Western Ghats Map and fly through in Google Earth

During the SWGM 2010, the Honourable Minister for Environment and Forests, Sh. Jairam Ramesh unveiled a map of the Western Ghats. The map was compiled as a reference/discussion point for the Save the Western Ghats meeting held on February 18-20, at the Keystone Foundation, Kotagiri, The Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, India. Layers within the map include: National, State and District boundaries, state capitals, major rivers, major reservoirs, mining projects, major power plants, populations of tribal peoples, state legislative politics, national legislative politics, protected areas, NGOs, institutes and people’s movements, and Western Ghats outline. A fly through of Western Ghats highlighting key issues in the region was also presented during the meeting using Google Earth.

Hon. Minister inaugurating a Map of the Western Ghats

The purpose of this map is to highlight the environmental threats faced by the Western Ghats, as well as the geopolitical and social influences on the area. We hope this map will highlight the need to bring together information from various places and sources onto one platform that helps analysis while at the same time allows everyone to own, modify and share the data. For this purpose we have chosen to distribute the information as Google Earth files as they only require free Google Map or Google Earth for viewing and modification. This is in keeping with the spirit of openness of a people’s movement.

Created: January to February 2010 by The Keystone Foundation, Nilgiris

Entity and Attribute Overview

Population densities: Population of each district taken from the 2001 Indian Census (http://www.censusindia.gov.in)
Rivers: Suggestions of major rivers taken from the book The Western Ghats by Mohan Pai.
Dams: Dam information taken from state water resources department website, locations plotted using Google earth. Only reservoirs greater than 10 km2 were included.
Mining Projects: Mining information taken from Indian Bureau of Mines (http://ibm.nic.in). Only legal mines with approved mineral leases are included.
Power Plants: Power plant information taken from the Indian Central Electricity Authority (http://www.cea.nic.in/), locations plotted using Google Earth. Only power stations with a greater than 10 Megawatt capacity are included. Hydroelectric stations are not included.
Tribes: Tribal populations by district from 2001 Indian Census (http://www.censusindia.gov.in).
State Politics: State political information taken from the state’s government website. Represents political seats held in the legislative assembly as of 20 January, 2010.
National Politics: Lok Sabha parliamentary members taken from the Indian government website. (http://india.gov.in) Information valid as of January 15, 2010.
Protected Areas: Protected area shapefiles downloaded from the World Database on Protected Areas (www.wdpa.org).
NGOs and CBOs: Information taken from recommendations of attendees of the Save the Western Ghat Meeting, 2010 and Profiles 500: Selected Voluntary Organizations in India 2nd Ed. Information plotted using Google Earth.
Institutions: Information taken from recommendations of attendees of the Save the Western Ghat Meeting, 2010. Information plotted using Google Earth.
People’s Movements: Information taken from recommendations of attendees of the Save the Western Ghat Meeting, 2010. Information plotted using Google Earth.
Western Ghats outline: Outline digitized from the Indian Biodiversity Portal map of the Western Ghats (www.indianbiodiversity.org)
Background Satellite photo: from Google Earth Pro

The boundaries of administrative units are only indicative and should not be used as an authentic source.

Attribute Accuracy: Attributes are accurate to within the district level. Points may not represent specific geographic locations but are rather a representation of an entity within the district

Completeness: NGOs, Institutions, and People’s Movements layers are incomplete especially in the northern Western Ghats region.

Type of Source Media: government documents and websites, personal recommendations, Google Earth

Western Ghats Participant contributors:
Ashok Kundapur
Latha Anandha from Rivers Research Institute

Copyleft and License:

Please note that the files are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License to enable free and fair sharing in the spirit of ‘Save the Western Ghats’ movement . Please visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ for more information on your rights.