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The mayor of Beijing presided over an opening ceremony this past Sunday and likened the park to a ‘Silicon Valley’ for the geographic information industry. The first 25 companies to sign contracts to be part of the park were also in attendance, including the state-backed Map World service.

China’s geographic information industry is growing rapidly, with industry figures showing revenues of 75 billion yuan in 2009 that are expected to rise to between 90 billion and 100 billion yuan this year, and then close to 300 billion yuan in 2015.

The country’s online mapping services market makes up just 2.5 billion yuan of the total, but is expected to drive this sector in the coming years. This state-sponsored industry park should serve to push innovation forward.