Measuring the societal and economic effects of geospatial services
Geospatial professionals regularly see the effects of their work on a global scale, such as when up-to-date maps and location data help save lives during disaster response or when elements of biodiversity in the world’s oceans and forests are preserved. But non-GEOINT-based consumers may not realize the extent to which geospatial information and services affect their day-to-day activities.
Some of the world’s largest corporations—Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and more—have invested heavily in the future of geospatial technology and information sharing. The developed world has come to rely on such services, including Google Maps and Earth, Yelp, Uber, and Zillow to procure information.
A new study commissioned by Google and conducted by AlphaBeta set out to quantify the ways in which digital mapping saves time and money for both businesses and consumers alike. The 92-page document outlines consumer, business, and societal and environmental benefits.
According to that report: digital maps supported more than $1 trillion in annual sales for businesses in 2016; directly created 4 million jobs (and 8 million indirectly); cut travel times by 12 percent at a value of $264 billion; and can reduce vehicular carbon dioxide emissions by 1,686 million metric tons. Additionally, geo-services have decreased emergency response times by 20 percent and saved global consumers 21 billion hours per year as a result of faster, better informed shopping decisions.
As the mapping industry continues to grow and more detailed information sharing capabilities—such as retail inventory mapping, indoor wayfinding, and real-time mapping for autonomous vehicles) are explored—those numbers will surely increase.
Photo Credit: The Next Web
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