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The 10 newest/coolest geo-mapping apps for RE Bloggers

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Incorporating maps into your blog or website can be an engaging and exciting way to snag your readers’ attention.  New technology has allowed mapping to become nearly a living breathing thing which you can create, explore and share.  It’s not your momma’s flat paper map anymore!

Here’s a snapshot of some really cool things you can do with geo-mapping to snazz up your blog, engage your readers and provide a variety of content on your blog or website..

  • Google Maps Mania: Microsoft Street Slide – this creates a much more panoramic view of a street rather than the slightly dizzying effect of Google Street Views.  Watch the video demo to see it in action.  You could create your own YouTube video screen capture of a virtual tour of your town’s Main Street or other hot spot.
  • Google Maps in 3D – as this develops further, you can imagine the uses for it, especially those with tall condo listings and other larger properties.  How amazingly cool!  The end to pancake-flat buildings.
  • TagWhat – is a new messaging app which allows you to share messages using augmented reality with your friends and followers!  Add text, urls, photos, phone numbers, or videos to your tags.  How cool is that?!
  • Schmap – is an easy to use and engaging app where you can share events such as open houses, on twitter, etc. with a map, directions, info, photos, etc.  Schmap also provides online guides for many cities and if you post your geo-tagged photos to flickr  they may highlight one of them in their city guides.  We’ve been fortunate enough to have been chosen for three Miami guides so far!  HUGE Bonus – they are giving away 10,000 2 Year Pro Memberships here!
  • Not For Tourists – a growing collection of city maps by and for locals.  You can apply to be an editor for your local community and you can create custom maps to embed into your blogs.
  • RealBird Facebook Pages for your Listingswith the click of a mouse you can create facebook fan pages for each listing and then share them, promote them for pennies to a hyper-targeted audience and make your seller really really happy having their own fan page for their listing.
  • Where do you Go? create a heat-map of your foursquare check-ins, showing you’re the man about town! (or gal)
  • Facebook stories on Bing Mapsshare stories of facebook and Bing will now add them to their map mashup. Our new blog, TheCoralGablesStory, heavily builds on this community, story, hyper local enthusiasm.
  • KinoMapsif you create video while driving (read more in this previous article on creating community videos), you can use KinoMaps to create an embeddable map to accompany it your video, showing your route.
  • Isochrone Maps – create maps for drive times during certain times of day or night.  View the very cool demo they did of London at night. If you have properties which have longer drive times (say to an airport or down town) you could highlight this info for potential buyers to alleviate concerns.

There are literally thousands and thousands of map apps out there and this is just a random snapshot for you to spark your imagination.  I am sure you have plenty more apps that you love and I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

Bonus – if you have a GPS, you can likely load your buyer tour addresses into MapQuest or Google Maps, create your tour then export to your GPS so you are all pre-loaded before you ever get behind the wheel.

Janie has been in the development, construction and real estate industries for over 20 years. She began her career in commerical construction and has slowly worked into all of the related industries and added residential properties to her resume 7 years ago. She is currently the co-owner of sister companies, Papillon Real Estate and Papillon ReDevelopment (a construction and project management firm). Janie blogs for The Coral Gables Story. In her "free" time, she is a graduate student of Atlantic History with a focus on the history of business and technology. She is a lover of geo-anything. She loves the story.

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Diane Brooks

    July 28, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    Wonderful selection of new apps~ I can’t wait to dig in! Thanks for sharing all of the new possibilities.

    • Janie Coffey

      July 29, 2010 at 8:23 am

      Diane, Please let us know which ones you find most useful!

  2. James Barath in Northwest Indiana

    July 28, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    Geolocation is all the rage as of late. It seems as if it is the one concept that can unite the internet, mobile applications and the human element with real world interactions.

    The application I think that has the greatest potential impact on real estate is the Isochrone Maps. Instead of reading about a home’s great location and proximity to all the local hot spots, you will now have the ability to prove that claim through dynamic maps.

    • Janie Coffey

      July 29, 2010 at 8:25 am

      I find that Isochrone maps will be very useful if a listing is questionably “too far” from something, agents could nip that in the bud (if true) showing the map, then it’s not just the agent’s claim, it shown…

  3. Augusta Ga Homes

    July 29, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Great info. Can’t wait to give some of these apps a try. People are visually stimulated and won’t stay on your site to read but they do like pictures!! 🙂

    • Janie Coffey

      July 29, 2010 at 1:15 pm

      the love pictures and they love interacting with a site. Clickable, explorable, liveable are all keys to being sticky!

  4. Andrew

    July 29, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Great list of resources!

    We (the team at Movity.com) are working to bring more UGC to mapping as well – we are fascinated by maps that allow users to move between publicly available data and local opinions/knowledge. Both help to inform map readers of a location and enhance a user’s experience.

    Curious to check out the Isochrome maps as listed above…!

  5. Eric

    July 29, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Wow, thanks for all these resources. I didn’t realize that our driving/walking time overlay (on PadMapper) had a name – isochrone maps.

    The GPS tour is a great idea, also.

  6. Nick Nymark

    July 31, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Looks interesting can’t wait to check them out!

  7. Doug Francis

    July 31, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    I recently bought a new Lumix camera with built-in GPS. I only turn it on for certain shots because it will drain the battery. Not really sure how to maximize this feature? Suggestions?

  8. montreal flowers

    September 6, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    There’s lots of map apps for the blog. I did not know before. Nice technology!

