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Matt Sheehan
Matt Sheehan
Matt holds an MSc in Geography and GIS. He has been working with clients solving problems with GIS for over 17 years. Matt founded WebMapSolutions whose mission is to put innovative, intuitive GIS driven applications into the hands of new and existing users.

Google Esri and the Huge GeoSpatial for Business Opportunities

February 4th, 2015 by Matt Sheehan

Announcements this week from Google and Esri surprised everybody. Esri have now posted a ‘Common Questions’ web page providing answers around the transition from Google Earth Enterprise and Google Maps Engine (GME) to ArcGIS. We find the fact that Esri and Google have started working together very refreshing. Our speculation here is that we are seeing an admission by Google that with Enterprise and GME they have strayed beyond their core base which has always been consumers. Lines have been drawn in the sand. This is a win for us all as both Esri and Google turn their attention back to what they do best.

But is that the end of the story?

Geospatial Technology for Business

We suggest not. Tacit agreement between Google and Esri on the consumer and GIS sectors is one thing. But the jewel in the crown may well be the application of geospatial technology for business

We think the application of location technology in the business sector is where we will see fierce competition. Location is the missing element in business analysis. Awareness and demand for the insight provided by location technology to complement existing business tools is growing rapidly. Huge organizations like SAP are focusing increasing energy on adding geospatial tools to their product offering. As noted in The Consumerization of Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

In a 2013 study commissioned by Google, the U.K. consulting firm Oxera estimated that geospatial technology services generate between $150 billion and $270 billion in global revenue per year. That would make the sector substantially larger than the video gaming industry, and around a third of the size of the airline industry. The report also says that geospatial technology is growing by 30 percent per year.

These are big numbers, with business fueling a key part of the projected 30% growth.

Google and Esri

Through Google’s Maps for Work and Maps Engine Pro and Esri’s GIS for Business, we may well see head to head competition. Others will be entering the fray over time. This is healthy competition.

Our hope is that we are able to provide our clients the best of all worlds. To expand on what Jack Dangermond discussed in his ArcNews article. We would love to be able to combine services/data into a single client solution.

Now that is a scenario with fascinating possibilities.

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Categories: ArcGIS Online, cloud GIS, Mobile ArcGIS, Mobile GIS, Web and mobile GIS

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