Innovative Marketing & Research: Using Google Street View for Real Estate

Never before has there been a tool that allows us to explore the Earth’s surface in such detail, so it’s not surprising that millions of people use Google Street View every day for a myriad of reasons. With its deep detail and worldwide scope, anyone with a computer and an internet connection can explore everything from the pyramids to their potential new home with a few clicks of a mouse.

With the idea of searching for a new home from the comfort of your old home in mind, here are some of the ways that you can use Google Street View to aid in your real estate ventures:

1. Inspect the Property

Google Street View’s level of detail in most major cities is truly astounding, enabling you to see even small items on the ground in many cases, and this means that you’ll be able to lay a close eye on the details of the property in question. From taking measurements to understanding the layout, you can zoom in and out as needed to get information on even the tiniest details.

Google Street View

2. Inspect the Neighborhood

The above advice extends also to the surrounding area and neighborhood. The level of detail provided by Google Street View is enough to search for junk, badly kept properties and other negative drawbacks while also giving you an idea of the local road network and building layout, providing you with unique insight into the entire package that you simply cannot obtain anywhere else.

3. Inspect the Key Features

Google Street View

Many homes are sold at a higher price because of their proximity to local draws like schools, parks, shopping centers and more, and Google Street View’s flexibility will easily allow you to fly from place to place in a local area, gathering intelligence on the city or town in question as you go.

Like all aspects of a Google Street View inspection, this promises to save a tremendous amount of time simply by making you aware of the details without the need to travel; if your purchase hinges on a nearby beach but you find in Google Street View that the beach is far too small and crowded, for example, you’ve just saved yourself an unnecessary drive!

Check Out Listed Properties in 3D with Trulia

While a visit to the premises will be in order before you start signing mortgage agreements, Google Street View is an excellent way of paying a quick virtual visit to a property that you have your eye on! With the ability to zoom from address to address, your travel time is near zero and the amount of detail you can discern is surprisingly high; you can inspect a roof, measure a yard, check out included trees and foliage – the list goes on!


If you want to take your Google Street View real estate inspections to a new level, consider the Truliaadd-on, a piece of software that will turn your virtual trips into fully 3D affairs, allowing you to better understand the dimensions and layout of the areas you’re looking at. The add-on includes the millions of real estate listings handled by Trulia and allows you to search for locations based on available properties, quickly immersing you in accurately detailed 3D representations of all buildings.

Because it is connected to Trulia’s listings via RSS, the add-on will stay updated, ensuring that you’ve always got access to the latest listings!

Guest Author Jessy is the blogger for TalkToTucker, the innovative Indianapolis Real Estate company.

Wolfram | Alpha Data Mining Your Facebook

wolfram alpha

Wolfram | Alpha announced a new tool that lets anyone do personal analytics on their Facebook data. Stephen Wolfram described the new capabilities:

Wolfram|Alpha knows about all kinds of knowledge domains; now it can know about you, and apply its powers of analysis to give you all sorts of personal analytics. And this is just the beginning; over the months to come, particularly as we see about how people use this, we’ll be adding more and more capabilities.

It’s pretty straightforward to get your personal analytics report: all you have to do is type “facebook report” into the standard Wolfram|Alpha website.

Stephen Wolfram also stated:

The personal analytics system we’re releasing today is just the beginning. We’re looking forward to everyone’s feedback . . . and we’re planning to keep adding more and more features and capabilities.

You have to authenticate the app to run in Facebook. Then you get a report showing dozens of charts and graphs that use your Facebook account to form a report with over 60 sets of data.

Here are a few of the results you get from the app:

  • a map of your friends’ hometowns
  • age distribution of your friends
  • today’s weather and other information about your location
  • time until your next birthday
  • the various types of posts you add to Facebook categorized and a weekly distribution of your updates
  • average post length, average number of comments, likes
  • word clouds from your posts
  • gender and age distribution of your friends
  • relationship status of your friends
  • most common names among your friends
  • who you share friends in common with
  • a chart of friend distribution in a network showing connectors and hubs

Individual charts from the report can be “clipped and shared” on a web page or in Facebook.

I’m sure people will be fascinated with seeing all their Facebook facts displayed this way. We are a nation of navel watchers. Some people who use Facebook Pages for business promotion may find the data helpful in deciding what works in promoting their brand. The important thing is, at least for now, you can only gather this information on your own account.


Useful links: Mobile first, Google search results, design problems

The Many Faces of Mobile First is thought provoking read. The photos used in this article are powerful as well.

An Update to Our Search Algorithms on the Google blog explains that search results will now take into account the number of valid copyright removal notices  for any given site. Google says, “Sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in our results.”

Top responsive web design problems – and how to avoid them is in .net magazine by James Young.

Add a bang to your search with DuckDuckGo and Google

I first heard about DuckDuckGoog in a post from Netted. I quickly became fascinated with the idea of using a bang (!) to limit my search.

DuckDuckGoog is a marriage of DuckDuckGo and Google.

Here’s how it works. At DuckDuckGoog, you can use a search string beginning with a bang to search specific sites. For example, a search string beginning with !yt would search only You Tube and !engadget would search only Engadget. You can search for downloads and add-ons. To search for Chrome add-ons, for example, use !chrome. You can search all sorts of programming languages with strings like !jquery. There are strings for startups, sysadmins, shopping, academics, government, health, law, words, maps, tools and more.

Read the complete list of !bang keywords. At DuckDuckGoog, all the keywords are available to you from a drop down menu next to the search box. Of course, if you know what you want, you can just type it in the search box along with your keyword. Most big sites work with a bang, and many generic keywords such as “images” will work with a bang as well.”

I tried searching for “!imdb total recall” and was taken straight to this:

imdb total recall

Bang on, DuckDuckGoog!

Useful links: Long-tail keywords, girls and CS, Dreamweaver

Jill Whalen published an outstanding explanation of what long-tail keywords are and how to discover them in High Rankings Advisor this week: Using Keyword Research to Find Long-Tail Keyword Phrases.

Meet the High School Girls Who Had to Take CS. Interesting comments about what they expected, and what computer science turned out to mean to them.

Why I Madly Love Dreamweaver Today. A programmer’s point of view.