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May 13, 2008

Google Maps Adds Real Estate Search

As a Google employee recently said, "Google Maps is evolving from a driving directions and business search tool, to a comprehensive representation of all the world's information, on a map." That's why Google Maps started to integrate different layers of information when you search for an address and it added a new "More" button to enable layers for photos and Wikipedia articles. Google Maps now includes in search results personalized maps, geolocated content from the web and mapped web pages.

There's a new option to search for real estate: click on "show search options" and select "real estate" from the drop-down. The search results don't seem to be powered by come from Google Base. Google shows structured information about houses and lets you refine the results by price, number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Even if there aren't too many advanced features, it's interesting to see that Google Maps wants to index all the information that could be displayed on a map.

Many real estate sites use Google Maps API and the first Google Maps mashup was HousingMaps, a site that displays Craigslist housing listings on a map. Last month, Trulia was one of the first sites that integrated Google Street View "to add efficiency to the real estate search experience and help home buyers discover more information about particular neighborhoods".


(The post was updated to reflect that the data is obtained from Google Base.)

38 comments:

  1. I think the Real Estate search has been there for quite a while, but under "My Maps" where it shows up twice, once as Created by others, and once as Created by Google. Looks to me like these are all essentially providing the same information, but it is not clear what the source is.

    I'm sure the people at MLS who sell this data as a subscription service are having nightmares over it.

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  2. Anybody tell me what sort of feed the realtor's site provides for Google to read/index?

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  3. About time - and to think of all the Real Estate sites that have been using Google Maps and gifted them with a few years of insights!

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  4. @macbeach:
    You're right, but now it's easier to access. The same goes with the new "More" button that lets you enable additional layers (photos, Wikipedia articles), which were previously available in the mapplets directory.

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  5. Data Feeds can be created and uploaded directly to Google Base (which this feature gets results from)

    More info can be found here : http://base.google.com/support/

    But theres a section aimed solely at real estate here :
    http://base.google.com/base/help/realestate.html


    Any problems try the Google Base Help Group : http://groups.google.com/group/base-help-discussion

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  6. I don't think this feature uses Google Base. The results aren't the same and Google Maps links to sites that have RSS feeds. As you might know, Google Maps indexes KML files and feeds that include locations.

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  7. It might use other data sources but does use Google Base data.

    For the search in the image on the post 'duplex near ny' listing J is directly from a Google Base hosted item.

    http://maps.google.com/local_url?q=http://www.google.com/base/a/3387656/D5078484056144631669&dq=duplex+near+ny&f=q&hl=en&geocode=&mrt=realestate&output=js&jsv=111&sll=40.717574,-74.003427&sspn=0.040529,0.080338&abauth=9e48a552:0Tut_-26DH1nJRbtZjJl3JQ88-U&absince=213&s=ANYYN7mAwQfGm7b1lbQ2FxWCJkS-Ap_kcA

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  8. Just a simple comparison between Maps and Base for the query [fsbo energy efficient] restricted to the US.

    Maps: 1000 results

    Base: 2 results

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  9. http://base.google.com/base/s2?q=fsbo+energy+efficient&a_n0=housing&a_y0=9&view=map&hl=en&gl=US

    Shows about 3000

    So i don't know where your getting 2 from.

    About 1,000 for Maps is about right if its using the Google Base Data API : http://code.google.com/apis/base/reference.html

    'For the snippets feed, start-index must be greater than or equal to 1 and less than 1000. The sum of start-index + max-results cannot be greater than 1000.'

    The API is restricted to 1,000 .

    There are also factors surrounding differing relevance results between the API and the Google Base search tool.

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  10. Hey, how about throwing up a "Beta" if it's going to be buggy. Nice proof of concept though...

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  11. @Tom:
    Google says you are right and the data comes from Google Base. I updated the post.

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  12. This feature does not provide a serious buyer specific information about homes in the area, It's meant to be used by speculators. Where exactly is this data. How can I know how long this home is being listed for or look at 5+ photos of the property, or better yet how can I find room sizes or if it has a pool or 2 acre lot.

    It's main purpose I would think is for the consumer to do a search of homes for sale in an area and examine what's near by. I love the idea, I think it's great. From a map's perspective it's better than what Realtors have, but as far as data, pictures, reliability, and conveniance, it's uncomparable....

    Try performing a real search on my webiste or by contacting a local realtor for a detailed MLS Listing..

