A Google-commissioned study has revealed that modern mapping services have the potential to unleash consumer benefits worth over AED2 billion ($550 million) per year in the UAE.
The report, conducted by marketing research firm AlphaBeta, quantified the economic impact of services like Google Maps and Google Earth by looking at the benefits and value geospatial technology brought to consumers, businesses and society in 2016 in the UAE.
According to the study, mapping services can lead to consumer benefits by enabling people to travel faster - digital maps reduced travel time by 16 percent on average in the UAE.
It also said that by reducing travel time, digital maps helped save around 45 litres of fuel per car, worth AED79 ($21.60) in the UAE per year, that’s 2.5 billion litres of fuel in total.
Another 31 percent of digital map users in the UAE stated it helps them identify security facilities while UAE consumers saved over 125 million hours per year from more efficient purchasing decisions.
“We want to help people in the region understand what Google Maps can do for them. To do that, we need to understand maps today and the impact they have on people’s lives, which is why we worked with AlphaBeta to conduct this study. While the results reveal great benefits for consumers, businesses, and society, there remains more potential to be unlocked by geospatial technology,” said Selim Edde, head of Government Relations and Public Policy at Google.
The report also outlines three recommendations key to tapping into the full potential of geospatial services.
It said governments can enable the promotion, adoption and implementation of the emerging applications of geospatial technology and data by adopting policies that support the collection, sharing, and use of geospatial data and services.
It added that academia and civil society organizations can utilise geospatial technology to improve the efficiency of their major activities. Some applications include city planning, tracking environmental pollution, and maintaining important information on health and diseases.
The report also noted that businesses could increase their investment in and use of geospatial services to enhance the value and productivity of their business, attract new customers and boost sales.
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