The fact that maps and maps related data is an important part of the daily lives of modern users cannot be denied. Those of us with smartphones end up using quite a bit of the crop of modern mapping services like Google Maps, Nokia Maps, MayMyIndia and so on. So how can we quantify the effect that the geo services industry has on the country and users? Google has released the findings on a BCG report that they commissioned.
The report has found out that the Indian Geo services industry netted in $3 billion in revenue in 2011 and employed around 1,35,000 people. The report says that geo services industry has an impact which translates in 15 times its own size. This is so because the data and services that the industry provides is helping businesses to go ahead and innovate and thus deliver products which generate more revenue for them. The report says that Indian geo services help other Indian businesses to drive up to $40-45 billion in revenue. These services help save around $70-75 billion in costs and have an effect on 8-9 million jobs in the country. Indian consumers are also ready to collectively pay around $1.5-2 billion more than their current spend for advanced geospatial service like online maps, nav systems and local online search. These consumers are mostly local businesses who recognize the key the behind being successful is a good online presence complete with mapping information.
Lalitesh Katragadda, Country Head, India Products at Google spoke about the report’s findings,
“Geo services helped generate $2 billion in revenue within the Indian accommodation and food services industry alone. In the report, restaurants reported benefiting from new customers finding them through local searches. Users benefit as it makes it easier for them to find the information on local offerings and creating valuable efficiencies in their day-to-day lives.”
“Geo services such as the Google Maps APIs are helping to grow the Indian economy by enabling job opportunities, and paving the way towards future innovation. To enable continued growth, governments, companies, researchers and consumers all need to encourage mapping innovations and investments in India.”
Google’s mapping products and APIs are very popular due to the extensive data that the company has and the improved reliability of its products. There are many businesses like Meru Cabs and Olacabs, which use Google Maps’ API to deliver value to their customers. The Maps API integration lets these cab companies to make their customers life easier with respect to pick-ups, drops and GPS tracking of cabs, thus making the whole process and the company accountable to its consumers. This is also an example of how online businesses are becoming increasingly transparent with regards to their service thus enabling better customer support and experience.
Now even though the geo services has a sizable impact on the economy and the industry, the impact is only going to become more pronounced. Hyperlocal search is a new trend which is driving location based data usage integrated with online search. There are so many small businesses in the country and a very small percentage has started understanding the value of location data and online presence. There is a lot of scope for increased growth of geospatial data and the geo services industry in general.
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