Tag Archives: google

Driveby Viewings…..so last decade?

January 1st, 2011

Wonder if this has ever happened to you?

You spot a property for sale, say in Nelson, yet the advert doesn’t mention the property for sale’s address.

So because there is no obvious address associated with the advert, you have to phone the telephone number advertised adjacent.

Then you patiently conduct an interview just to find out that address.

(Must point out here that there are very good reasons why us real estate marketers do in fact ask those questions….buts that a story for another time.)

Much has been written over the last few years about the assistance that the World Wide Web is offering home buyers. And it keeps getting better!

The good folks over at makeuseof.com have pointed out this fabulous site called showmystreet.com.

Yes, I’ll admit there are other sites out there that do a similar job….but this site scores 9.5 on the “iPod Shuffle” ease of use scale.

Even though the initial landing page doesn’t look too exciting….its really all that you need.

The only thing you need is the street address.

So you look up an address like this listing here BR30014.

Type that into the box and you find yourself at this Brightwater address here…..just across the road from Centennial Park.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Whilst typing an address in you’ll spot the API going through its paces live before your eyes…..filtering all sorts of addresses from distant corners of the globe (strangely I found this part quite interesting) until you get down to the suburb level and then its pretty quick to zero in on your choice (as its using Google Maps data that shouldn’t be too hard)

Not quite the Hill St I had in mind (click to enlarge)

Not quite the Hill St I had in mind (click to enlarge)

When searching for addresses in a place such as Nelson, Stoke, Richmond or surrounds then you’ll probably need to go the extra step and plug in New Zealand too……


Otherwise you’ll end up in some other part of the world that also has just as equivalently named english street and road names as our region does?

Another use of the site could be for property investor scouting?

is off street parking available....?

is off street parking available....?

Perhaps a photo like this could tell you quite a bit about the neighbourhood already, off street parking facilities, etc – without the need to hop on a plane and fly there to see for your self why, for example, at first, it might be advertised at what seems like a bargain price?

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Houseowners – Infared shows us your Thermals?

July 13th, 2010
Sometimes folks can’t see what’s right in front of their eyes. Oftentimes it needs more of an overview look, a helicopter plane view if you will.
In fact, up above, now that’s the perfect way to see whats going on down there, and show homeowners what they aren’t doing right about insulation?
Cue the Christchurch City Councils just fabulous thermal overlay with Google Earth.

Standard Google Earth Photo (...click to enlarge)

Standard Google Earth Photo (...click to enlarge)

Going to an sample area in the Christchurch City Councils catchment ….we see…things just as we normally do in Google Earth.
However, once we activate the thermal imaging overlay,  a totally different story emerges now…doesn’t it?

Same photo - thermal overlay activated (...click to enlarge)

Same photo - thermal overlay activated (...click to enlarge)

I feel all councils in New Zealand should use our rates for such useful info.

This sort of thermal imaging info should be available to every homeowner in New Zealand not only because it would be useful in your current home owner status, but it would be a fantastic tool for when the time comes when you find yourself looking to buy another home.

Now, if you are lucky to be in the Christchurch City Councils zone, you can do just that…..

click here to try it out......

click here to try it out......

…..see exactly how that home you were thinking of buying stands up in the energy leakage/retention stakes.

Lately the Belgians have shown the way with their “Zoom into your Roof” online project, covering populated areas of the whole country!

As shown in the presentation (see source credit below), Sydney has had a go at it too, yet Christchurch in the good ole South Island is the first to do this in New Zealand. (they have been talking about it for a while though)

Until the local Nelson City Council flies a plane at night in wintertime, something like this will just be a dream for any Nelson Real Estate buyers.


Come to think of it, with the record frost of the year so far…this morning in Nelson, around about now would’ve been good.

Likewise as we don’t yet have a New Zealand wide equivalent rating system like the UK’s Predicted Energy Assessments (PEA) Certificates that I spoke about here just a few days ago, it’s the next best thing short of a full blown thermal inspection of the property, and as I’m sure you are aware, those aren’t free.

SOURCE – Thermal Map of Christchurch Presentation (Energy Awareness Week. 3 – 8 May 2010)

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Google Streetview Car with extra Topping

May 15th 2010

Now we know why.

Under the heading “Google Cars gathering home internet data without telling” yesterdays Dom Post, and again, on last nights TV One news, was featured the story about those new rooftop arrangements on the cars.

StrretView Vehicle 2008 Version

StreetView Vehicle 2008 Version

We all know the main reason the vehicles arrive in our town traveling our streets is to compile panoramic views from curbside to go with Google’s map service, specifically StreetView.

Back in December you may recall I was asking the question about why-fore the massive size increase (in these times of miniaturization) in the latest generation of Google StreetView camera atop the Holden Astra, the same car that had been in town just a year earlier with a much smaller arrangement on top.

