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Ministry of Railways And Google Launch An Application To Preserve Indian Railways

The Indian Railways started its journey in 1853 between Boribunder and Thane, and has expanded to be the fourth largest railway network in the world.

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Indian Railways is one of the most important and controversial transport in India. Wikimedia Commons
Indian Railways is one of the most important and controversial transport in India. Wikimedia Commons

In a first-of-its-scale heritage mapping and digitisation project, Google and Ministry of Railways on Friday launched a project that aims to preserve the cultural heritage of the Indian Railways.

The two-year digitisation project “The Railways-Lifeline of a Nation” is a comprehensive digital document viewable on Google’s Arts and Culture website. It was launched at the National Rail Museum here.

The project is divided into “Journeys”, “People”, “Heritage” and “Engineering” sections, each containing visual and textual narratives that rail enthusiasts can access for free.

Indian Railways
India has many railways stations famous for various reasons. Wikimedia Commons

It comprises photographs, documentaries, text, virtual tours, 360-degree videos, online exhibits, and maps, pertaining to the Indian Railways.

Minister of Railways, Piyush Goyal via video-conferencing said that the project is an experience for the “1.3 billion people of India about what the 1.3 million railway employees are doing for serving them”.

“From the Nilgiri mountains to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Station, let the people of India relive their childhood… through the train journey to Madhira and through the Darjeeling toy train; let’s show them the Kangra Valley, the Kalka-Shimla experience so that it could be enjoyed by someone in Coimbatore or Ooty,” he said.

Indian Railways
Vijayawada Railway Station was constructed in 1888. Wikimedia Commons

Along with several railway lines, the project also documents stories of 32 railway employees including engineers, ticket checkers, trackmen, and shunters.

Also capturing stories from the Indian Railways are other sections like the street art, literature, Bollywood, music, and sports, which demonstrate the inseparability of trains and culture.

The online project will also materialise as digital exhibits at 22 stations in India including New Delhi, Bengaluru, Coimbatore, Guwahati, Howrah, Secunderabad and Varanasi, Google said.

Indian Railways
Minister of Railways, Piyush Goyal via video-conferencing said that the project is an experience for the “1.3 billion people of India .

The event also saw the inauguration of a permanent exhibition of these online resources in the National Rail Museum premises.

Also Read: Google Turns 20, Feels Nostalgic

Notably, the Indian Railways started its journey in 1853 between Boribunder and Thane, and has expanded to be the fourth largest railway network in the world. (IANS)

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Google’s Wing Aviation Receives Approval from FAA to Operate Drone for Deliveries

It's the first time a company has gotten a federal air carrier certification for drone deliveries

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google, drone, wing aviation
A man using a mobile phone walks past Google offices in New York, Dec. 17, 2018. VOA

Google affiliate Wing Aviation has received federal approval allowing it to make commercial deliveries by drone.

It’s the first time a company has gotten a federal air carrier certification for drone deliveries. The approval from the Federal Aviation Administration means that Wing can operate commercial drone flights in part of Virginia, which it plans to begin later this year.

The FAA said Tuesday that the company met the agency’s safety requirements by participating in a pilot program in Virginia with the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership and Virginia Tech, and by conducting thousands of flights in Australia over the past several years.

“This is an important step forward for the safe testing and integration of drones into our economy,” Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said in a statement.

drones, wing aviation, google
“This is an important step forward for the safe testing and integration of drones into our economy,” Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said in a statement. Wikimedia

Wing said the approval “means that we can begin a commercial service delivering goods from local businesses to homes in the United States.”

The company didn’t name any businesses that would take part in commercial deliveries. It said it plans to spend the next several months demonstrating its technology and answering questions from people and businesses in Blacksburg and Christiansburg, Virginia.

Wing said it will “solicit feedback with the goal of launching a delivery trial later this year.”

Wing said that to win FAA certification it had to show that one of its drone deliveries would pose less risk to pedestrians than the same trip made in a car. The company said its drones have flown more than 70,000 test flights and made more than 3,000 deliveries to customers in Australia.

The company is touting many benefits from deliveries by electric drones. It says medicine and food can be delivered faster, that drones will be especially helpful to consumers who need help getting around, and that they can reduce traffic and emissions.

drones, wing aviation, google
FILE – A drone demonstrates delivery capabilities from the top of a UPS truck during testing in Lithia, Florida, Feb. 20, 2017. VOA

Drone usage in the U.S. has grown rapidly in some industries such as utilities, pipelines and agriculture. But drones have faced more obstacles in delivering retail packages and food because of federal regulations that bar most flights over crowds of people and beyond sight of the operator without a waiver from the FAA.

ALSO READ: All that you Need to Know about Buying Watches

The federal government recently estimated that about 110,000 commercial drones were operating in the U.S., and that number is expected to zoom to about 450,000 in 2022.

Amazon is working on drone delivery, a topic keen to CEO Jeff Bezos. Delivery companies including UPS and DHL have also conducted tests. (VOA)