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Digital mapping saves SA billions

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Digital geospatial services, including Google Maps, are making positive economic contributions around the globe to employment, emergency response and time management.
A new report from Google, conducted by research group AlphaBeta, detailing the impact on the South African economy, shows that digital mapping services provide South African consumers with R50-billion in annual benefits.
South Africans users also save around 100-million hours per year from more efficient purchases through information on digital maps. This value of time saved amounts to R5-billion based on local wage rates.
Businesses have also benefitted from digital mapping services. According to the report, digital maps have supported around R456-billion in sales for South African businesses by providing useful facts such as store hours, contact information and reviews.
The report shows that digital mapping makes the planet a greener and healthier place too. CO2 emissions from vehicles could be reduced by 12-million mt from digital maps in South Africa, through enabling more efficient vehicle trips, modal choices, and reduced congestion. Emergency response times, meanwhile, are reduced by 20%, resulting in significant lives saved.
“At Google, we’ve long known how powerful digital mapping services can be,” says Fortune Sibanda, public policy and government relationships manager at Google South Africa. “They aren’t just a way of making it easier for people to get around, they’re tools for exploration, business, and education.
“Digital Maps have become powerful tools for policymakers to ensure the safety of their citizens, and for companies and consumers to save time and money when managing their daily affairs. And their benefits are far bigger than people may think. We discovered that geospatial services not only make life easier – by helping people turn their intentions of finding a place into actions of getting there – but also support the global economy by creating tangible benefits for businesses and consumers,” Sibanda adds.
The AlphaBeta report is based on research conducted with the aim of providing a rigorous and independent assessment of the global economic impact of geospatial services. All information contained in the report is derived or estimated by AlphaBeta analysis based on information obtained from third party sources, consumer surveys, and proprietary research.
Each month, more than 1-billion people use Google Maps to find, discover and explore their world. Nearly one third of all mobile searches are related to location, and location-related mobile searches are growing by 50% faster than all mobile searches.