Hyderabad: Till a few months ago, for many in Hyderabad, satellite imagery was as distant as the satellite in space. But now, for at least those on Twitter from the city, satellite imagery is providing fodder for debates on the impact of urbanization, floods, and yes, the blatant encroachment of the city’s lakes.
That is not all. Pradeep Goud Macharla is helping some in the media here explore what they call ‘satellite journalism’. Now comes the twist. Pradeep is not doing this from Hyderabad. Neither is he some space scientist. Nor is he working in any satellite or space related firm.
A Hyderabadi working in the US as a railroad engineer, Pradeep’s passion for Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing, earth observation and satellites is is inspiring him to focus and share such information on Twitter.
“I was passionate from childhood about geography, satellites and astronomy. Due to unavailability of resources, I never got a chance to explore it as a child, but in recent years I started doing lot of R&D by going through various documentaries and videos,” he says.
Protection of resources
“Though far from my homeland, I keep track of the latest happenings and I’m concerned about the rapid urbanization. I want to bring awareness in people about protecting natural resources,” he adds.
Pradeep, who uses the handle @Macharlazz on Twitter, has recently started working on identifying dead and encroached lakes in Hyderabad and is tracking the situation over the last three decades with the help of satellite data provided by agencies like the NASA, Copernicus EU, Google and so on.
“The lake series is to educate people on how urbanization is affecting our lives and to realize the importance of lake conservation,” he says, pointing out that the striking difference in the area known as Hitec City, from 1988 to 2019, could be understood clearly using satellite imagery, so could be the urbanization around the Ambar Cheruvu near Kukatpally and also how the Peddacheruvu in Raviryal vanished.