Tag Archives: streetview

Fix My Street

October 5th, 2010

The concept behind a super-council – the amalgamation of many neighbouring ones is surely for its benefits.

Along with many reasons, ones that would be high on that list would be to;

1] reduce duplication of services

2] speed of efficiency, staffing efficiencies

3] reduce costs

4] maxmise productivity

and as we have all been told a council that will be able to react swifter/more timely whilst being more productive to its ratepayers.

Inspired by the originator of this concept in the UK, Fix My Street looks like its coming to NZ.

The concept is admirable, spot something you think needs fixing, as it looks like a hazard, dangerous street lighting, or is just a plain eyesore, take a snap with your digital camera and upload it to the site where upon it would seem, the relevant council is notified.

In light of the increased transparency that the Auckland Super Council should bring, I think an idea like this is great.

Also be good to have a track record, because I don’t know about your area, but we have 1 or 2 road repairs that seem to be patched up each year in the same place, surely there must be room to do the job right, first time, and if not make someone accountable for any reworks.

A calendar log of work, such as one that this site would naturally compile, would certainly aid that.


until the end of October it would appear the NZ site is in testing mode,

……but do visit back then and help to make your street, and our communities roads safer.

Home for Sale but within walking distance….

September 10th, 2010

Lets say you are considering a move…..usually in the initial prep stages you do one of two things…….jump on the internet, and visit a property portal like the host of this platform (click top upper right of screen to visit) or alternatively you head, for example, straight to Google and type in “houses for sale in Nelson.”

These actions will initially establish a base from which to build your search, no more so than if the home of your new desire is somewhere you don’t know.

However what if what you really wanted to type into Google was “homes for sale in Nelson within walking distance to….?”

Good News there is a resource that will tell you that, but its usually a two step process to find an answer.

1] First you find the property for sale, and note its address

2] armed with that address, head on over to Walkscore, type in that address and see how it rates on the Walkability Index?

this is the sort of number that would make a walker happy

this is the sort of number that would make a walker happy

The site has recently added another string to its bow.

Its introduced a new tab at the top called COMMUTE.

Obviously as the name implies, this is not just about walking.

info thats handy to know

info thats handy to know

No, this time its about you typing in a destination address, for example a possible new workplace or school. It will then offer up information, that more than likely, you didn’t already know.

You’ll get the usual Google Map showing orientation details, but then you’ll also see the elevation of the terrain between the two points (handy for bikers) and some approximate metrics of the trip given different methods of transport.


Google have just added a “Walking Navigation” feature to their product for use on GPS equipped mobile devices, more here.

All the best,

SOURCE – walkscore.com

When does NZs Annual Shortest Day Real Estate Photography Competition start

June 14th, 2010

We are just a week away, next Monday 21st June from 2010’s winter solstice, or what’s commonly known as the shortest day of the year.

In fact at precisely 23:28hrs on Monday night the sun, from a New Zealand perspective that is, will be at its furthest point (not that you’ll be able to see it as its dark!) north, according to Land Information New Zealand (LINZ)

Photographers Ephemeris page for Nelson 21st June 2010

Photographers Ephemeris page for Nelson 21st June 2010

(Clicking on above IMAGE opens high resolution version of screen-shot)

The above screen-shot from The Photographers Ephemeris shows the sunrise by the yellow line and the orange line represents the sunset for 21st June 2010.

Want to maximise you homes “sell~ability” factor at this time of year?

Then imagine you were preparing for the, at this stage anyway, imaginary “Annual NZ Shortest Day Real Estate Photography Competition.”

What potential prizes could such a competition have?

2010’s list of potential prizes this competition could have for home seller candidates, makes it sound like you really want to do your best to win.

1st prize                sell your home pronto to an excited buyer

2nd prize               sell your home quickly to a happy buyer

2nd runner up    sell it within the month

other top 10 winners……..having backup photographic proof to show those “naysayers” that indeed your lounge / dining / bedroom does in fact get those fabulous warm and soothing rays of winter mid-day / afternoon / early evening sunshine in what would otherwise be the cooler months of the year.

What will these winning shots win?

The best shots displayed within the Real Estate property listing, either in print or here on the web, will undoubtedly furnish any potentials buyers heart and emotions with positive proof that your home is “sunny” beyond all doubt, but most importantly ……..is very sunny at the time of year when that “sun” (& its warmth) is most desired and wanted.

Most everyone is already aware that most places in NZ don’t have an issue with sun in summer months, but come winter…..in some parts of New Zealand, that’s a different story.

How to take these winning shots?