    -Wael Georgey
    www.PropertiesInTown.com

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  13. If Google were to get more listings (which I am sure they will), I think a lot of the third party sites would be in trouble.

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  14. RE: If Google were to get more listings (which I am sure they will), I think a lot of the third party sites would be in trouble.

    Google Base listings are coming from Realtors, the "first parties," so no quite sure what "third party" sites may be: Realtor.com?

    Until narrower searches are consistently possible, and users are able to refine their searchs to meet more criteria, Google Base will remain a cool place with little actual utility in the real estate world.

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  15. (Oops ... didn't finish above.)

    Also, despite the fact that placing listings on Google Base is free, very few brokerages are taking advantage of it ... this even despite the fact that Google Base (currently) redirects the user to the brokers' own websites!

    Of all of the listings showing in, say, the Dallas area, most appear to be those of individual agents whose listings have been fed to Base by their virtual tour companies. NONE of the "top ten" brokers in the area are represented in any number.

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  16. Thanks for the tip Duke, I'm in Australia and will check out the efficacy of using Google Base over here.

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  17. A revolution in the world of real estate I would say. Google Maps is the greatest thing online real estate has ever experienced.

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  18. great post, i always use google maps, on my relocating websites

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  19. so google base is free ? how does a wandered like myself find it and install it on my blog

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  20. As a result, Google real estate is not so useful for us in Malaysia, yet. Suggest Google Maps Real Estate to accept property input from users. What do you think?

    http://www.pupuweb.com/blog/find-real-estate-with-google-maps/

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  21. I think this is a great move by the google giant. we are a realestate operator and we have started to list our properties on google, while it advertises the property for us the buyers still come to our website to contact vendors and we find that its a form of free advertising for us.

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  22. Google updated this earlier today. The search is now included on the main maps search engine. The listings are also more accurate! Check out the news from the guys over at groovyPost: http://www.groovypost.com/howto/groovynews/real-estate-listings-added-to-google-maps/

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  23. Helpful dialogue...will study and learn and post on our own real estate applications.

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  24. I have added over 400 properties as an estate agent in France to Google maps. The properties have been accepted by Google's syatem but they do not appear anywhere. Is there a long time lapse (I uploaded them 14 days ago)? Or am I doing something wrong.
    Until Google sort out a more refined way to search, a property will be very hard to find, due to the vast numbers of properties uploaded by some agencies. It is impossible to search for speciics, such as price, size of land, number of bedrooms etc. Also rental properties have been mixed in with properties for sale. It will be good when Google sort out the shambles
    Clive
    www.wotnots.co.uk

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  25. Clive, ask a question in the forum here : http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/base/

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  26. Would be nice if they also included recent sales data.

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  27. Great to incorporate this feature on internal system such as a booking system. I get some value by creating linking to properties in sydney

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  28. Any idea if there is any upcoming updates to realestate search. seems like it has been stagnet for 18months+??

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  29. Google map is now prove to be helpful for the potential buyers and sellers as now real estate search options have been added to it apart from driving directions and business search tool. That is why so many real estates now using Google map API in order to provide more information to buyers. This site will prove to be helpful for the people who are dealing with properties and who are interested in buying or selling it. For any enquiry one can call 800-232-2343 or 0120-4338222.

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  30. I think this has been here. Several of our web platforms have been integrating this same for several years now.

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  31. google maps has been a powerful resource for those in realestate but of late I'm seeing it as a hug benefit for builders that also want to be found. For that matter also great for locating builders display homes. You were certainly on the money

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  32. I love Google maps! I find their routing program to be more accurate and flexible than any other.
    Now if only Google Earth was more current.

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  33. R.I.P. Google Real Estate Maps option. It has been removed for reasons which are not being disclosed. Fortunately Yahoo Real Estate still exists and is a good starting point to explore what properties are available around the country(USA).

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  34. Google isnt just a search engine these days it does so much more :)

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  35. Is there anyway to get the phone numbers of the listed properties or even doing a proximity search on google maps and get phone numbers for resiendtials for businesses?

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  36. This services is no longer available.Google stopped it a year ago.

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  37. I think it was removed because you could search "Foreclosure" and see milions of red dots spread throughout the U.S. The data was too close to reality for some!

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  38. Agree Tim, Is there any alternative of this service then please tell.
    steel buildings

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