Rajasthan government, which is taking great strides towards digital transformation, has found a way to integrate its digital mission with one of the hallmarks of the state — its rich heritage which includes its gorgeous havelis, temples, and other historical monuments. With the multi-pronged objective of ensuring sustainable development, empowering its citizens, and establishing good governance, the Rajasthan government’s Department of Information Technology & Communication (DoITC) has come up with a GIS initiative — Rajdharaa.
Described as ‘a unified gateway for a spatial decision support system’, Rajdharaa is a platform that enables the maintenance of standardised geographic information system (GIS) assets across the state. This is the first of its kind initiative by any state government across the country.
Rajdharaa has been established with the primary aim of developing a state-wide web-based geo-portal to acquire, process, store, distribute, and improve the utilisation of geospatial data in adherence with the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards. The project has also enabled the development of a data clearing house, which is the gateway of the geospatial data being generated by various agencies of the state government.
Rajdharaa also acts as the sole service agency to increase the efficiencies of government departments such as medical and health, police, utilities, power, commercial taxes, water resources, education, forestry, agriculture, urban development, and more, for the benefit of citizens of the state.
While the key objective of Rajdharaa is a smarter state and better governance, there are two key features working in tandem and furthering the mission of Rajdharaa — preserving the state’s monuments and creating a land bank management system.
Preserving the Pride of Rajasthan — Its Heritage Sites
Rajasthan is known in the world for its heritage sites and their old-world charm and aura have attracted tourists from far and wide for many decades now. With a view to preserving historical monuments in the state from the threat of rapid urbanisation, the state is now on a mission to digitally preserve its cultural sites using data from the GIS platform and 3D modelling design technology from Autodesk, a US-based 3D design technology firm.
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Rajdharaa project consists of three phases:
Phase 1: The first phase of the project involved creating a digital 3D model of historical and archaeological sites. The project team scanned the important historical structures of the state using a combination of laser terrestrial scanning and aerial photogrammetry capture through drones. The data thus collected was processed and stored in point clouds and 3D models through Autodesk ReCap 360. These models were then combined with GIS visuals to create a complete 3D digital model of the structure.
Phase 2: In the second phase the project team transferred the point clouds into Autodesk Revit to build a detailed building information model (BIM), which can be used for maintenance and restoration of projects in the future.
Phase 3: In the third phase, the team used high-resolution digital cameras to capture ancient artwork and sculptures, as well as architectural features of the buildings. These were then converted into 3D models and point clouds using Autodesk ReCap 360 and Autodesk ReMake. These 3D models are used for research and conservation purposes and displayed in virtual exhibitions. They can also be 3D printed to make replicates in case of necessity.
The government is working relentlessly in digitally preserving our heritage sites using the same technology. The team has already created and uploaded some 3D videos on the Rajasthan Tourism website. Also, high-end technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are also being deployed in the project.
The 3D modelling of the heritage sites enables various other departments to create prototypes and help with further assessment of the GIS environment in 3D terms. The team has also created a 3D city model, which has been integrated with the Rajdharaa platform to provide a seamless view of the same.
Boosting Investment Opportunities Through Rajdharaa
Rajdharaa is also being used by the state government to boost the positioning of Rajasthan as an investment-friendly state using the GIS platform to create a land bank management system for investors.
In recent times, Rajasthan has become a destination for investment, thanks to factors such as skilled manpower, available land, an industry-friendly environment, and most of all, the state government’s push to establish a thriving startup ecosystem in the state. With more than 50% of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) passing through Rajasthan, the state is accessible to western and northern markets for industrial development.
To boost this opportunity and position Rajasthan as an investment-friendly state, the Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investment Corporation Limited (RIICO) has come up with a GIS-enabled Enterprise Land Bank Management System under Rajdharaa. Now, investors can get all the necessary information before investing in a land directly from the RIICO GIS Portal.
As with its flagship startup initiative, iStart, in the case of Rajdharaa, too, the Rajasthan government has taken a holistic approach. It envisions leveraging the GIS platform for multiple purposes — from providing effective governance and empowering citizens to protect heritage sites and boosting investments across Rajasthan. Under the able leadership of the Hon’ble Chief Minister, the Rajasthan government seems to be on an innovative spree that will touch all possible areas that can propel the state to another level of development.