chapter  3
32 Pages

Chapter.3. The.business.of.GI:.No.such.thing.as.a.free.lunch

The impact of the Internet on the pricing of information and communication has been substantial. We can now access information that previously was the expensive and protected domain of specialists, for example, looking online at flight tracking at major airports (Floweb, 2006). Built on the emerging Google Maps and Google Earth (Google, 2006) innovations, Floweb continues a process where the price of information and the quality and availability of information bring previously premium products and applications into the mass market. Computer flight simulators and in-car navigation are two examples of technologies that have experienced significant cost reduction. They previously were expensive, premium technologies. Automobiles have been demonstrating this trend for years, with air-conditioning and antilock brakes, which were previously available only on high-price executive cars, in the context of the innovation curve, but which are now normal fittings.