Lines bluring between the physical world and the virtual

by THE WAV GROUP on December 8, 2009

In my morning perusal of news, I saw a story about Google who reiterated their goal of organizing the worlds information.  The article went on to show examples of how real time information is being assimilated by Google from a variety of different sources, translated into every language, and published for the world to view.

There has been a lot of chatter recently about Google in Real Estate.  They have made some improvements to property search, but their data quality is still very bad.  Interestingly, the new policy suggestion by the National Association of REALTORS on data scraping will now allow Google (and any other ‘search engine’) to scrape the data from an authorized agent or broker IDX website.  I am sure that it will not be long before Google determines that IDX data from the MLS is the best data source – and aggregates all of the information accurately for their site.  If I were a third party website like Trulia or Zillow, I would re-brand myself as a Real Estate Search Engine and start scraping data. It is a lot easier than managing data feeds and their data would be more complete.

As the Google article rambled on, I saw another interesting quote – “Yet the features increasingly attempt to draw the physical world into the Web. In another feature, Google teamed with Best Buy to offer real-time inventory information about product availability at local stores.”  It made think of the future of google maps and google images and google video.  Today, a consumer can drive around a town and access property information – active, pending, sold.  Tomorrow, I suspect that they will also have a variety of virtual tours that have been archived for access.  Have you published any family photos from inside your house – google can grab them and add them to the data set – time stamped and possibly stitched together.  At the end of all of this is a world whereby anyone can virtually walk into your house and look around without your permission.

In the words of Robert Frost “No one stands round to stare. / It is nobody else’s affair / It couldn’t be called ungentle / But how thoroughly departmental.”

 

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