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Summer 2003
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Esri President Discusses Cooperative Mapping Efforts With Indian President

During his recent trip to Asia, Esri President Jack Dangermond met with India President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam to discuss various mapping efforts in India. The meeting was particularly productive because of Kalam's technical background. He studied aeronautical engineering at Madras Institute of Technology and contributed to the design and development of India's first satellite launch vehicle. During the past 10 years, he has held various scientific advisory posts in the Indian government.

Dangermond and Kalam discussed "Mapping Your Neighbourhood," a nationwide project. Briefly, this project was conceived for India's schoolchildren and allows them to participate in the bicentennial celebrations of the Great Arc, an inch-perfect 1,600-mile survey of the Indian subcontinent that took nearly 50 years to complete.

Dangermond signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with India's Department of Science & Technology, Ministry of Science & Technology (DST) to cooperatively support the neighborhood mapping project. The maps generated as part of this project are to serve as an educational tool for the students, leading to an effective neighborhood mapping and decision making device for local planning in both rural and urban areas.

Dangermond also signed an MOU with the DST regarding the development of India's National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI). The intent of Esri and DST is to pool experiences and resources to expand the concept of India's NSDI beyond access to standardized geospatial data to implementing embedded applications and solutions to support societal needs.

For more information, contact Dave Byers, Esri (tel.: 909-793-2853, ext. 1-1561; e-mail: dbyers@esri.com).

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