The economic impact of geospatial services (2017)


The report commissioned by Google clearly demonstrates that the application of geospatial information has significant benefits outside of the traditional geospatial domain. It estimates worldwide and regional benefits for consumers (commuting and fuel efficiency, personal safety and purchasing efficiency), private industry (new products and services, productivity benefits, sales growth particularly for small businesses and tourism spend) and wider societal benefits (job creation, traffic congestion, urban planning, civic engagement, public health, safety & emergency response, disaster preparation and responsiveness, environment and wildlife preservation, knowledge creation and human capital development).


Geographical scope


Non-quantified impacts

The study’s main finding is that digital maps are playing a significant role in changing our lives for the better. Digital maps have become powerful tools for policymakers to ensure the safety of their citizens and inform urban planning decisions, and for companies and consumers to save time and money when managing their daily affairs. And the benefits of digital maps are far bigger than people may think.

Quantifiable impacts

As an industry, geospatial services generate USD 400 billion in revenue per year. However, their total economic contribution is several times higher, as geospatial services are estimated to:

  • Generate consumer benefits worth over USD 550 billion
  • Create approximately 4 million direct jobs, and potentially 8 million indirect ones
  • Improve revenues and costs by at least 5% in sectors contributing approximately 75% to global GDP
  • Have a myriad of other positive effects for society and the environment, such as reduced air pollution through more efficient transportation because of GPS navigation, which could potentially reduce global CO2 emissions by 5% per year
Summary Infographic Alphabet Study



Study type

Benefits transfer, Willingness to Pay

Economy sector

Education, Water, Infrastructure (Transport), Infrastructure (ICT), Infrastructure (Energy), Health, Tourism, Public Safety and Security, Disaster Risk Management, Retail, Design and Construction, Public Sector Local Government, Public Sector Central Government, Agriculture, Defence