DigitalGlobe and GeoEye – Seeing the World Together

How much can change over 2 days in an Industry? Looks like the answer to that Question is a lot when it comes to the Geospatial Industry. When the entire world is supposedly not doing well on the economic front, there has been positive signals coming out of the GEO world.

Yes, that why’s we like to call it GeoAwesomeness!! Hopefully someday it might find it way into the oxford dictionary! Ok, maybe thats a little too wild a wish!

Just over 24 hours ago, Google released the market research done on the economic impact of Geo Services. The numbers made all of us sit up and take notice of how big the Industry was actually. In fact, in that report – Oxera, the economic consultancy firm from UK had predicted that the numbers and predications might be undervaluation considering that Geo Services and its impact is going to only get better from now. Little would have these guys known that within few days they were going to be vindicated.

Today, DigitalGlobe and GeoEye have announced their merger in what looks like the second largest acquisition/merger in the Geospatial Industry. This merger will surely make DigitalGlobe a bigger player in the satellite imagery and geospatial analysis segment.

Talking history – In 2010, Intergraph was acquired by Hexagon AB in what was touted as the biggest geospatial conglomeration.  Considering that Hexagon AB already acquired Leica Geosystems and later NovAtel Inc (GNSS OEM), the acquisition of Intergraph made it a force to reckon with in the geospatial industry.

Now DigitalGlobe and GeoEye have followed up with their own trick.

So how will this change the geospatial industry?

In a sense both these companies have been in the same market segment, Imagery and Geospatial Analysis. The merger will facilitate them to reach out to a larger customer base. With an expanded constellation they would now be able to strategize better and improve their line of products.

The truth is, its still early days for this merger to have an big impact on the Industry or the prospects of DigitalGlobe.

Somehow, it seems like the geospatial industry is well onto the path of maturity and ecology of the industry is gradually settling down. The big market players are slowly but surely trying to consolidate their positions. The SME’s haven’t yet reached a stage of maturity and that means that there would be plenty of room for innovation and possible realignment in a perpetual market.

DigitalGlobe and GeoEye now have come together to “See the World Better”! Here’s wishing them all the best!

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Economics of Geo Services

Let me begin with a “borrowed” sentence from www.oxera.com ” When was the last time you went to a new place without checking a digital map first? ” Right now you know where I am getting at!

Google changed the way we used internet in a sense. Google Search literally made internet the knowledge base of the world. Many might differ and say otherwise. But then when it came to geospatial tech, Google Maps and Google Earth democratized geospatial technologies and took it public in a big way. A fact that most big companies and CEO’s of the geospatial industry agree on, right from Ola Rollen of Hexagon AB to Steven W.Berglund of Trimble Navigation.

To just say that in the last decade “Geo Services” – geographic mapping and location based services have grown in both volume and importance would be an understatement.  Sounds too “politically correct”! Right, I would agree with you on that one. So now do we speak economics of Geo Services then?!

The same company that took Geospatial technology to every house hold and made it a common term in a sense is perhaps planning something BIGGER now!! I guess you dont spend a lot of money on market research and economic impact of an industry without bigger motives. P.S: I am told that this is the first time that geospatial technology and services has been considering as an industry in itself and economic impact analysis done to understand it better.

Oxera – a UK based economics consultancy was hired by Google to look into the Geo Services Economy. The findings of which are now available online for public as well and honestly I am surprised to see the economic impact Geospatial technology has on the world stage! They are talking billions of USD – 150 to 270 per year in just revenues from direct Geospatial business!

Now I am not too much of an economist and I believe considering that the developing world – India, Brazil, China aren’t actually using Geospatial technology to the fullest potential that number could go way up in the coming years.

The report gives us a clear picture of how Geo Services is making a big impact on everyday life and economics. They even studied the impact Geospatial technology has on education! Now that’s phenomenal.

Have a look for yourself – picture speaks a thousand words right! In this case its talking Billions!!

The Economies of Geo Services – Oxera Report for Google

From Health care to Education, Geospatial technology has proved its presence and importance. The report only vindicates the fact.

I just cant do without quoting Charlie Hale, Google Maps Public Policy Analyst here who said “Geo technologies are changing the way people, corporations and governments interact with the world, making them more efficient and enabling cost savings”.

On a lighter note – Google Maps made life so much easier for Geomatics students right! I mean, I studied in India and did my exchange in Sweden but honestly 7/10 didnt understand what I studied exactly until I had to mention ” You use Google Maps right? we geomatics grad work on something like that” I have had people ask me if I built satellites to even if its just surveying that we study. So I’m a big fan of Google for making life easier!!

Here’s to an exciting and geoawesome world!

If you like to read more, the detailed report is available for download at Oxera.

Source: Oxera and Google

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