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Google Reportedly Plans to Sell Maps Data

The media reported that Google intends to license mapping data sets to companies that create products using renewable energy sources.

Google Reportedly Plans to Sell Maps Data

According to the data available to journalists, during the first year of the implementation of this commercial plan, the technology giant expects to earn up to $100 million. The company intends to sell access to new application programming interfaces (APIs) containing information about air quality and solar energy.

The technology giant will offer customers a solution such as the Solar API, which can be used by solar panel installers, including SunRun and Tesla. Also, this Google product will be useful for energy and solar design firms, such as Aurora Solar.

The technology giant considers real estate companies, for example, Zillow and Redfin, brands operating in the hotel industry, such as Marriott Bonvoy, and utilities, including PG&E, as clients who may be interested in a new offer.

Some of the information in the Solar API will come from the consumer-oriented pilot project Project Sunroof, which is a solar energy savings calculator initially launched in 2015. This solution allows customers to get an analysis of the costs of energy received from the sun. In this case, consumers will be provided with information about savings on electricity bills and the size of the solar installation needed to obtain the amount of energy that meets their needs. Also, Project Sunroof can perform tasks on 3D modeling of roofs of buildings and nearby trees using Google Maps data.

The technology giant intends to sell API access to data on individual buildings and aggregated information about all edifices in a particular city or district. Currently, the company owns data on more than 350 million buildings. For example, in 2017, as part of the Sunroof project, the technology giant provided information about 60 million edifices.

The company’s internal documents contain a forecast that the so-called solar API in the first year after the implementation of the corresponding commercial solution will bring revenue in the amount of $90 million to $100 million. The technology giant is also considering the possibility of connecting these interfaces to its cloud product line.

Google intends to announce the Air quality API. As part of this solution, the company’s customers will be able to request data on the presence of pollutants and receive recommendations on ensuring health protection in specific places. The interface will, among other things, provide digital heat maps and hourly information on air quality, as well as the ability to view the dynamics of changes in this indicator over 30 days.

Currently, the technology giant is striving to form a base consisting of consumer solutions to increase the level of financial performance of its products related to the Maps service. In a sense, these efforts are a reaction of the company to a broad economic downturn, in which conditions it is necessary to take measures to maintain an acceptable level of profitability. Following the concept, the fundamental element of which is efficiency as a constant of activity, the firm invests in new generation technologies, including generative artificial intelligence and sustainable development, which is a market where Google strives to take a stable position using the Solar API.

The firm is currently licensing its mapping API for navigation to companies such as Uber, which in 2019 will pay the Internet search giant $58 million for three years in advance. Google directs the revenues from the Map services interface to the development of the cloud business, which finally made a profit in the first quarter of 2023, but it was very difficult to stand up in competition with Amazon and Microsoft.

The technology giant does not provide information about the financial result of the existence of its mapping business. In 2021, Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak, while talking to reporters, said that this segment of the company’s activities has the lowest level of monetization. Two years ago, Morgan Stanley estimated that Google Maps would earn $11.1 billion at that time amid the emergence of new travel products and the promotion of pins, contributing to an increase in advertising revenue.

As we have reported earlier, Google Plans to Create Advice-Dispensing AI.

Serhii Mikhailov

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Serhii’s track record of study and work spans six years at the Faculty of Philology and eight years in the media, during which he has developed a deep understanding of various aspects of the industry and honed his writing skills; his areas of expertise include fintech, payments, cryptocurrency, and financial services, and he is constantly keeping a close eye on the latest developments and innovations in these fields, as he believes that they will have a significant impact on the future direction of the economy as a whole.