China, 18 October 2006 – The geographic information industry is a burgeoning and fast-growing industry. Statistics from overseas authoritative institutions show that since 2000, the annual growth rate of the geographic information industry has exceeded 25 percent. More and more large international enterprises, such as Microsoft and Google.com, have begun to enter into this field.
According to a recent report published in the China Economic Net website China has proposed in the Outline of the 11th Five-Year Plan for National Economy and Social Development “to intensify the construction of infrastructures and facilities for surveying and mapping, enrich, develop and utilize the fundamental geographic information resources, and develop the geographic information industry”. And it has been listed among key tasks during the 11th Five-Year Plan to develop the geographic information industry.
The report further says that the total output value (based on incomplete statistics) of China’s geographic information industry reached RMB 26 billion Yuan (more than 3 billion USD) in 2005 and the industry is becoming a rapidly rising burgeoning industry among modern service industries and a new growth point for the economy. The annual total production value of China’s geographic information industry is expected to exceed RMB 80 billion Yuan (more than 10 billion USD) by 2010 and stimulate an increment of over RMB 500 billion Yuan (around 63 billion USD) in related industries.
The news report highlight’s China’s first mid-long-term planning for nationwide fundamental surveying and mapping, which was newly issued and formally put into implementation, the descriptions concerning the development of the geographic information industry is as follows:
From 2006 to 2010, it is necessary to constantly develop fundamental surveying and mapping products reflecting the reality in a better way and showing better practicality so as to gradually consummate the system of surveying and mapping products for public purposes, launch a new generation of physiographic maps by national basic scale, intensify the construction of such public service platforms as geographic information platforms for e-government, national economy and social information statistics, public emergency, and position-based services, positively develop the supplementary supporting system for decision-making based on fundamental geographic information, speed up the compilation and publication of such products as serial standard maps including public maps, atlases, wall maps and standard maps of nation territory, which are needed for the development of economy and society, and build up authoritative official map websites.
Meanwhile, efforts should be made to lead and support the development of such burgeoning industries based on fundamental geographic information, such as e-commerce, intelligent communication, modern logistics, and personal positioning and orientation services, and accelerate the development of such new products as navigating e-maps, multimedia maps, image maps and tri-dimension landscape maps, with efforts.
On such a foundation, fundamental surveying and mapping products for public purposes should be further enriched so as to realize the online sharing and services of fundamental geographic information between 2011 and 2020. Great efforts should be made to promote the application of fundamental geographic information for public purposes and bring achievements from fundamental surveying and mapping into full play in managing public affairs and dealing with vital problems occurring in the process of economic and social development. The value-added development of fundamental geographic information should be encouraged and supported so as to further drive the industrialization for applications of fundamental geographic information and bring the benefits of fundamental geographic information resources into full play.
To speed up the development of China’s geographic information industry, first of all, it is a must to adhere to leading the way with policies. With studies on policies for the development of the geographic information industry intensified, the relation between confidentiality and socialized utilization of geographic information should be handled properly.
At present, related departments are accelerating their studies on developing policies for the development of China’s geographic information industry with an attempt to guide the geographic information industry to develop healthily and rapidly. Meanwhile, it is necessary to intensify the development and application of information security technology, encourage the value-added development of geographic information, support the development of diversified map products for business, transportation, and travel, etc, and back up the development of such service industries as intelligent communication, vehicle navigation, personal positioning and orientation services and modern logistics.
Moreover, while further consummating policies and measures in such aspects as finance, banking, taxation, government purchase and intellectual property right, great efforts should be made to foster a batch of backbone enterprises possessing independent innovative capability and develop an array of geographic information hardware and software products with independent intellectual property rights so as to constantly improve the capacity to make advanced technology and equipment within China, strengthen the comprehensive strength of China’s geographic information industry. Besides, qualified enterprises should be encouraged and supported to take part in the international cooperation and market competition in the field of surveying and mapping.