Research shows mapping is creating jobs and driving global economic growth.
Twenty years ago, we used paper maps and printed guides to help us navigate the world. Today, the most advanced digital mapping technologies-satellite imagery, GPS devices, location data and of course Google Maps-are much more accessible. This increase and growth in mapping technology is improving lives and helping businesses in Nigeria realize untold efficiencies
Today, more Nigerian businesses now consider map listing as a mandatory. In the last quarter of 2012 alone, 14 banks across Nigeria took their branches and ATMs locations closer to Nigerians by listing them on Google Maps. As we speak, there are over 10,000 bank branches, ATMs and POS outlet locations listed on Google Maps: Access Bank, Diamond Bank, Ecobank, Enterprise Bank, Fidelity Bank, First Bank, GTBank, Keystone Bank, Mainstreet Bank, Skye Bank, Sterling Bank, UBA, Union Bank and Wema Bank.
This means that irrespective of location, anyone in or outside Nigeria can find and locate a bank, ATM or POS location in cities in Nigeria. A simple search for banks in Nigeria will present a results that would help everyone find a bank easily. And because Google Maps can be used on mobile devices, a search can be done while on the move.
The implication of this is an increased potential for additional business will be huge via the billions of people around the world using Google Maps. Apart from the banks, other Nigerian businesses using Google maps to reach their customers easier include Forte Oil, Chicken Republic, Mr. Biggs, Etisalat and a number of others.
The transformation of the maps we use everyday is driven by a growing industry that creates jobs and economic growth globally. To present a clearer picture of the importance of the geo services industry, we commissioned studies from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Oxera. What we found is that maps make a big economic splash around the world.
In summary, the global digital mapping industry is valued at up to $270 billion per year and pays out $90 billion in wages. While we dont have exact figures for Nigeria, it employs more than 500,000 people and is worth $73 billion in the US alone.
To better explain the examples of the many benefits of maps, whether it's improving agriculture irrigation systems or helping emergency response teams save lives.
1.1 billion hours of travel time saved each year? That's a lot of time. Also, consider UPS, which uses map technology to optimize delivery routes-saving 5.3 million miles and more than 650,000 gallons of fuel in 2011.
Because maps are such an integral part of how we live and do business, the list of examples goes on and on. That's why it's important we all understand the need to invest in the geo services industry so it continues to grow and drive the global economy. Investments can come from the public and private sectors in many forms-product innovation, support of open data policies, more geography education programs in schools and more.
We're proud to see that the contributions being made by our team is helping to drive economic growth In Nigeria, but there's a long way to go.
To learn more about the impact of the maps industry, see the full reports at http://valueoftheweb.com/reports/geospatial-services