Survey of India, the principal mapping agency of the country will be celebrating its 250th anniversary in year 2017. Origin of the Survey of India is traced back to Year 1767, when Major James Rennell was appointed as the Surveyor General of Bengal. It is the oldest scientific department in India and one of the oldest survey establishments in the world.
James Rennell surveyor of Bengal, 1767-1777
Foundation for the scientific survey and mapping of the country was laid with The Great Trignometric Survey (GTS) in 19th century, by noted surveyors Col Lambton and Sir George Everest.
Logo of the Survey of India until c. 1923
A map showing the triangles and transects used in the survey, produced in 1870
These maps have played an invaluable role in the saga of India’s nation building and were pivotal in the foundation of almost all major developmental activities of the modern India.
Survey of India has played an indispensable pioneering role in understanding the country’s priorities in growth and Defense.
In order to mark this once-in- a-lifetime event, Survey of India will be organizing year-long series of events to showcase the invaluable contributions made by our great predecessors and to look forward to a new era of geospatial evolution which would facilitate India to achieve future economic milestones along with Sustainable Development Goals.
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Further this would also offer an occasion to celebrate and recognize the larger value of great institutional history of Survey of India and demonstrate our capabilities, achievements and contributions in nation building. It would be a very noble gratitude to thousands and lakhs of surveyors who have contributed against all odds with the determination and missionary zeal to map the country and provide topographical unity to India.
Surveyors of India : List of Surveyors of India
This event would also provide a good opportunity to showcase the historical value of Survey of India to common people and also demonstrate its immense potential in simplest form to stakeholder’s entities prevailing in public, private and civil society’s domain.
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Historic journey of Survey of India dates back to eighteenth century. It is a story of great adventure and high devotion to the cause of exploration under extremely trying conditions, requiring not only a high order of professional competence but many of those qualities of the head and heart which enable successful completion of difficult task.
Forerunners of army of the East India Company and Surveyors had an onerous task of exploring the unknown. Bit by bit the tapestry of Indian terrain was completed by the painstaking efforts of a distinguished line of Surveyors such as Mr. Lambton and Sir George Everest.
Measurement of the Calcutta baseline in 1832 based on a sketch by James Prinsep.
Looking back at the magnitude of the task accomplished, we have to admire the courage and foresight of these pioneer Surveyors.
It will be quite an ideal and appropriate platform for Survey of India to showcase its technical strength and achievements of the past 250 years, starting from Great Trigonometric Survey of 1802 to computation of height of Mount Everest in 1849 and many more.
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Survey towers used by Everest to house the instruments
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Survey of India meuseum, Dehradun

Watch rare and interesting videos on the Journey of Survey of India :