Geospatial Information Regulation Bill 2016

Hello Friends,

Today came across Geospatial Information Regulation Bill 2016 (Draft)
A few sections:

To regulate the acquisition, dissemination, publication and distribution of geospatial information of India which is likely to affect the security, sovereignty and integrity of India.

“Person” includes;-
i. an individual,
ii. a company,
iii. a firm,
iv. a trust,
v. an association of persons or a body of individuals, whether incorporated or not,
vi. every artificial juridical person, not falling within any of the preceding sub-clauses, and
vii. any agency, office or branch owned or controlled by any of the above persons mentioned in the preceding sub-clauses.

Without general or special permission of the Security Vetting Authority, no person shall acquire geospatial imagery or data including value addition of any part of India either through any space or aerial platforms such as satellite, aircrafts, airships, balloons, unmanned aerial vehicles or terrestrial vehicles, or any other means whatsoever.

Dissemination, Publication or Distribution of the Geospatial Information of India
Without the general or special permission of the Security Vetting Authority, no person shall disseminate or allow visualization of any geospatial information of India either through internet platforms or online services, or publish or distribute any geospatial information of India in any electronic or physical form.

There are many other clauses. Fine from 10 lacs, 1 Cr to 100 Cr and/or imprisonment of 7 years, as case may be…

How this can affect collaborative project like OSM?
Can this affect no. of Android apps like OsmAND etc…
Can communities acquire paper based geospacial information, like, fieldpapers?

So many questions but just wish to start the discussion.
Expert comments solicited as legal matters are involved…

PS. The comments/suggestions on the draft Bill may be forwarded to the Joint Secretary (Internal Security-I), Ministry of Home Affairs, North Block, New Delhi at email id: within 30 days.

The bill is available for download. pl search Google.


An interesting article while pursuing the Net…

One can also download & read the draft from the link provided…

Hello friends,

just for your information: We are discussing the “Geospatial Information Regulation Bill 2016 (Draft)” even in the German OSM Forum (see

We, i.e. some German OSM mappers, would be very interested to hear what you, the Indian OSM mappers, think about that draft. How (if at all) should the OSM community react to that draft? If you see any need for action, would you want international mappers to support you, and how?

(Disclaimer: I cannot speak for the international OSM community, I am just an ordinary OSM mapper, but I think many active OSM supporters would like to know your ideas about that questions.)

Best regards,

Chrysopras (just another OSM mapper, from Germany)

‘Open Geospatial Data’, is essential for bringing transparency in Indian administration. Seeing is believing.
With the advent of smartphones, ‘Geospatial Data’, has become almost a routine. Ex: You go for sight-seeing and click a few snaps, whose coordinates are automatically noted for the Photo. You place it where it belongs Geospatially…
The photo is actually projected on, ‘Web Mercator projection’ with attributes of Time, Lens (of Camera) etc.
So the photo becomes an, ‘Object’ on a projected digital map with attributes which is Objected upon.
This is not permitted by the proposed bill…“charts, maps, terrestrial photos referenced to a co-ordinate system and having attributes” (reproduced from the draft bill).

It is time we all react and wisdom prevails.

Although the origin of the Bill seems to be in good intent, since OSM in non-profit, perhaps some weightage may be given to that status.


As it stands, the Geospatial Information Regulation Bill would basically ban OpenStreetMap completely like Mainland China, and I don’t know how detailed the official maps go.