ATV). 

It’s much the same thing with Bangalore. The air force base at Yelahanka
with the jets and helicopters parked are available for all to view. And
if it’s the HAL factory you’re interested in, zoom right in.


Shekhar Krishnan
9, Supriya, 2nd Floor
709, Parsee Colony Road no.4
Dadar, Mumbai 400014


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