Smart Maps and its Importance in Life

What is Smart Map?

Smart Map. Smart map helps in searching for places of interest, pinpoint addresses, optimize routing, and communicates to the people who are travelling in different location. Smart maps offer an offline street level map, allowing people to search and navigate with an internet connection. A recent survey showed that emergency vehicles in India spend about 25% of their response time to reach their patient. Half of the time is spent on finding the location where the call has originated from. The use of smart maps can reduce the time and could eventually save millions of lives. The potential uses of a smart map includes:


  1. Traffic and commuting
  2. Local retail
  3. Tourism
  4. Women’s safety
  5. City planning
  6. Civic engagement
  7. Emergency services
  8. Logistics and delivery
  9. Disaster response

 Technology used in smart mapping:

1.Nowadays, maps support all government functions in real-time, right from managing utilities like water, electricity and gas, and all the way to ensuring total public safety; by assisting police officials in fighting crime, the fire department in handling accidents, and even assisting citizens during natural or man-made disasters. Today maps have moved on from merely depicting land zoning and land-use to efficiently deciding & allocating zones and uses. Smart maps help in the efficient and dynamic management of public works like roads, street utilities and transport.The technology behind these intelligent maps is Geographical Information System. GIS uses satellite imagery and remote sensing technologies to build layered maps that help organizations and administrations plan, implement, and operate tasks in a smart and efficient way. Today, many cities across the world are using these GIS maps to manage their day to day tasks in real time.

2.Smart mapping technology helps health organizations to generate maps, showing case distribution at multiple scales (e.g. world, country, regional, provincial, and district levels) and predict which populations are most vulnerable based on their proximity to risk. In addition, it also helps local health authorities monitor the disease outbreak, and target specific control and prevention measures. The Ebola outbreak is a prime example of how smart mapping technology is used to manage disease outbreaks. Esri’s Health industry experts in the US assisted the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization in their efforts to control and manage Ebola in West Africa.Throughout the crisis, Esri’s ArcGIS software was used to evaluate disease spread, site treatment units and specialty labs, understanding cultural practices around burials, languages spoken transportation routes and more. With such information, health authorities could allocate resources and facilities for diagnosis, treatment and care for infected patients.

3.Light detection and ranging technology (LIDAR): is used to build high resolution maps. It is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure variable distances on the Earth. These light pulses when combined with other data recorded by the airborne systems generate precise, three-dimensional information about the shape of the Earth and its surface characteristics. A LIDAR instrument principally consists of a laser, a scanner, and a specialized GPS LIDAR systems allow scientists and mapping professionals to examine both natural and manmade environments with accuracy, precision, and flexibility. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists are using LIDAR to produce more accurate shoreline maps, making digital elevation models for use in geographic information systems, to assist in emergency response operations, and in many other applications. Some of the major applications of LIDAR are as follows:

  • Agriculture: LIDAR helps the farmers to find the area that uses costly fertilizer. LIDAR can be used to create elevation map of the farmland that can be converted to create slope and sunlight exposure area map. Both the layer information can be used to generate high, medium and low crop production area.
  • Micro-Topography: LIDAR is very accurate and precise technology which uses laser pulse to strike the object. Regular photogrammetry or other survey technology can miss the surface elevation value that is hidden by vegetation or forest canopy. But LIDAR can penetrate through the object and detect the surface value.
  • Forest Planning and Management: LIDAR is widely used in the forest industry to plan and mange. It is used to measure vertical structure of forest canopy and used to measure and understand canopy bulk density and canopy base height.
  • Environmental Assessment: Micro topography data generated from the LIDAR data is used in the environment assessment. Environment assessment is done to protect the plants and environment. Remote sensing and surface information (LIDAR) is used to find the area that is affected by the human activities.
  • Flood Model LIDAR is used to create high resolution and accurate surface model of the river. This extracted LIDAR information can be used for the 3D simulation for better planning of the structures or buildings on the river bank.
  • Modelling of the Pollution: LIDAR wavelengths are shorter and operates in ultraviolet, visible and infrared regions. This helps to image the object which are in same size or larger than the wavelength. LIDAR can detect pollutant particles of carbon dioxide, Sulphur dioxide and methane. This information helps researchers to create pollutant density map of the area which can be used for better planning of the city.
  • Mapping: Surface model created from LIDAR is used to add graphical value to maps. Digital Elevation Model (DEM) from LIDAR is added underneath of all layers that shows the 3D view of the land. Especially LIDAR data (DEM) is added on the aerial photography to show the 3D view which makes it easier to plan roads, buildings, bridges and rivers.
  • Accident Scene: Ground based LIDAR can be used to capture the accident and crime scene. LIDAR technology can be used quickly to record the accident scene on the road that can be used later for the investigation. This allow the traffic to flow smoothly if there is an accident.
  • Vehicle Automation: LIDAR is becoming more popular in automatic vehicles. LIDAR is used to grab the information on the road and it is passed to the computerized system to help make decisions without human involvement.

Smart mapping technologies are ushering new frontiers in urban planning, architecture and designing. 3D visualization mapping and modelling techniques aim to provide tools and data to help citizens make informed decisions. Smart Maps are critical tools to accelerate progress towards India’s social and economic development agenda.


LIDAR Data 50 Applications and Uses- It is important. (2015, August 28). Retrieved October 04, 2017, from

US Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (2012, October 01). What is LIDAR. Retrieved October 04, 2017, from


Please follow and like us:

Comments are closed.