Internet based Dairy Geographical Information System (i-DGIS)

1. Introduction

Co-operative Milk Unions in India are farmers’ organisations, which operate in large geographical areas with multiple activities to support the dairy farmers in villages. For proper monitoring and planning of these activities, it is thus important that the villages are properly identified on a digital map and also all relevant village level data are integrated and presented together under one platform. With the advancement of internet based GIS technology, it is now possible to integrate and quickly disseminate the tremendous amount of attribute and graphical data of villages into usable information for decision making by all stakeholders of the dairy sector. This article focuses on the development  and implementation of  Internet based Dairy Geographical Information System (i-DGIS), a strong visualization tool, which not only enables identification of villages but also integrates human census, livestock census & landuse/ landcover of villages, in all the major milk producing states of  India. It has been developed by National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), primarily to support the End Implementing Agencies (EIAs) of the National Dairy Plan-I, who are mostly Milk Unions. Further, it can also act as a tool for convergence of planning of activities related to the dairy sector, for multiple stake holders like Animal Husbandry Dept of State / Central Govt , Livestock Development Boards, NGOs etc.

Milk production is dependent upon many environmental as well as socio-economic factors and varies significantly across many parts of the same district or even same sub-district (tehsil). Thus, dairy development activities in the rural areas needs to be planned in such a way that it takes into account the local socio-demographic factors and  the dairy potential of that area.  With the advancement in GIS & RS technology coupled with smartphone/GPS technology,  immense possibilities have been opened up for developing web GIS tools, which can address the problems of monitoring and planning of village level activities pertaining to the dairy sector. Internet based Dairy Geographical Information System (i-DGIS) had been conceptualised to take advantage of these technologies in proper identification of villages as per the Census of India village codes and also provide an internet platform for rapid dissemination of  village level integrated information pertaining to the dairy sector.

2. Framework of Internet based Dairy Geographical Information System (i-DGIS)

i-DGIS has been developed as  a strong GIS visualization tool, proposed for making it available on the internet platform by NDDB,  primarily for  the benefit of EIAs under NDP-I, for their monitoring & planning activities under the aforesaid plan. Further, it is also proposed for use by various Technical Groups of NDDB, State/District level Co-operative Milk Unions/ Federations, Dept. of Animal Husbandry & Livestock Development Boards of State Govts.

EIAs operate in large geographical areas with multiple activities, which is spread across many village locations. Knowing the locational boundaries of the village on a digital map, where any specific dairy development activity is already taking place or is proposed e.g. milk procurement, ration balancing, fodder development, artificial insemination etc would help in convergence planning among multiple stakeholders, as mentioned above.

i-DGIS is also designed so as to help in proper identification of these villages on digital map with village census code. It can be used as a readily available platform on the internet, for showing proposed and active villages in the milkshed area covered by EIAs. Process of identification of villages by the EIAs is explained through i-DGIS platform & GPS and/or Mobile/Smartphone Handsets (whenever required) in the workshops conducted by NDDB.

Most importantly, proposed use of i-DGIS is for monitoring & planning of field level activities of the EIAs under NDP-I, as human census, livestock census & landuse / landcover of the village is integrated and provided in one place on the digital map.

Integration of attribute data and graphical information in i-DGIS results in the ability to turn a tremendous amount of data into usable information. The resulting useable information of i-DGIS, facilitates decision making and spatial analysis through the use of visual display tools, in a way that would not be possible utilizing ordinary computer displays and printouts.

The web server has a repository of 553 digital district maps (as scanned from Census of India district handbook publications) with the aforesaid layers out of 640 districts in the country as per Census 2011. This has been created as a single geodatabase. Census 2011 standard coding pattern were used for identification of District, Sub-district (Tehsil) and Village. Scanning and digitization of all layers from the Primary Census Abstract (PCA) data handbook from Census of India, consisting more than 5 lakhs villages and linking those polygons with standard codes of district, tehsil and block was the major work. Further, considerable effort was made for creating village wise derived layers (attribute data) from Human Census and Livestock Census, which had to be integrated and provided in the same platform.

ESRI’s ArcGIS server 9.3 technology coupled with Microsoft SQL server RDBMS technology have been used in the designing and development of the i-DGIS framework.