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Social Media

Facebook’s Résumé takes another shot at LinkedIn

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook took another swipe at LinkedIn by introducing a new Résumé feature.

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Any job hunter is likely familiar with the little section somewhere during the application process where you’re asked to enter in social media information. Thankfully, Facebook is usually an optional field.

While I try to keep what the public can see of my social media profiles toned down enough as to not cause my grandmother to blush, I’m still not quite comfortable sharing my profile with prospective employers.

I’m sure many out there feel the same, and Facebook knows this.

Tinfoil hat theories aside, LinkedIn may be shaking in their boots as Facebook begins to advance their growth in the professional sector in their pursuit of social media domination.

Facebook has begun experimenting with a new Résumé/CV feature that works as an extension of your standard “Work and Education” section on a Facebook profile page, allowing users to share work experience in more detail with friends and family but most importantly: potential employers.

Luckily, the new Résumé/CV feature won’t be sharing personal photos or status updates, but will rather combine all the relevant information into a single, professional-looking package.

So far this feature appears to be rolled out to a small number of users, and it’s unclear when it will be officially launched, but this isn’t the first time Facebook has dipped their toes in the waters of the job sector, or took a jab at LinkedIn.

Several months ago, Jobs was launched, a feature that allows Business Pages to post job openings through the status composer, and keep track of them on their Page’s Jobs tab.

A Facebook spokesperson commented on the intent behind the new Résumé/CV feature, “At Facebook, we’re always building and testing new products and services.

We’re currently testing a work histories feature to continue to help people find and businesses hire for jobs on Facebook,” and so this is just the beginning of Facebook’s plan to become a one-stop-shop and create a more seamless way for people to find and get jobs.

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Tag photos, connect with friends, order food?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook seems to be sprawling into every nook and cranny of life and now, they’re infiltrating food delivery.

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Facebook is now bringing you food! Although, no one was really asking them to.

In the age of Instagram and Snapchat, Facebook is attempting to transform into more than just a social media platform. They have partnered up with food delivery services to help users order food directly from their site.

They hope to streamline the process by giving users a chance to research, get recommendations and order food without ever leaving the site.

Facebook has partnered with their existing delivery services including EatStreet, Delivery.com, DoorDash, ChowNow and Olo in addition to restaurants to fast track the process.

The scenario they imagine is that while scrolling through the newsfeed, users would feel an urge to eat and look to Facebook for their options.

After chatting up friends via Facebook Messenger to ask for the best place to go, users would visit the restaurant’s page directly, explore their menu and decide to order. When ordering, you will have the option to use one of the partnered delivery services either with an existing account or by creating a new one.

The benefit is you stay on one site the entire time. With the time you save, the food can get to you faster, which is a plus for everyone.

Assuming that people already live on Facebook 24/7, this seems like a great update. If you like getting recommendations from your favorite social media resources, it’s even better.

The problem is that in recent years their younger audiences have dropped off in favor of other sites. Regardless of what they think, not everyone is flocking to Facebook for their every need.

My guess is that this service will benefit those already using Facebook, but is less likely to draw new audiences in.

Adding more services may not be the key to success if Facebook can’t refine their other features. They have already been criticized for their ad reporting practices, though they seem to fix everything with a new algorithm.

Facebook has continued to stray away from their original intent, and food delivery won’t be their last update.

Facebook wants to be everything, but not everyone may want the same.

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Hate Facebook’s mid-roll ads? So does everyone else

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Those pesky ads that pop up in the middle of that Facebook video, aka mid-roll, seem to be grinding everyone’s gears.

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mid-roll

In an ongoing effort to monetize content, Facebook recently introduced “mid-roll” ads into videos by certain publishers, and it has now been testing that format for six months. If you aren’t a big fan of those ads interrupting your content consumption experience, you aren’t alone; publishers aren’t crazy about them either.

In a report on the program, five publishers working with Facebook’s new mid-roll ad program were sourced and all five publishers found that the program wasn’t generating the expected revenue.

One program partner made as little as $500 dollars with mid-roll ads while generating tens of millions of views on their content.

Two other partners wouldn’t specify exact revenue number, but they did acknowledge that the ad performance is below expectations. As far as cost goes, certain publishers mentioned CPMs between 15 cents and 75 cents.

That range is large because a lot of the data isn’t clear enough to evaluate their return on investment. According to the Digiday report, publishers receive data on total revenue, along with raw data on things like the number of videos that served an ad to viewers.

The lack of certain data points, along with the confusing structure of the data, makes it difficult to assess the number of monetized views and the revenue by video. For context, YouTube, as arguably the biggest player in video monetization, provides all these metrics.

Another issue is that licensing deals are cutting into margins. Facebook pays publishers, via a licensing fee, to produce and publish a certain number of videos each month. In exchange, Facebook keeps all money until it recoups the fee, after which revenue is split 55/45 between the publisher and Facebook.

While these challenges doesn’t change the fact that revenue is low, it does make it difficult to dissect costs in a meaningful way.

Why is revenue so low to begin with?

For starters, a newsfeed with enough content to feed an infinite scroll probably isn’t the best format for these kinds of ads. As a user, when I’m watching the videos and the ad interrupts the experience, I’ve always scrolled right on through to the next item on my feed. It’s a sentiment echoed by one of the publishers in the Digiday story.

Because of that, Facebook’s new Watch program, which creates a content exclusivity not found on the news feed, might produce better results in the future. Either way, Facebook will need to solve this revenue challenge for publishers, or they might pull out of the programs altogether.

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