Evolution of Geomatics in AP Forest Department:
Efficient Forest Resource Management requires rapid reliable and accurate information regarding the status of Forest. RS & GIS in combination with GPS was emerged as a key-monitoring tool for better management of resources. Information Technology has percolated deep into A.P Forest Department during the implementation of Andhra Pradesh Forest Project. Geographic Information system was introduced in Andhra Pradesh Forestry Department with a view to improve the capabilities of the decision makers in Planning and Monitoring of the forests. The use of GIS has brought speed in communication of the data, consistency at all levels, transparency, accuracy, reliability and ease of use. This technology encompasses other technologies like Management Information system, Global positioning system, Remote Sensing, Forest Inventory and cartography to fulfill the needs of the Department.
Geomatics was totally an unknown field in AP Forest Department before AP Forestry Project was started. Use of RS, GIS & GPS had a very modest beginning in the APFD and faced lot of difficulties in spatial database creation as well as processing. The difficulties faced in getting accurate spatial and non spatial data from the field overcome by our perseverance and hard work of our field staff. The difficulties faced in transferring the processed data and its use overcome by developing methodologies and continuous trainings. However, after the initial starting problems were over, the Geomatics Centre has developed into a centre of excellence in the field of Geomatics and become a prime Forest Department in Geomatics in the country. It has acquired sophisticated hardware and software and has a fully automated database whose accuracy has been verified at various levels. It has spread the RS, GIS & GPS activities to the field through 6 Regional GIS Centers and all the divisional forest offices of the Department.
It had built up its organization to an extent where it can execute its jobs independently and even to guide private companies and other governmental organizations in the state as well as all over India who are dealing with natural resources assessment about the methodologies to be adopted. It has also reached to stage that it can take up external projects. It is being conducting the trainings on Information Technology to the government and private organizations all over the country. The methodologies developed by the organization are praised by many organizations in India and abroad. The organization is being developed as a modal to the other governmental and private organization in India and abroad.