Best taken 12 ~ 5pm (or if the sun goes down on you earlier, then obviously before 5pm)

If you are around in the afternoon when the rays of light will be shining at their lowest for the most time of an afternoon all year, and there are no clouds around, then you will be able to take some winning shots. Remember though, you are trying to “show the warmth.” (think Wood burner warm on a winters night)

Do you have any sample shots to get me in the mood?

Try to project the warmth that you felt as you were taking the photograph

Try to project the warmth that you felt as you were taking the photograph

Here’s an example of the type of shot you need to take, this time an older home, about a late 50s / early sixties build. If the home has polished wooden floors then its an absolute must to get plenty of photos because at no other time of the year will the sun intrude so much into the room to bath all those floor-boards.

Lack of greenry in Winter can help the home to stand out

The above shot depicts the lack of tree foliage at this time of year, perfect then for showing the whole house. In fact you could include the shot if required in your summertime advertising, but with a “Wintertime Photo” banner alongside.

Top 5 Best Candidates for the competition

Although this list is not exhaustive, here’s my top 5 picks……

1. any home facing more westerly than northerly, or vice versa (relevant for outside shots just as importantly as inside ones)

2. any property with deciduous trees on its northern or western sides, or any that get in the way of the properties look from the curb

3. any property who neighbours also have deciduous trees that in summer usually shade your home, now’s the best time to take those “full frontage” photos

4. any home with wooden / polished wood floors or wood feature (think Lockwood Homes here) walls, but especially if its in the lounge, dining room or a bedroom

...the suns light will intrude farther into your home at this time of year

...the suns light will intrude farther into your home at this time of year

5. any home with wide eaves (or short eaves homes that have floor to ceiling windows as in photo above)

For even more tips……

For further comprehensive hints and ideas you should also pop over to this link and check out 2009s article about the same subject (co-incidentally penned around the same time last year)

If you live west of a fab vista, then this is the time of year to get snapping too

If you live west of a fab vista, then this is the time of year to get snapping too

As the above photo of a Queenstown vista perfectly demonstrates, if you happen to live to the west of such a fabulous panorama, then the lower light at this time of year can do wonders to illustrate the type of fantastic views that you are describing in your advertising copy. (All the better if there is still some Autumnal colors left too)

While on an astronomical event theme, don’t forget the Partial Eclipse of the Moon next Saturday night, June 26 at 23:38. Here’s hoping for a clear night?

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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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Photo Realistic 3D meets Google Maps

April 15 2010

We are getting closer & closer each month – especially now that Googles user sponsored program is so well under way…..and has so many hundreds if not thousands of actively contributing supporters.

Just check out the photo realism on this will you.

In case you are wondering where will it stop?

“Mobile is the future of computing. The mobile device is almost a part of your body, meaning it’s always at hand and natural to use,” he said. “It’s like your Lassie and Timmy. They go together so much.”

This was said by Michael Jones, the chap who created Google Maps and Google Earth, and Googles full-time chief technology advocate in a recent keynote address to Infotec, an information technology conference, where he also stated that he can;

imagine a world where information and communication are available everywhere, all the time, to everyone.

And very telling was his statement here;

the “endgame” of mobile computing, Jones said, is what’s called augmented reality and he also mentioned “the Internet is becoming the major communications vehicle for humanity”

Augmented reality is coming ……..

I’ve talked before on many occasions about augmented reality and how I too think once phones like the new HTC / 4th Gen iPhone get mass acceptance then the world will really open up. And Googles not the only one going down this path as I pointed out earlier in this TED speech by Microsofts Blaise Aguera y Arcas (he was the architect behind Bing Maps) here.

However tonight’s point is on the incredible detail that many end contributors are putting into their modeling for Google Earth and the 3D Building Sketch-Up program. Detail that is certainly previewed on the above video.

You must admit when you see that top video of New York the technology has come a heck of a long way in only a few short years.

Maybe the Technology hasn’t even been invented yet?

Google’s Jones hints at this;

Be it through personal computers, hand-held mobile devices, tablet computers or technology that hasn’t yet been developed, Mr Jones said having a constant stream of information through the Internet and Google will help improve lives worldwide.

And as there seems to currently be a primary focus on buildings / homes / properties there is definitely some relevance to the Real Estate industry don’t you think?

And the Real Estate connection, David?

To see what sort of connection is possible, watch the above video.

Its showcasing Zillows free iPhone app here, and I’ll be very surprised, if after watching it, you too can’t visualise for yourself the possibilities.

After recent announcements that indicate the app has surpassed a 1,000,000 downloads from the Apple site, comes news that Zillow is also developing a soon to to released Android version of this app.