A Village Information System (VIS) is an application based on Geographical Information System (GIS), which provides information about multiple factors such as demography, infrastructure, population and natural resources at the village, district and state level. VIS allows the management and analysis of village related data for efficient rural planning. A VIS consists of both spatial and non-spatial data which assimilate to become a single VIS database. Spatial data includes features which are directly or indirectly linked to a location on the surface of the earth, such as, climate, demography, natural resources and land use / land cover. On the contrary, non-spatial data involves numbers and logical features such as population, literacy rate, working population and cultivable area. Together, a collection of both spatial and non-spatial features form a Village Information System.
Students from colleges and universities near the target village are selected to form ‘Work Groups’, who are trained for efficient data collection. The training includes understanding data formats, portation, coalition, management and analysis of data for future comparability (NRDMS, 2007). Once the data is collected, it is analysed and then after performing quality control, it is uploaded on to the public domain. This data is utilized as a decision support system for rural planning and management by considering factors at the ground level of villages. VIS gives overall information through synoptic view of maps which can be filtered using the desired constraints.
Village Information System | What does the final output look like?
People’s Science Institute, in collaboration with Natural Resources Data Management System (NRDMS), under Department of Science & Technology, Government of India has created a public Village Information System portal. Some outputs of the same are as follows:
Fig 1: The above image shows the forest and town cover of Dehradun district, Uttarakhand (PSI, 2007). As rural developing is taking great strides, new data will be added soon in the portal.
Image Source: PSI
Fig 2: The above image shows the map of Kullu district, Himachal Pradesh when the population constraint is selected (PSI, 2007). Similar maps can be created by selecting different constraints for the target area.
Image Source: PSI
India has over 640867 villages where 68 per cent of the country’s population resides, making it a humongous source of ever changing data (Census, 2011). VIS is the first step towards a governance model which implements policies after analysis of multiple parameters, considering their past and present trends at the village, district and state level. VIS is useful for planning and implementing policies for facilities such as drinking water, educational institutes, healthcare and electrification for efficient rural planning. VIS is also helpful in disaster response and management as it enables administrators to immediately identify the worst and the least affected areas. Village Information Systems (VIS) using Geographical Information System (GIS) marks a step towards better governance.
NRDMS, under Department of Science & Technology, Government of India is constantly working towards developing spatial data infrastructure in India for micro level planning across diverse terrain. To know more about NRDMS, visit their website.