The economic value of the Dutch geo-information sector (2010)


Defining the geo-information sector and estimating its economic value on a national level is difficult and standard methodologies are not available. The aim of this paper is to clearly define the geo-information sector and to measure its economic value in terms of turnover, employment, activities and the market. The results of the survey in the Netherlands estimate the economic value of the Dutch geo-information sector at EUR 1.4 billion, 0.25% of the national GDP. Furthermore, the results show that the Dutch geo-information sector is a fast-developing sector with high potential. The authors conclude that the definition used and the developed survey methodology provides a good basis for measuring the value of the national geo-information sector. They suggest carrying out comparable studies in other countries in order to increase awareness of the geo-information sector as a sector of economic importance and to stimulate further development and innovation.

Geographical scope

The Netherlands

Non-quantified impacts

Not part of the study scope

Quantifiable impacts

This study estimated the share of the core geo-information sector in the Dutch economy in 2008 to be 0.23%. Studies in UK and Australian use a different definition and scope and estimate the economic share lower (see also table 1). However, the UK study estimated only the value of the private geographic information products and services, not including the human resource capital in customer organisations, at GDP 657 million, 0.06 % of the GDP of the UK in 2007. The Australian study estimated the industry revenue in 2006-07 at AUD 1.37 billion which gives the industry a direct share of 0.15 % of the GDP, but with a much higher economic footprint, of between 0.6% and 1.2% of the GDP. The Pira study assessed the value added by public sector information (PSI) to the economy as a whole of accounted for by the geographical information industries in the EU 15 to be EUR 36 billion. Assuming the Netherlands has an average share; this would amount to roughly 1.5 billion, higher than the 1.4 billion in 2008 in this study. However, the PIRA study used a broader scope, taking into account the total economic footprint of the value adding industry.



Study type

Estimation of market size

Economy sector

Education, 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, Agriculture