Google releases study quantifying economic impact of digital maps in KSA

Sheikh Zayed Mosque Street View.
Updated 21 October 2017
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Google releases study quantifying economic impact of digital maps in KSA

A Google-commissioned study conducted by marketing research firm AlphaBeta quantified the economic impact of services like Google Maps and Google Earth by looking at the benefits and value geospatial technology brought to consumers, businesses and society in 2016 in Saudi Arabia.
According to the study, modern mapping services have the potential to unleash consumer benefits worth over SR5.2 billion ($1.4 billion) per year by enabling people to:
l Travel faster: Digital maps reduced travel time by 16 percent on average in Saudi Arabia, placing the value of time saved at SR11 billion.
l Save fuel: By reducing travel time, digital maps helped save around 29 liters of fuel per car, worth SR23 in Saudi Arabia per year, that is 2.5 billion liters of fuel, worth SR1.9 billion in total.
l Be safer: Around 41 percent of digital map users in the Kingdom state it helps them identify security facilities (such as police stations).
l Speed up shopping: Saudi consumers save over 110 million hours per year from more efficient purchasing decisions. The value of time saved is SR4 billion (based on local wage rates).
“We want to help people in the region understand what Google Maps can do for them. To do that, we need to understand maps today and the impact they have on people’s lives, which is why we worked with AlphaBeta to conduct this study. While the results reveal great benefits for consumers, businesses, and society, there remains more potential to be unlocked by geospatial technology,” said Selim Edde, head of government relations and public policy at Google.
The report also outlines three recommendations key to tapping into the full potential of geospatial services:
l Governments can enable the promotion, adoption and implementation of the emerging applications of geospatial technology and data by adopting policies that support the collection, sharing, and use of geospatial data and services.
l Academia and civil society organizations can utilize geospatial technology to improve the efficiency of their major activities. Some applications include city planning, tracking environmental pollution, and maintaining important information on health and diseases.
l Businesses could increase their investment in and use of geospatial services to enhance the value and productivity of their business, attract new customers and boost sales.


Alef Education launches first project in US

From right, Geoffrey Alphonso, CEO of Alef Education; Geoffrey Canada, president of the Harlem Children’s Zone and chairman of NexGen Education; and Hanut Singh, CEO of NexGen Education and CEO of QBS Learning.
Updated 17 October 2018
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Alef Education launches first project in US

Alef Education, a UAE-based education technology company, has announced the launch of its Alef education system in the US.

The system will be used at Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) schools in New York city, starting Oct. 15.

The Alef education system brings together a blend of the latest technology and pedagogical approaches geared toward learners of today. A key component of the system is the “Alef Platform,” which has three main pillars: 

•A fun and easy-to-use digital learning environment 

•High-quality digital content developed to engage and stimulate learning with a blend of videos, interactivities and games. 

•Real time data provided within each lesson to truly enable educators to support personalized learning and identify student strengths and weaknesses. 

The partnership between Alef Education and the Harlem Children’s Zone schools started in 2017 when leaders of those organizations met. The meeting included a review of best practices in pedagogy, instructional design, the use of technology, and the best ways to identify difficult concepts and detect struggling students early using data. 

Alef Education identified NexGen, an education technology startup based in New York City, as its US-based partner to carry forward the implementation of the program at the Harlem Children’s Zone schools and other school systems across the US. 

Geoffrey Alphonso, chief executive of Alef Education, said: “As a leading education technology company, we want to play a significant role in the creation of the next generation of innovative individuals around the world, and continue to provide the latest innovations in artificial intelligence-based and technology-driven education solutions within a holistic education system.” 

He added: “The implementation of our innovative education system in the Harlem Children’s Zone schools in New York city speaks of a quantum leap in our long-term mission to leverage technology to provide students with the personalized education they need to succeed, while also empowering teachers with real-time, actionable data.” 

Geoffrey Canada, president of the Harlem Children’s Zone schools in New York and chairman of NexGen Education, named one of the world’s most influential people by Time magazine and as one of the 50 greatest leaders by Fortune magazine, said: “We are pleased to welcome Alef Education’s innovative education system into our schools in New York as of October 2018. Education systems across the world are witnessing unprecedented transformations and a transition to a more dynamic education based on new technologies. In this context, we have decided to adopt this program to further enrich the resources available to our students to ensure they have access to the best the digital education industry has to offer.”