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.


‘Moments’ photo contest celebrates souqs of Middle East

Updated 19 June 2019
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‘Moments’ photo contest celebrates souqs of Middle East

National Geographic Abu Dhabi (NGAD) and Almarai have announced the ninth edition of “Moments,” the annual regional photography competition calling all aspiring photographers from around the Arab world. 

The competition provides the winning contestants a chance to learn from National Geographic photography experts through a photography travel expedition.

The 2019 “Moments” edition is themed around the souks of the Middle East and invites photographers from the region to capture the diversity and stories of markets from around the Arab world, which have been at the heart of the region’s culture and history.

The competition is held in partnership with Almarai, which has been a strategic supporter of this platform for the last six years as part of a shared vision of nurturing youth and talent from the Middle East.

“Moments” will feature a returning category this year for photographers aged 13-17.

Almarai has been a strategic partner of the competition since 2014.

Abdulrahman Awadh Al-Harthi, acting executive director of television and executive director of Abu Dhabi Radio Network at Abu Dhabi Media, said: “The ‘Moments’ photography competition is part of our continued commitment toward nurturing talents across all segments of society and encouraging the community especially youth to express their creativity and reach their highest potential.

“The great success of the competition gives us a new challenge to ensure we reach the largest number of applicants from diverse backgrounds and give them the platform to express their creativity and stories to be shared across the region.” 

Al-Harthi commended National Geographic Abu Dhabi’s strive for leadership and influence toward professional and amateur photographers in the region. 

Hussam R. Abdulqader, CMO of Almarai, said: “We are delighted to be renewing our partnership with National Geographic Abu Dhabi for the 9th edition of the ‘Moments’ photography competition, through which we aim to inspire, encourage and celebrate youth across the Middle East and support them to achieve their highest potential through the art of photography.”

He added: “We remain committed to developing the photography industry in the communities we serve, and to providing opportunities for youth to flourish creatively and professionally as we have done across a wide spectrum of platforms as well.”

Attracting over 200,000 entries since its inception from across the Middle East and North Africa, “Moments” is part of a regional photography talent platform developed by National Geographic Abu Dhabi to promote and nurture local talents and help give them a voice and a platform to showcase the region and what they have.

This year’s judging committee will comprised Almarai CMO Abdulqader as well as Muhammed Muheisen, a National Geographic photographer, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner, and founder of Dutch non-profit organization Everyday Refugees Foundation.

In this year’s competition, each story will carry with it an authentic, detailed and complete description of the image.