Google Expects to Generate $100 Million in Revenues the First Year it Sells Maps Data to Companies Building Solar Products
Google is gearing up to offer licenses for fresh mapping data to various enterprises, with a particular focus on those involved in renewable energy initiatives. According to sources, the tech giant aims to rake in as much as $100 million in the initial year of this endeavor.
This strategic move entails providing access to newly developed APIs (application programming interfaces) that encompass data related to solar and energy, along with air quality information, as per documents reviewed by CNBC.
The plan is for Google to introduce a Solar API, potentially benefiting solar installers, solar design firms, real estate companies, hospitality firms, and utilities. The API will source data, in part, from Project Sunroof, a consumer-oriented solar savings calculator launched in 2015, which provides users with estimated solar expenses and 3D roof modeling based on Google Maps data.
Google is gearing up to offer API access to both individual building data and aggregated data encompassing all buildings within a specific city or county. The tech giant boasts access to a vast dataset covering over 350 million buildings, a substantial increase from the 60 million structures it referenced during Project Sunroof in 2017.
An internal document projects that Google's solar APIs could yield initial revenues ranging from $90 million to $100 million within the first year post-launch. Additionally, there are prospects for future integration with Google Cloud products, as outlined in the documents.
In a planned launch, the company is set to introduce an Air Quality API, enabling customers to access air quality information tailored to specific locations. This comprehensive feature will provide insights into pollutants, health-based recommendations, digital heat maps, hourly air quality updates, and a month-long history of air quality data.
Requests for comments from Google regarding this development have not been answered at the time of reporting.
This revenue initiative emerges as Google aims to monetize its mapping services, a strategic move in response to the need for increased earnings during an economic downturn. While the company continues efforts to enhance efficiency, it is also directing investments into emerging technologies like generative AI and sustainability, exemplified by the introduction of the Solar API.
Google's mapping API, which is licensed to companies such as Uber, has generated substantial revenue, with Uber alone paying Google $58 million over three years in 2019. This income contributes to Google's cloud segment, which recently turned profitable, though it faces competition from leaders like Amazon and Microsoft.
While Google does not disclose specific earnings from its Maps business, analysts estimated it could reach $11.1 billion by this year due to the introduction of new travel products and promoted pins boosting advertising revenue. This development aligns with Google's efforts to streamline its mapping products, including the integration of the acquired traffic-reporting app Waze into the Google Maps team.