Streetview Vehicle Dec 2009 version

Streetview Vehicle Dec 2009 version

After concerns from privacy watchdogs in Germany, Britain and Australia, the reason for that extra “gear” up there has been told.

I’ll let Wellingtons “Dominion Post” explain;

Google has collected personal wireless internet data from New Zealand homes through cars sent around the country for its Street View project.

The internet giant confirmed the fact last night, after privacy watchdogs in Germany, Britain and Australia raised concerns about the practice. Fears include the possibility that Google could match people’s mobile devices and internet behaviour to home addresses.

In the article, an Australian Google representative states;

The data, which is publicly available, was used to give precise readings of people’s locations if they were using Google’s mobile map services.

Google “did not collect any information about householders” and could not identify individuals from information collected by its Street View cars, he said.

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Full article here.

UPDATE: even an article in the New York Times “Business Day” section about it today.

UPDATED: comment now from Google on their official Google Blog, in which Alan Eustace, Senior VP, Engineering & Research makes the statement “In addition, given the concerns raised, we have decided that it’s best to stop our Street View cars collecting WiFi network data entirely.”

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Your name in lights, in Vancouver, tonight

11th February 2010

Just for fun.

All attention swings to the Winter Olympics this weekend, now there’s a way you can be there too.

In the Winter Olympics city tonight, you too, can get your name mentioned.

First you set up the searchlights here. You’ll need to enter some basic details too.

You can actually watch live views from the 4 separate webcams on this one screen here.

Then you wait……and then you get an email…..

Here’s the email I just received.

Dear David,
Your Vectorial Elevation light design has been shown in Vancouver!

You’ll notice they not only include the actual live webcam snaps but also the virtual representation. Mine was a bit basic – mainly aiming the searchlights directly up in the night sky, maybe you can be a bit more creative.

Theres a shot from each of the 4 webcams (only included 2 in the above snap) but click on the link below to see all 4 shots.

Heres the link to my tonights page – http://www.vectorialvancouver.net/archive.php?id=7391

Life’s for enjoying.

Thanks to http://googlemapsmania.blogspot.com/ for the heads-up.

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An old friend returns, but…..

My respect for him would have been grander if he had of done the full job in the first place.

Q300s Ready for Business Nelson Airport Sunday AM

Q300s Ready for Business Nelson Airport Sunday AM

However be that as it may, soon you won’t have to catch  a plane here to view the areas that Google left out on their 1st implementation of Nelson imagery.

No matter what I just can’t quite screen capture what I want to show you about the many parts of our town that had been left off Googles original Streetview presentation, just take it from me that they did miss out many many places.

Driving back from an appointment I spotted an unusual car ….…..yes it was an ole friend back in town, hadn’t seen EFR388 for at least a year.

Strangely, he looked a bit worse for wear, and for one of the most “cashed up” companies in the world, was displaying something that I was surprised to see………… duct tape.

Google Streetview Car 2008

Google Streetview Car 2008

Just one glance at that apparatus on last years photo (above) re whats on top of its roof, and then comparing that to this years photo (below)…….you don’t have to be from MENSA to notice……….

Google Streetview Car 2009

Google Streetview Car 2009

…….quite some differences.

In the microprocessor industry, where the chips that run PC’s come from there is a law called Moores Law.

It runs along the lines that everything gets incredibly more powerful (by 100% at least) at the same time that it shrinks at least 50% every few years…..we’ll at least that’s how Intel…and AMD, on the back of that wave, have surfed along quite comfortably offering  faster, but smaller processors.



Then why does this current arrangement on the Holden Astras roof seem to “mock” that theory?

I suspect that this bit of kit is doing a heck of a lot more data gathering that last years model.

Perhaps the photos may be of a much higher resolution too? Maybe video?

2009 Streetview Car rooftop setup

2009 Streetview Car rooftop setup

When your company is making USD$1.35million net profit a day, (last years audited figures) every single  day of the week, you can do lots of things.

With EFR388 back in town,  hopefully we won’t have to wait too long before we see what sort of photos were taken.

EFR388 was in town back in 2008 but from tracking her progress that day………..nothing was replicated on the web.  Obviously prior to that trip, a Google car must have been here before that to map out our original “Streetview” style imagery.

Dec 2009’s arrangement though, well she looked even more hi-tech that last time, and in light of Googles Maps / Earth / Android cell phone developments this past year one can just imagine what they must be up to.

I’m thinking about the possibilities of mashing up Google Voice Android / Traffic Data / Augmented Reality / Maps / Google Earth / their new Real estate modules, etc here?

And I’d say GPS makers do have something to be concerned about?

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