Google Maps is one of the most popular apps in the world. It's also one of the most useful.
This is not an MMM app or something. It’s map. But, it doesn’t just direct you to where you want to go. It directs you to true value.
Google Maps is easily one of the most widely used apps in the world. From personal uses on our own, to using it on other apps like Uber, it’s pretty much an integral part of our lives now.
To show how important Google believes Maps are, they launched a report conducted by Alpha Beta, a research group. The main subject of the research was on the economic impact of geospatial services in Nigeria.
The study shows that digital geospatial tools like Maps are actually more impactful than you think economically. From job creation, to emergency, and even time management.
For starters, the Economic Impact of Geospatial Services report tells us that digital maps reduce travel time in Nigeria by an average of 8% when used. This seems practical when you consider that Google Maps suggest alternative routes for you when there’s traffic for example.
Now, the value of that time has been put at ₦190 billion. Incredible.
This report also says that Nigerians value digital maps at ₦22,131.00 per year — translating into ₦1781 billion per year for all users. This stat puts the number of users of Google Maps in Nigeria to about 80.5 million. It doesn’t say, though, whether this is for all users, including non-active users. We’re inclined to believe it’s the latter.
According to the report, about 86% of the online population in Nigeria use digital maps and geo-enabled apps for various reasons. The most popular reasons, according to the report, is for education and social networking. The report also tells us that geospatial services could have a significant productivity impact in sectors that can grow the Gross Domestic Product in the country.
Titi Akinsanmi is Google’s Policy and Government Relations Manager, and she said
“We worked with AlphaBeta to support a study that quantifies the economic impact of the geospatial technology, looking at the benefits and value geospatial technology brings to consumers, businesses and society.”
That’s not all. She also said;
“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.”
And it’s hard, in fact, difficult to disagree with her. Especially when you learn that one third of all mobile searches are location-related. Even more interesting is how location-related mobile searches are growing by 50% faster than all mobile searches.
While launching the report in Abuja, Google also shared its journey of Maps in Nigeria. The company has worked with Nigerians since 2012 to add thousands of roads, landmarks, and businesses throughout the country to Maps.
2013: Google introduced Turn-by-Turn navigation in Nigeria for users using Google Maps for Mobile
2014: Real Time Transit information on the LAGBUS was launched to help people in Lagos access bus times on BRT routes.
2015: real-time traffic updates was introduced, as a way to help people better navigate busy traffic conditions.
July, 2017: Google announced the launch of Street View in Nigeria making imagery of about 10,000 kilometres of roads in Lagos available to people in Nigeria and around the world.
“When you get on the street, you’ll see a brown house with a black gate, that’s my house.”
If you’ve gone looking for someone in Nigeria, you’ve probably gotten this type of description before. But what if you could actually see the gate before you even leave where you are? Take for example, I searched for Akerele Street on Maps, then I switched to street view. And guess what I found? One of my favourite Bukas.
And then you start to ask yourself, what are the things I can accomplish with this tool? It’s almost limitless.