A digital map is an electronic map system, primarily designed for representing a particular road, area, or any specific geographical location. It includes major rivers; tourist attractions; and important landmarks such as airports, hospitals, etc.. It is built on a combination of graphic elements that are assigned to it in the form of electronic information. It is more accurate than a printed map and can be easily updated. In more recent times, many technological advancements have taken place in the digital map market. The automotive and Internet-enabled smartphone sectors widely use digital map technology. Therefore, the digital map market is expected to expand at a rapid pace in the coming years. Digital mapping technology can also be used to compute distances between different places. Technical advancements in digital cartography are making the process much accurate, quicker, more practical, and interactive than before. Increase in the use of geospatial information across the world is primarily driving demand for digital maps. This is anticipated to drive the market over the forecast period. Moreover, increase in demand for digital maps from the automotive industry is expected to fuel the digital map market in the near future. However, free availability of crowdsourced digital maps is projected to inhibit the growth of the digital map market across the world. The digital map market is likely to reach a value of US$ 30,615.4 Mn by 2026 from US$ 8,043.5 Mn in 2017, expanding at a CAGR of 16.2% during the forecast period.
Based on type, the digital map market can be segmented into software solutions, maps (data) and services. The web-based software solutions sub-segment of the software solutions segment accounted for a significant market share globally in 2017. The sub-segment is projected to hold its leading position over the forecast period. The mobile app-based software solutions sub-segment of the software solutions segment is estimated to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period due to a significant user base of mobile apps in North America and Europe.
In terms of application, the outdoor maps segment accounted for a major share of the market and is estimated to maintain its leading position over the forecast period. Increase in the adoption of outdoor maps in the automotive industry and Internet-enabled smartphone and portable devices is expected to propel demand for them during the forecast period. Advantages of digital maps such as easy and efficient operations, competitive edge, and better connection with communities, cost reduction, transparent nature, and improved decision making are fueling the application of digital maps in outdoor use. In terms of application, the indoor navigation/positioning segment can be further divided into airports, retail stores, health care facilities, and others. The retail stores sub-segment can be further classified into hypermarkets/supermarkets and departmental stores. Retail stores is a prominent sub-segment of the indoor navigation/positioning segment. The use of digital maps in retail stores is evolving steadily due to an increase in demand for location-based real-time information from users.
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The market in North America is anticipated to contribute significantly to revenue in the near future due to a large base of existing users in the region. The market in Europe and South America is anticipated to follow a similar trend between 2018 and 2026. Furthermore, the market in Middle East & Africa is likely to expand at a robust CAGR in the coming years.
Attracted by the progressively expanding digital map market and underlying embryonic demand, many small and large scale enterprises are driven to invest in digital map software solutions and services. System or software solutions developers and integrators and professional services providers across industries are strengthening their position in the digital map market. Product innovation and upgrade of research and development are constantly taking place in the digital map market. For instance, in May 2011, Autonavi Software Co. Ltd. announced the launch of a new version of its mobile map application for the Android operating system. Prominent players as identified in the digital map market and profiled in the study include Apple Inc., Autonavi Software Co. Ltd., HERE Technologies, Navinfo Co., Ltd., TomTom NV, INRIX Inc., Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), and Google Inc.
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