Last week Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launched Bhuvan, a much anticipated Satellite Mapping solution similar to Google Earth. Bhuvan is currently in beta, but they would have relapsed as pre-alpha to only few users for testing. Because I am using the application it is unusable at times, the site itself is confusing and there are no better controls or an effective way of searching with in the application.
Unlike Google Earth which is a desktop app, Bhuvan runs in browser using a browser plugin. The plugin works with only IE for the moment. Users have to register and login before they can access the page. Once registered you can download the plugin and install it to use the app. Bhuvan in itâ€™s current beta stage is unusable, it hangs frequently, the image quality is not that great. Bhuvan is supposed to provide high resolution satellite images but you donâ€™t find any high resolution images.
It also displays local data at the state, city and taluk lvel data. There is an overlay of data on drought. Bhuvan shows data about the cities like the population, longitude, latitude on hovering the mouse, a more in-depth data would be much useful. Maps also include roads national highways and boundaries of the cities, states. The local information is quite good but the application is not running smoothly, it is difficult to see the full potential of the application right now. Unless they improve the plugin and performance of the app it is of no use.
There are measurement tools available for measuring distance from one place to other, query terrian will give logitude, latitude and altitude of the terrain you want.
For some cities Bhuvan has news but the news is currently displayed from Time of India group, eventually they will add more resources, otherwise news feature is of no use. Current list of cities for which news is provided include Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Goa, Gawahati, Hubli, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Mangalore, Mysore, Nagpur, Patna, Pune, Rajkot, Ranchi, Surat, Thane, Thiruvananthapuram, Vadodara and Varanasi.
Some called it Google killer before launching, but it is far from a Google Killer. The resolution of the maps in Google Earth is much better than Bhuvan.