Economics of Geo Services


Let me begin with a “borrowed” sentence from ” 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

I am one of those passionate "Geo-geeks" and "Geo-people" who is just too excited about everything Geo and Management. Location information and spatial technologies are just too big to take a back seat and watch them revolutionize the world. Always curious and looking for ways to innovate, I guess that it comes naturally by the gene pool I inherited from an engineer Mom and a researcher Dad.


  1. Hi Muthukumar,

    I request you to put some posts for Business Managers on Decision making
    such as UAV ‘s, Close Range Photogrammetric Cameras for Photogrammetic&LiDAR,Applications ,Restrictions and scope in india.

    • Thanks for the feedback. I’ll try to write about it in the coming week. In case there is something specific that you would like to hear more about, please email me.


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