Today during the Plenary at the ESRI International User Conference in San Diego, California, ESRI President Jack Dangermond presented a “Making a Difference” Award to Dr. K. Kasturirangan, Member (Science), Planning Commission, Government of India, for his groundbreaking use of GIS for India’s space program.
“He makes a difference because of the integration of remote sensing into GIS and also the tremendous focus he’s created on applications,” says Dangermond.
As the former chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization and a longtime user of GIS technology, Dr. Kasturirangan has been instrumental in shaping the spatial data framework for all of India. He’s also been the director of the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, since April 2004. In addition, he’s a recipient of the three civilian awards from the Government of India: the Padma Shri (1982), Padma Bhushan (1992), and Padma Vibhushan (2000).
Dr. Kasturirangan’s work helped with the successful launch of the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, India’s first unmanned scientific mission to the moon. Today, he holds the distinguished position of India’s parliament, Rajya Sabha. And he continues to play a leadership role in developing new application areas for GIS. These developments are shaping the future of GIS technology.