Return on Investment of Geospatial Data and System Global Meta-analysis (2015)


The study entitled ‘A Meta-Analysis on the Return on Investment of Geospatial Data and Systems: A Multi-Country Perspective’ looks at return on investment based on mainly cost-benefit studies and attempts to explain some variations across 82 cost-benefit assessments undertaken between 1994 and 2013. Multivariate regression methods are used to assess the size, significance and direction of individual effects.

Geographical scope


Non-quantified impacts


Quantifiable impacts

The results suggest that regional factors have the largest impact on the profitability of GI. Returns in Australia and New Zealand, for example, are four times larger than in Europe. In addition, small-scale regional investments have a 2.5 times lower return than large-scale international investments. Overall, the expected benefits of GI investments are approximately 3.2 times larger than the costs.

The observed increase in return for larger-scale investments is significant in the context of this paper since it indicates that the national approach to SDI is likely to yield a better return than the “project-based” investments that have previously characterised the approach adopted by countries in the past.



Study type


Economy sector

Water, Infrastructure (Transport), Infrastructure (ICT), Infrastructure (Energy), Health, Tourism, Public Safety and Security, Disaster Risk Management, Retail, Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Land Administration, Design and Construction, Public Sector Local Government, Public Sector Central Government, Environment, Agriculture, Geology and Mining, Defence