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Consumers value Geo services at $37 billion annually, a recognition of the many ways geo-applications and location-enabled devices are central to their daily lives.

A 2012 report from the Boston Consulting Group and 2013 study from Oxera examined the effects of geographic mapping and location-based services -- or Geo services -- on consumers and the global economy. The industry generates up to $270 billion in global revenue per year and has a far-reaching impact on jobs, business efficiencies and cost savings -- and it's expected to grow by 30 percent annually. 

These studies are some of the first of their kind to evaluate Geo services, which include a range of services such as online maps, satellite imagery, and navigation services, as its own industry. While the Oxera study seeks to quantify the industry’s impact on consumer welfare and the economy around the globe, research by the Boston Consulting Group seeks to identify trends specific to the U.S. 

Oxera concluded there are various benefits to Geo services, ranging from the lifesaving effects of faster emergency response to the billions of dollars and hours saved on travel per year. As these services become more integrated in our daily lives, the sector is growing quickly -- 30 percent per year globally, according to Oxera’s analysis, and the BCG study found similar trends in the U.S. Geo services industry. 

 “Geo services global revenues are $150-270 billion per year.”

BCG’s research found that the geospatial services industry has an impact on the U.S. economy that is 15 to 20 times the size of the industry itself. The efficiency gains these services enable are an asset not only to the industries they benefit, but to the consumers that rely on them daily -- and value at $37 billion annually, a recognition of the many ways geo-applications and location-enabled devices are central to their daily lives. For this growth in the U.S. to continue, the industry requires continued support on several fronts, from government investment and policy support of geo-data collection, clear open data policies and effective geo-infrastructure, and support for geospatial education, training, and innovation.