Geomatic Center


The Geomatics Centre at the office of the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Chennai was established under Tamil Nadu Afforestation Project during the year 2000.  The Centre is equipped with modern State of the Art facilities.

The primary objective of Geomatics Centre is to strengthen field-based applications of RS & GIS by making use of the latest information and communication technology and so contributing in planning, monitoring and evaluation of projects. It thus provides an excellent decision support system to the planners and policy makers of the State Forest Department.

The foremost activity undertaken by the Geomatics Centre is preparation of digital database of Administrative units, which is the basis for any decision making. The database is updated then and there on getting authenticated data from the divisions. A special drive in this regard was initiated in September 2018.

Activities undertaken at the Geomatics Centre 

  • Forest administration database creation and updation including digitization of notified forest boundaries
  • Digital library of forest land records
  • Forest cover mapping
  • Forest type mapping
  • Monitoring afforestation activities
  • Vegetation mapping and change analysis
  • Forest fire burnt area assessment
  • Daily fire alert using SNPP, MODIS data during the fire season
  • Eco Sensitive Zone mapping for Protected Areas
  • Preparation of working plan maps
  • Decision support in Scheduled tribes and traditional forest dwellers claims

Forest administration database

One of the major projects undertaken by the Geomatics Centre is preparation of digital database (eg: Boundary of District, Range, Beat, RF and RL etc.).  Tamil Nadu is covered in 221 numbers of 1:50000 scale SOI topographic map, which is the basic data for database creation. 

Boundaries of Reserved Forest Blocks, which were available in SOI topographic maps, were digitized following boundaries given in topographic maps. Boundaries of Reserved Forest blocks and Reserved Lands, which were not available in topographic maps and other administrative units like Division / Range / Section / Beat were digitized based on the data provided by District Forest Officers/Wildlife Wardens/Deputy Directors on tracing film (with reference to 1:50000 scale SOI topographic map) or GPS coordinates. The database is updated then and there after getting authenticated data from the Division / Circle.

During 2019, the Honourable Chief Minister announced under Rule 110 on the floor of the Legislative Assembly a project "DGPS survey of notified forests of Tamil Nadu" under which boundaries of Reserved Forests and Reserved Lands will be surveyed with the latest technology of DGPS / TS depending on the circumstances to create more accurate database.

Digital library of Forest land records

The recorded forest area of the Tamil Nadu State is 22.877 km2.  Being custodian of 17.59% of the States’ land resource, Tamil Nadu Forest Department is the biggest land owner of the state.  Many Reserved Forests were notified more than a century ago and the documents like Gazettes, Government Notifications, FMB sketches are in fragile condition at various offices of the department. These documents are the ‘Assets Records’ of the Department.  It is needless to point out that maintenance and upkeep of records pertaining to these forest lands is of the utmost importance.  All these Forest land records viz. notifications available with Forest Department as well as maps authenticated by Forest Settlement Officers (FSOs) are therefore being collected, scanned and maintained in Digital Reserved Forests ‘Land Record’ Archives.   In cases where documents are not available with the Forest Department, State Archives is being approached for copies of such documents.

Mapping Forest types of Tamil Nadu

Mapping of Forest types in the State was carried out at the Geomatics Centre in collaboration with and through technical assistance of Forest Survey of India. It provides spatial distribution of various forest types and sub types in the State.

Monitoring afforestation activities & Vegetation change analysis

A database of forest area treated under Tamil Nadu Afforestation Project has been created and vegetation change analysis carried out to select treatment areas to assess the impact of afforestation activities.  A fresh project is underway since 2017 to assess vegetation cover in 5 Corporation areas.

Forest fire burnt area assessment

One major activity at the Geomatics Centre is Forest fire monitoring using space technology and GIS. Fire burnt area was assessed annually from the year 2001 onwards using multispectral satellite images to assess forest fire damage and its spatial spread.   SNPP having higher detection power due to better resolution number of fires detected since 2016 has been higher. A detailed multivariable analysis work was taken up in 2017 & 2018 to assess vulnerability of forests to fire and 106 beats were found to be highly or very highly sensitive / vulnerable to fire.

Maps of

1. Notified Forests of Tamil Nadu

2. Forest Type Groups of Tamil Nadu

3. Protected Areas of Tamil Nadu

Daily fire alert using VIIRS, MODIS data

Near real time MODIS and VIIRS data are good for determining the location active fires.  Forest fire alerts received from FSI are sent to the concern DFOs/WLWs/DDs for immediate action in the field. A database of these fire locations is maintained at the Geomatics Centre, which will be useful to identify fire sensitive beats, mitigation planning and management strategies.  

In 2019, all the DFOs/WLWs/DDs, CCFs/CFs of circles were registered with FSI's fire alert system for quick dissemination of fire alerts.   MOU has been signed between Tamil Nadu Forest Department and NRSC, Hyderabad to collaborate on various aspects especially fire alerts and fresh data of staff (phone numbers and jurisdiction) has been shared with NRSC for the purpose.

Eco Sensitive Zone mapping for Protected Areas

Delineation of Eco-Sensitive Zone for each Protected Area, based on the data provided by Wildlife Wing, was prepared at Geomatics Centre.

Preparation of working plan maps

Geomatics Centre assists in preparation of various maps for working plan preparation. Working plan maps like Management map, Reference map, Administrative map, working circle maps with required scales and  sample plot locations as per working plan code-2014 are prepared with reference to GIS database.

Latest work undertaken at Geomatics Centre 

  • Spatial and temporal analysis of Decadal forest fire data
  • GISc based multivariable analysis to assess forests' vulnerability to fire
  • Satellite image based vegetation study for Urban areas (in progress)
  • Eco-sensitive zone maps, working plan maps, etc.
  • Geo-location of TCPL sites, cairns constructed under TBGP and vulnerable areas of forests as per data with vigilance wing, etc. are being mapped.



Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Information Technology),

Office of the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests,

No.1 Jeenis Salai, Saidapet,

Chennai - 600 015. INDIA

Ph: +91 - 44 -24335572 / 24312185

Email :