Geospatial services in India, an ecosystem made up of data providers, location enabled device manufacturers, app developers, experts and educators, already generate annual revenues of almost $3 billion and employ nearly 135,000 people in India, according to a new study.
The study, by Boston Consulting Group commissioned by Google said that geospatial services deliver annual efficiency gains of up to $45 billion in revenues and $70- $75 billion in cost savings.
What does it have to do with Google?
While the methodology of the study isn’t clear, it highlights that one of India’s largest taxi companies uses geospatial services to manage its 5,000 strong fleet. It also cites the example of the Bangalore Metropolitian Transport Commission which runs a fleet of 6,000 buses.
Interestingly, this is a Google sponsored study. Why would the search giant do such a thing?
Lets take a short hike down the memory lane. Remember Google Street View?
In 2011, Google announced Streetview for India. The product, which allows you to get a 360 degree view of real streets online using high resolution images shot using street view cameras, has not gone anywhere with the government and political parties opposing it.
In Bangalore, Karnataka, where it was launched first, the state government said that it was violating the privacy of citizen and the city police commissioner ordered the street view cars off the road. Shortly after launch, Google suspended the Street View service. The police cited security reasons for the ban. Google’s legal team has been negotiating with the government.
The state police said that its got orders from the center because Bangalore has sensitive installations like the ISRO and DRDO labs.
Some members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which rules the state, have even asked Google to correct India’s map on Google Maps where it shows Kashmir and parts bordering China as disputed territory, to be able to continue with the service.
Now how do you turn this around? Showing them some economic sense seems like the obvious thing to do.