India will see the greatest migration to cities of any country in the world over the next 35 years, with over 400 million new inhabitants flooding into urban areas. Digital maps hold particular promise to help achieve the government of India’s ambitions around Smart Cities.
Our team started with a big, strategic question: What is the social and economic value of digital maps to India’s urban end-users: citizens, businesses, and government?
In order to meaningfully quantify the benefits of digital maps to end-users, Dalberg team identified nine case studies that demonstrated a variety of human stories behind improved maps. Examples included: an ambulance reaching a patient and transporting him to the hospital a few minutes faster, a commuter shaving time off her travel by more intelligently navigating traffic, a local government deploying resources more effectively after a natural disaster due to more precise location information, and more. To demonstrate the potential macroeconomic value of these case studies to Indian economy and society, we estimated the numeric impact of these micro-improvements across India’s urban population.
Dalberg found that smarter maps – more accurate, up-to date, usable maps – can help India gain upwards of USD $8 billion, save 13,000 lives, and reduce 1 million metric tons of carbon emissions per year, in cities alone. In association with the Confederation of Indian Industry and Google, we released a report titled “Smart Maps for Smart Cities” that outlined our findings. And we have reason to believe that the broader economic and social benefits of Smart Maps for citizens, businesses, and the government are likely many times greater.