ArcGIS Server 9.3 System Architecture


3. Capabilities of Internet based Dairy Geographical Information System (i-DGIS) 

  1. Area of Interest:  The interface provides facility to select State-District-Tehsil as per user choice. The areas selected is displayed for the themes selected. The AOI is capable of being printed.
  2. Measurement and Area: The user is able to measure line distances (meters and kilometers) and polygon area (sq. meters and sq. kilometers)
  3. Query builder: The user is able to perform selection (query) based on available themes and corresponding fields . The select features and selected records can be highlighted.
  4.  Locating : it provides interface to enter longitude (X)  and latitude (Y) readings of a point location obtained from GPS/Smartphone devices in Degree Minutes Seconds (DMS) or Degree Decimal (DD) format and on submission,  it points the position where given location point falls and gets active theme information, if it exists.
  5.  Buffer: Creates a buffer as multiple rings or a selected or queried feature (point, line and poly) for a given distance inside/outside/both options. The buffer created can be exported as graphics in view.
  6.  Export  task: It is able to export the layout/view to jpg, gif, svg ,png  or pdf formats. Query results can be exported in MS Excel format.
  7.  Printing Map: It has capability of printing the layouts with functionality to perform layout operations like paper size and print map title.
  8. Printing Table: It is capable of exporting the required layers attribute tables in MS Excel format
  9.  Standard Basic GIS Functions : Capable of  basic functionalities like search, find by attribute and value, pan, clear selection, zoom in – zoom out, select features by point /line /polygon /rectangle.
  10.  Security: Customised admin module to administer the user rights/ access  has been  created at the database level.

4. Utility of i-DGIS

The i-DGIS application is the first attempt of its kind, where village level integration of data has been done, at such a large scale, for the dairy sector. Many GIS analysis, both spatial & non-spatial can be made through this application. Some illustrative examples are given below,

#Kolhapur Milk Union in Maharashtra has initiated a “re-vegetation” activity of  a fodder development programme in this village under  NDP-I. As a stakeholder, information is required for promoting dairy related activities pertaining to this particular village. The i-DGIS provides the information as below,

Village: Gogave, Tehsil: Sahuwadi  District : Kolhapur  (Maharashtra)


Figure 2. Satellite Imagery   


Figure 3. Land Use Land Cover Image

Households: 373          Buffaloes :     205        Xbred Cows: 117

Population: 1809         Cultivators: 616      Agricultural Labourers : 14

Village Area:   764 (hectares)    Cultivated Area:  715  Irrigated Area: 23 

Culturable Wasteland: 11

It can be seen that along with the village boundaries (which are important to delineate the area within the village, where culturable wastelands are present for possible fodder development) , i-DGIS is able to show the entire datasets pertaining to village wise Human Census, Livestock   Census and also the Land Use Land Cover.

Further, the following few examples illustrate how i-DGIS is proposed to be used by EIAs for monitoring & planning under the NDP-I project. These queries are easily answered.

#Which are the villages that lie within 2-3 Km of  either side of this road ?  Can some of these villages with dairy potential become part of our program by extending the existing milk route?


Figure 4. Example-1

# How many villages, say within a radius of 3 km, can we cover if the Bulk Milk Cooler (BMC) is set up in this village? What is the combined breedable bovine livestock population in these villages?

Figure 5. Example-2

#Which villages have been already covered under bulking i.e. Village Based Milk Procurement System (VBMPS)? What is the scope of enhancing the coverage areas?


Figure 6. Example-3

# Which is the village where a  diary infrastructure, say, Bulk Milk Cooler, is located, when the co-ordinates are known by GPS readings (XY Longitude/Latitude) but the revenue village name is not known?


Figure 7. Example-4

5. Conclusion

The full potential of internet based GIS for development of the  dairy sector  can only be realised, if all stakeholders initiate a process of data integration at the village level  by  pooling different information on a common standard code viz. Census of India village codes. For example, diary infrastructures created by the Milk Unions/Federations at specific locations i.e. Bulk Milk Coolers, Chilling Plants, Dairy Co-op Societies etc at the village/town levels can be mapped; similarly village level fodder development activities under GOI sponsored Accelerated Fodder Development Programme (AFDP), Drought Proofing Activities under MGNREGA, fodder development activities under National Livestock Mission, Watershed Development  etc can also be mapped and shared. 

The IT technology is now geared with MIS,GIS, RS & GPS technologies, in an integrated manner to provide us with user friendly platforms for  monitoring of developmental schemes and plans. It can be seen that the plethora of information at the village level can be easily translated and understood in one map.

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