Jean Lievens: Sarwant Singh on Smart Cities – A $1.5 Trillion Market Opportunity — With Comment by Robert Steele on the Real $4 Trillion Opportunity Being Ignored

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

Smart Cities — A $1.5 Trillion Market Opportunity

Sarwant Singh

Forbes, 19 June 2014

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “India is to be found not in its few cities, but in its 700,000 villages.” Though that may at one time have been true, it is no longer the case. With about 30 country dwellers moving lock, stock and barrel every minute from Indian villages to become city dwellers, not many villages will be left in India by end of this century.

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Click on Image to Enlarge

Towards the end of the last decade, our planet achieved two remarkable feats. First, our human population crossed the seven billion mark and for the first time in history, 50 percent of the world’s population was living in urban areas. This is expected to accelerate to 60 percent before 2025, globally; with the Western, developed world reaching an 80 percent urbanization level during this time frame. Urbanization has become so important that it has elevated some cities, like Brussels, Seoul, Bogota, and many more, to be even more important than the countries themselves contributing to over 40 percent of the country’s GDP. Interestingly, the UK has already demonstrated its efforts in focusing on this Mega Trend of urbanization and city as growth hubs with the creation of a new ministry role called the “minister for cities.” This person is tasked with unlocking the economic potential of cities, thus giving them more empowerment and freedom to do so.

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Mini-Me: GoogleMaps Add Elevation — Good-Bye National Geospatial Agency? Can Tiling Extend to All-Source Data M4IS2/OSE?

Who, Mini-Me?

Who, Mini-Me?

Huh?

Google Maps Now Show Elevation Statistics For Bikers

Google, the world’s largest internet search operator, is bringing one of the most useful features to bikers using its Google Maps service. While cycling can be fun, sometimes an arbitrary hill climb can be a challenging task. But it appears that Google has finally come up with a fix for that, not essentially helping you get the bike to the top of the hill, but by showing an upcoming elevation in Google Maps’ bike routes. The app now features elevation statistics to help bikers tackle steep hills.

Google did not officially announce the feature but confirmed to TechCrunch that the addition is indeed new to Maps. The Mountain View, California based tech giant has offered GPS functionality for bikers for few years now, but helped not more than being a map.

Click on Image to Enlarge

Click on Image to Enlarge

Bikers can simple select a bike route on the map and Google will find the directions for the destination. Following the update, information showing an elevation and descent will populate. In addition to the graphical representation of the hill, Google also displays a card to show the number of feet a biker must climb before reaching the top and descend through the other side.

Google will not display any elevation statistics when bikers are riding on flat roads. Google also confirmed to the tech blog that the new feature is available in all 14 countries where the biking directions are available on Maps, including Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Great Britain, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Sweden and the US.

Google has been updating its mapping service quite frequently, of late. Earlier this month, the web giant added offline support for Google Maps, integrated Uber taxi service, improved local business search and more. These changes show how badly Google wants to stay ahead of its rivals, such as Nokia and Apple. The addition of more features to make the service useful for end users is surely an added advantage.

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