India’s National Remote Sensing Centre Releases Upgraded Disaster Management Portal

Image courtesy of ISRO.

India’s National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), an arm of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), has released its National Database for Emergency Management (NDEM), Version 3.0.

Commissioned by the Ministry of Home Affairs, NDEM 3.0 was released in an official ceremony by Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh, during the 2nd meeting of National Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction (NPDRR) at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi, on May 15, 2017.

NDEM, which was first launched in 2013, is a disaster management portal aiming to assist decision-making during emergency situations, as well as to provide an efficient method of communication between different government agencies in crisis situations.

The first version, NDEM 1.0, operated on a satellite-based Virtual Private Network (VPN), which was later brought onto the internet in NDEM 2.0 in 2015. Equipped with multi-resolution satellite imagery, decision-support tools and mobile apps with secured access, NDEM also allowed government officials to submit data and interact with one another to hasten the recovery process.

NDEM 3.0 integrates near-real-time social media inputs relating to the disaster, resource management directories and tools, as well as live audio and video chats. Along with relevant mobile apps and a database of equipment suppliers, the portal is a single, integrated platform from which the entire disaster management process can be conducted.

Currently, only government officials are allowed to log into the NDEM portal to access its full features; however, the website maintains regular updates on situations in disaster areas. Maps and other geospatial imagery are open to the public at another of NRSC’s portals, Bhuvan.

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